The T68m was the last phone branded ‘Ericsson’ as opposed to ‘Sony Ericsson’. It was in fact, the first phone of the new venture and it got Sony-Ericsson off to a cracking start.
It was loaded with state of the art features, including bluetooth, tri-band GSM and a groundbreaking 256 colour display. It wasn’t quite the first phone to boast a full colour display, Mitsubishi’s Trium Eclipse was on the market fractionally sooner, but the Ericsson T68m was smaller, sexier and much nicer to use.
Commentator Michael Oryl writing for Mobile Burn said it broke Nokia’s monopoly on style. It was absolutely on trend and a huge break from Ericsson’s conservative styling.
At the time of the T68’s launch, the phone that did have a monopoly on style was the Nokia 8310, Nokia’s flagship consumer phone. It boasted a built-in FM radio and an ultra stylish case with three way customization.
Nokia style influenced the design of the T68m which had similar keys to the older Nokia 8210 and chrome look accept and reject keys, mirroring the chrome parts on the 8210. It weighed the same as the Nokia 8310 and was only slightly bigger, but it had a larger colour display, making the 8310, with its small monochrome screen instantly old hat. (www.mobilephonehistory.co.uk)
In 2002, after a slight cosmetic redesign and a software upgrade, the T68m was re-released as the Sony Ericsson T68i, as by then Ericsson had created a joint venture with Sony Corporation to produce mobile phones as Sony Ericsson.
The upgrade, also available to owners of the T68, provided a built-in e-mail client, SyncML support, and, for the first time ever, two-way MMS with full SMIL implementation. The T68i is known for being a highly effective example of stealth marketing. Before being released Sony Ericsson paid actors to pretend to be tourists and asked people to take pictures of them with the T68i.
A camera was not present, which was sold as an add-on (MCA-25 CommuniCam) and, at the end of the model life cycle, was offered with the phone.
Calendar Items, Wallpaper Images, Screensaver Images, Pictures of Senders, and Ringtones can be sent to the T68i through the Bluetooth protocol, or infrared.
Image Source: http://www.007collector.com
The T68i was the first Ericsson (Sony) free from brominated flame retardants (BFR). It was also featured in the James Bond movie Die Another Day. (wikipedia.org)
Ericsson Press Releases
Ericsson unveils the T68, a GPRS phone with MMS, a color display and Bluetoothtm
Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Today, Ericsson announced the T68, its first mobile phone with color display, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and digital imaging and audio capabilities. This very small, powerful and sleek mobile phone with a completely new look and feel is developed for GSM 900/1800/1900 and GPRS networks and will be available before the end of 2001.
“The T68 demonstrates a clear trend shift within Ericsson’s industrial design and at the same time incorporates all the technologies that the industry is going wild for at the moment,” says Bo Albertson, Marketing Director at Ericsson Mobile Communications.
The T68 has built-in Bluetooth wireless technology that makes it possible to connect it to other devices without cables, for instance the Ericsson Bluetooth headset, a digital camera or a computer. It is the future standard for cablefree connectivity between devices and has been adopted by all the major computer and telecommunications companies.
The T68 supports General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), so users will enjoy ‘always on’ connectivity to the mobile Internet, with instant delivery of e-mail, high-speed Internet access and efficient mobile connections to corporate LANs. Ericsson is answering a growing market demand for mobile phones that support GPRS and the company is a popular choice of supplier among network operators gearing up to introduce new innovative services to the market. Ericsson has also launched the GPRS- phones R520 and T39.
Small – 101 x 48 x 19mm, and lightweight, weighing only 85 grams, T68 has a built-in antenna and a large 8 row, 256 color, display which opens up for exciting applications and user-friendly operation. The T68 will also support the latest and most advanced messaging application – MMS.
The Ericsson T68 will be available toward the end of 2001 when more information about its features will be released.