Back in 2002, the Sony Ericsson t68i was released in the US courtesy of AT&T Wireless, introducing consumers to one of the most advanced and forward-thinking cell phones at the time. If the original iPhone is perceived as a revolutionary device, then the same can be said about the Sony Ericsson t68i when we look back at what it brought to the table. It wasn't a smartphone by any means, but boy was it a phone like no other during its time!
Before its arrival, the vast majority of cell phones featured monochrome displays and only functioned for the sole purpose of making and receiving phone calls. The Sony Ericsson t68i shattered our conceptions by being the first commercially successful phone sold to the masses to feature a color display, which for the time was unheard of! Introducing us all to color was a big thing, especially when the t68i was priced reasonably to a broader range of consumers – whereas other phones with color screens were overpriced, limiting their exposure on a wider scale.
And lastly, the other aspect that made the Sony Ericsson t68i unique was that users could've purchased an add-on camera accessory. We may take for granted how all phones come with built-in cameras, but back in 2002, there were no commercial phones with integrated ones. For the t68i, its utility was further solidified when the add-on camera was introduced – allowing users to take snapshots on the go. Sure, the camera add-on was another investment on its own, and its quality was crude at best, but it nonetheless ushered us into a whole new era. Selfies were still far away from being imagined, but back then, the t68i's add-on camera was yet another new innovation that was being introduced to the masses!
All of this is exactly why the Sony Ericsson t68i was a phone that was too ahead for its time. The contributions it made at the time spurred further growth and innovation, as many of its features became standardized. Color screens soon became rampant, as well as data connectivity and integrated cameras – features we all take for granted today, but they were regarded as luxuries during the late 90s and early 2000s. The sun might've set for the t68i a long time ago, but it's a testament to say the least!