Do you remember this revolutionary phone from 2002?

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.

Secondly, this was a phone that not only provided typical features such as phones calls and text messaging, but it enhanced the overall experience by offering extended connectivity with its email client, and more importantly, a WAP browser that allowed users to connect to the web. Sure, it might've been crude by today's standards, but the ability to access email and surf the web (very slowly due to GPRS) was something that few commercial phones were able to accomplish during the time. Although, it was still a pricey investment having data connectivity in your phone, as even a small amount of data being transmitted would've incurred a hefty bill if you went over your allotment!

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!

Related phones

  • Display
    80 x 101 pixels
  • Battery 700 mAh



11. p51d007

Posts: 706; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I had an S710a. Had a GREAT camera, for the time.

10. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Wow! Sony Ericsson days T230 K700i W550i W810i Z300i K850i n that green color logo Thank You John Velasco for this article

9. ijuanp03

Posts: 703; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

SE K600i is more memorable for me. Adding xenon flash was so useful, it turns a bad camera quality to great!

7. mixedfish

Posts: 1573; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

These were the days when you SMS'd to buy a $10 ringtone LOL

6. Stormrider

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 30, 2016

My first phone ever. It had Bluetooth that I used to chat with other classmates during classes which was absolutely amazing back then.

3. modu9 unregistered

Actually, this was an Ericsson phone entirely. It was originally released as an Ericsson T68 and then after the joint venture it was re-released as a Sony Ericsson T68i. Not to downplay Sony's capabilities but I wish that Ericsson were still in the mobile phone game.

5. Cyberchum

Posts: 1142; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

You are very correct, because two of my friends back then owned them, and one had only Ericsson as the name.

2. IgorEfremenko

Posts: 110; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

T68I is a great phone, but it's T610 that holds a special place in my heart.

4. maherk

Posts: 7084; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It was the 1st out of many other Sony phones I owned, and if I had to chose my favorite out of all of them, it will definitely be the K850. Design was amazing, it looked nothing like any other phone on the market, and it had that fun tennis game that eventually broke the touch sensitive joystick :/

8. tuminatr

Posts: 1185; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Yep they were cool because of the add on options I had a T28 with the chatboard

1. Acdc1a

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

I worked for AT&T when the t68 and subsequently the t68i came out. They were not fantastic phones, but the novelty of the camera was fantastic!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless