Despite being known as the father of SMS, Makkonen was often quick to point out that he did not invent the technology single-handedly . In 2012, he told BBC News -in an SMS interview -that he believed texting in some form would be around “forever“.
Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the first text message, Makkonen said he considered the development of SMS a joint effort and that it was Nokia who helped to popularise the service. “The real launch of the service, as I see it, was when Nokia introduced the first phone that enabled easy writing of messages (No kia 2010 in 1994),“ he had said.He said he did not use “txt spk“ himself, though he pointed out that texting could be thought of as having had an impact on the development of language.
Jarmo Matilainen, managing director of Finnish telecoms group Finnet Association, described Makkonen as a“grand old man of the mobile industry“. “It's very sad. He was just going to retire and he should have had many years ahead,“ he said.