Year: 1984. The Motorola DyanTac 8000x.
Nokia (which started in 1865 as a wood pulp mill!) debuted its first GSM mobile phone only in 1992 with Nokia 1011 (though it too had made the first transportable phone in 1984)
Mobile phones were pretty serious business till some geek at Nokia decided to add some fun to it and along came Nokia 6110 with Snake on it!
Nokia's Snake is considered the 'pioneer' in mobile gaming.
The enormous interest on this mobile game, even among the typical 'business' folk is legendary, with people vying with each other to break the high score record. For a few years, games such as Snake were production-embedded on handsets.
All that changed in 2000-2001, with the Java platform claiming a new playground. (... To be continued in part II)