Mitsubishi Phones: A Forgotten Chapter in the History of Mobile Technology

I have always been fascinated by the history of technology and how different companies have contributed to the development of various devices and gadgets. One of the most ubiquitous and indispensable inventions of our time is the mobile phone, which has revolutionized communication, entertainment, and information. But did you know that one of the companies that once produced mobile phones was Mitsubishi? Yes, the same Mitsubishi that is known for its cars, electronics, and heavy industries. I was surprised to learn this fact when I stumbled upon some old Mitsubishi phones on the internet. Here is what I found out about them.

Mitsubishi was one of the early entrants in the mobile phone market, starting from the 1980s. It was mainly active in Japan and Europe, where it offered various models of phones with different features and designs. Some of the notable Mitsubishi phones were:

  • Trium series: This was a line of phones that Mitsubishi launched in 1999, in collaboration with GEC-Plessey Telecommunications (GPT). The Trium series included models such as Trium Eclipse, Trium Sirius, Trium Neptune, Trium Mars, Trium Geo-@, Trium Mondo, Trium xs, and Trium fx. These phones had features such as color screens, WAP browsers, email clients, infrared ports, and polyphonic ringtones. Some of them also supported GSM and GPRS networks.
  • M series: This was another line of phones that Mitsubishi introduced in the early 2000s, mainly for the European market. The M series included models such as M330, M341i, M342i, M350, M520, M528, M750, and M760. These phones had features such as cameras, Bluetooth, Java games, MP3 players, and FM radios. Some of them also supported UMTS and EDGE networks.
  • M430i/M900: This was the last phone that Mitsubishi released in 2005, before exiting the mobile phone market. It was a flip phone that had a 2.2-inch TFT display, a 1.3-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, and a music player. It also supported i-mode, a mobile internet service that was popular in Japan.

Mitsubishi’s mobile phone division was part of its Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, which is still active in other fields such as air conditioners, elevators, solar panels, and satellites. Mitsubishi decided to withdraw from the mobile phone market in 2005, due to the intense competition and low profitability. It sold its mobile phone business to Kyocera, another Japanese company that still produces phones.

I think it is interesting to look back at the history of mobile phones and see how different companies have tried to innovate and compete in this dynamic and fast-changing industry. Mitsubishi may not be remembered as a major player in the mobile phone market, but it certainly left its mark with some of its unique and diverse products. I wonder what other surprises the history of technology has in store for us.

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