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Hyundai Mobile to enter UK market

20th January 2009

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 Hyundai Logo A familiar name, but on an unfamiliar product. Hyundai Mobile is perhaps not the first, or indeed second, Korean mobile phone maker that you can think of. But along with fellow companies LG and Samsung, Hyundai hopes to take a slice of the UK mobile market.

 Hyundai Coupe Mk III and Hyundai Pony Mk IThe Hyundai brand is perhaps best known in the UK for cars, and Hyundai Mobile would probably sooner you think of the Hyundai Coupé instead of the 1975 Hyundai Pony. It might seem strange for a car manufacturer to make phones, but in fact Hyundai is a chaebol - a large industrial conglomerate that is involved in everything from electronics to shipping. It might surprise you to learn that Samsung are also involved in making cars, through Renault Samsung motors.

Perhaps then, the surprise is that it has taken so long for Hyundai to market phones in the UK. In fact, Hyundai Mobile are already active in Hungary, Slovenia, Germany and Austria. And Hyundai have very aggressive plans for the UK market.

Just as Hyundai cars are appealing because of the value for money that they offer, Hyundai Mobile is also pursuing customers who are "price conscious".

Hyundai's current model range is quite varied. Highlights include the MB-400 with an iPod-style control pad on the front, the MB-910 wristwatch phone, the simple-to-use MB-150, a glossy slider called the MB-500, the MB-220 which is an unusual clamshell with an external touchscreen and the dual-SIM MB-D130. LG want to introduce ten to fifteen new mobile phones annually, across a wide product range.. we think some of these will be shown off at next month's Mobile World Congress.

 Hyundai MB-150
Hyundai MB-150

 Hyunda MB220
Hyundai MB-220

 Hyundai MB400
Hyundai MB-400

 Hyundai MB500
Hyundai MB-500

 Hyundai MD-910
Hyundai MB-910

 Hyundai MB-D130
Hyundai MBD-130

Currently, the Hyundai range lacks any 3G devices and the maximum camera resolution is just 3 megapixels. But the interesting MB-400 retails for only about €120 SIM-free in Germany, and the novel MB-910 wristwatch phone is about €200.. so they certainly seem to offer good value for money.

It is impossible to say if Hyundai can be successful in the UK market, but a combination of "different" design and low prices may well be appealing to British consumers.

Picture credits: Hyundai Pony, Hyundai Coupé

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