Ericsson - T18s


18 March 1999

146 grams



The T18 was a compact device which introduced a number of new features, including voice dialling, voice answer, active flip (allowing users to start and end calls by opening and shutting the flip) and a vibrating alert function. Devices designated as being T-class products were focused on delivering what Ericsson described as “small and smart products with beautiful design”. At the time the T18 was launched, the only other T-class device available was the Ericsson T28. In the press release to announce the T18, Ericsson claimed it had been designed “to satisfy the needs of an increasingly sophisticated market” and that the target group for the phone “enjoy social and cultural activities and want a phone that makes life easier.” The release went on to add that Ericsson expected these users to “take quality for granted and look for technical devices that have advanced technological capabilities as well as streamlined, state-of-the-art design.” The phone had a “full graphic display” that was able to show three lines of text, depending on the language selected. The phone also had support for Enhanced Full Rate Speech Coding to improve voice quality. The voice dialling and answering features allowed users to press a key, say the name of the person they wished to call and then be connected. Up to 10 names could be stored in the phone’s voice dialling memory. Users could also accept or reject incoming calls just by using their voice. A notable new feature on the device was the introduction of a vibrating call alert, something regarded as a default capability on mobile phones today. This feature resulted in one of the most controversial advertising campaigns ever launched by Ericsson. A guerrilla marketing programme targeting clubs and bars in Switzerland saw the T18 phone being displayed in print adverts alongside several vibrators (see picture below). The advert quickly made the front page of Swedish newspapers and the advertising campaign was stopped after two days. T18s Vibrator Advert Several variants of the T18 were available, including the T18s for European markets and two tri-mode models, the T18d, which supported TDMA, and the T18z, which supported GSM 1900. A version of the phone, known as the T18sc was also developed for Asian markets with support for “Chinese Input technology”. This made it possible to use the keypad to send and receive messages with Chinese SMS, as well as store Chinese names in the phonebook – all in Chinese characters, of which there were more than 10,000 available on the phone. Ericsson claimed this was the “most available in a mobile phone” at the time. The phone was available in three colours: Granite Grey, Juniper Blue and Maple Red.