The Motorola International 5200 was introduced in 1994 and produced both in Motorola’s Flensburg plant in Germany and Easter Inch plant in Scotland. It was the follow-on product from the International 5080 announced earlier that year.
The initial product plan for the Motorola portable product range did not include the 5200 as it was eventually delivered. The original 5200 was supposed to be the same size as the International 7200
but the late introduction of a custom interface chip meant that this version of the product was delayed and the interface chip function was constructed using a discrete and less integrated solution resulting in the circuit board being thicker which made the product thicker.
The 5200 used nickel-cadmium batteries common to the MicroTAC product family, the 7200 used nickel-metal hydride batteries to make it lighter and increase performance.
Initial versions of the 5200 did not support the sending of SMS messages nor Cell Broadcast, but with the introduction of the 7200 the 5200 software was improved to support these features.
The 5200 and 7200 used a two-line LCD display with a number of status indicators. The International MicroTAC series of phones used a full-sized SIM conforming to the ISO/IEC 7810 standard, essentially the same size as a typical credit / banking card. This was driven by the belief at the time that these full-sized SIM cards would also double as banking cards, and that banks would use the inherent security of GSM to allow banking transactions over the air as is now common with modern-day digital wallets such as Apple Pay.
While this vision was eventually realised by Motorola with the StarTAC D
product, the widespread adoption of digital payments did not happen until almost two decades later with the introduction of NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies which support digital payment services such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.