Hyundai Mobile at Mobile World Congress
General release cancelled
17th February 2009
Hyundai Mobile announced
a big expansion recently, and promised to bring some
new devices to this year's Mobile World Congress. Hyundai
have come up with three interesting phones, but the
big question is.. will they sell?
Hyundai Mobile MB-105 Chico
With a smaller footprint than a credit
card and a diminutive price tag of just €20, the Hyundai
MB-105 Chico is certainly one of the smallest and
cheapest phones to come to market.
wouldn't expect much for this sort of money, but the
MB-105 can support SMS messaging, has up to 500 phonebook
entries, enough memory for 50 SMS messages, a built-in
alarm and an optional headset.
The display is a very small 1.2"
monochrome panel, and underneath this is a simple 900
/ 1800 MHz dualband GSM phone.
Hyundai are suggesting that the MB-105
might make a good second (or even third) phone, or perhaps
it could be an interesting promotional item. Either
way, the MB-105 looks interesting and is the sort of
thing that we at Mobile Gazette enjoy having
a play with.
The MB-105 should be available next
Hyundai MB-490i is a strange looking device,
a strange combination of curves and ripples that look
Hyundai's designers have attempted to
make the MB-490i look like a dolphin from the side,
and there's an aquatic feel to the ripples on the surface
of the phone which continues the theme.
This is a touchscreen music phone featuring
Yamaha sound management, it comes with a 240 x 400 pixel
display, a multimedia player, FM radio and Bluetooth.
Apart from the touchscreen, the main
control is through the scroll key on the front. The
"dolphin" theme is also carried through into
software, with a dolphin assistant to help navigate
The design may be odd, but it certainly
looks less like a copy of an iPhone than the older MB-400.
Hyundai say that the MB-490i will be in the "middle
price" segment and should be available from April 2009.
The Hyundai MB-D650 is a dual-SIM
phone similar in concept to the Samsung
D780 DuoS. Both Hyundai and Samsung seem to thing
that there is a big growth area for handsets like this,
and the MB-D650 midrange price and tidy design may make
it appealing to some.
don't know the exact specifications of the MB-D650,
except that it does have a multimedia player, a 3.5
mm audio socket, microSD memory, Bluetooth and a 2 megapixel
camera. The 2" display appears to be a 176 x 220
pixel panel. This is a dual-band GSM device with support
for GPRS data only, and the handset weighs just 91 grams.
An extra set of keys on the front look
like they are designed to swap easily between SIM cards.
Other than that, you could carry on your secret double
life with the MB-D650 with nobody being any the wiser.
Hyundai say that the MB-D650 should
be available from March, but did not give any guidance
Can Hyundai succeed?
Can these handsets succeed? Most manufacturers
are expecting to see a decline in sales during 2009,
so trying to launch the Hyundai Mobile brand in new
territories may seem foolish. On the other hand, the
Hyundai name is associated with good value for money,
and it may be exactly what the market is looking for.
One thing is for certain, these three new handsets and
the rest of the Hyundai
range are distinctive enough from most other products
to make them interesting. We think that Hyundai have
a good chance of succeeding.