• Aug 30th 2006 at 2:23PM
  • 18
Reuters is reporting that Toyota is about to jump into the cell phone business with KDDI Corp., Japan's No. 2 wireless carrier of which 11 percent is owned by the Japanese auto giant. The company's ultimate goal is to close the gap between its cars and telecom networks, so the new phone will be compatible with Toyota navigation systems via Bluetooth. The pair of companies has also developed some type of battery charger that Reuters reports will attach to the armrest of a car and offer music and games downloads. Not sure how that's going to work until we see it. The new phone will also have emergency services on its speed dial in case a motorist gets into trouble on the road.

The Toyota phone will be called "TiMo" and go on sale at the end of October, right before Japan's cell phone users will be allowed to switch services and keep their current telephone number.

(BTW - the above picture is of a Motorola RAZR, as no one's seen the TiMo yet)

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      TiMo?? hahah they're going to have trouble trying to market this thing here in Latin America..

      ((timo DOES mean FRAUD in spanish, btw.))
      • 9 Years Ago
      Toyota needs to start selling Celicas or Supras again, not cell phones.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Now, why can't you all appreciate this for what it is?"

      What it is a narrow-use proprietary system that will simply make universal integration take even longer because each automaker will implement different protocols and systems none of which will interoperate and some may even interfere with one another.

      If car makers actually understood the potential of the technology they could do what almost every other industry does except the automotive industry which is work toward standardization.

      Believe it or not competing companies in other industries collaborate every day so that in the end they don't each end up with isolated incompatible systems. So lets say you have 2 cars with nav systems and you have to switch phones when you switch cars. Is that really good for the consumer?

      For some reason the auto industry behaves much more like the fashion industry. The more I see of the auto industry the more it seems they just don't get technology.
      • 9 Years Ago
      patricia, sweetie, don't get all mad just because i said the truth. plus...isn't DCX owned by germans? so why would i be an American-hater?

      also, don't know if you're being sarcastic or just stupid, but TIMO doesn't mean anything in spanish. "fraud" in spanish is fraude, or embuste, not TIMO. now go on back to the little ignorant hole you came out of, honey.
      • 9 Years Ago
      let the recall/import hating comments begin (even though this post is about cell phones).

      please remember Chrysler had the most recalls this year (16) which covered more cars than any other automaker...but you wouldn't know that from reading autoblog

      See below..

      • 9 Years Ago
      Hey, GM, Ford, AMC, Chrysler used to sell appliances, GM sells home mortgages, so, nothing new here.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The problem with a Toyota branded phone is that I don't think many non Toyota car owners will want one. Just like i couldn't see many Toyota owners wanting to buy a Ford cell phone.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "patricia, sweetie.."

      WRONG. Patricia is a dude.
      • 9 Years Ago
      12. "patricia, sweetie.."

      WRONG. Patricia is a dude.

      Posted at 3:45PM on Aug 30th 2006 by Chela

      i'm gay, so does it really matter?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Well, in Japan the mobile phones are based on a different technology and not on GSM which is used worldwide. So these mobile phones can not be internationally compatible. Besides, Japanese mobile phones is very competitive market which mostly targets the young girls who change their mobile phones every 6 months. Toyota can not do much in that market.
      • 9 Years Ago
      On topic -- is anyone peeved at the proprietary nature of these devices? Is it just another way for these companies to lock you and spend money on their products -- that you may not want or like?

      For example, if I don't want a TIMO phone, is the only way for me to get the feature is to spend $600 to buy their phone which I don't want? For the iPod in car integration, is it not just nuts that some companies are charging $300 for the cable and $300 for the install just to have iPod integration? Why can't I plug in any DAP into a slot like a casset? Some cars don't even have an AUX plug to use a third party DAP. Also, if Bluetooth is a standard, why do only certain bluetooth phones work with certain cars? There are some cars where only Motorola phones will work, other only have Sony/Ericson that work others only Nokia.

      Given the R&D work involved and the auto industry being so cost aware, you would believe they would be developing the standards to save themselve grief and money.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I just wonder how T-mobile (T-Mo) is going to feel about this.
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