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Hyundai Mobile fails to launch

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 Hyundai Mobile 13th July 2009

One company that created a buzz earlier this year was Hyundai Mobile, which had a strong showing at this year's MWC event and intrigued us with the announcement of the MB-910 wristwatch phone. They promised that they would be launching in the UK during 2009, and aggressively pursuing sales.

But the problem was.. where were the phones? Despite a lot of noise, the handsets never made it to the UK market, and even in Europe the supplies dried up.

Despite its name, Hyundai Mobile Europe was fully owned by a company called Leitz-Austria of Vienna who distributed the handsets, unfortunately Leitz-Austria collapsed owing millions of euros earlier this month, taking its mobile subsidiary with it. Combined with the collapse of its UK partner, this has effectively stopped distribution of Hyundai Mobile handsets throughout Europe.

Hyundai Mobile's range was interesting because it not only seemed to offer very good value for money, but the handsets were quite quirky and interesting. In addition to the wristwatch phone, the MB-105 was going to be pitched at just €20 and could potentially used as a promotional item if printed up with a corporate logo. And the MB-400 was a cheekily different interpretation of what an "iPod phone" should look like.

Sadly, there's very little possibility of these handsets making it to the UK now. We think the mobile market is just a bit less interesting without Hyundai Mobile to brighten it up.


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