Japanese mobile carrier au by KDDI made its first set of emojis in 1999. It was named Version Type A-2, and comprised 170 black and white characters. Four years after that, au by KDDI impressed all its peers when it unveiled to the public a custom-made set of animated emojis. The last emoji update of au by KDDI occurred 8 years later, when au by KDDI eventually merged its designs with the designs of NTT Docomo, another well-known mobile phone operator in Japan.
For a more comprehensive explanation, check out a timeline of au by KDDI’s emoji design updates here:
– au by KDDI released its Version Type B-2 set of emojis in August 2000. This version had a total of 188 emojis. Most of the images in this set were pixelated images of office equipment like folders, disks, scissors, etc.
– In 2001, au by KDDI released Type B-3. It included the same group of characters as Version Type B-2, but with additional shading and detail. The entire set was replaced in 2002 by version Type C-2.
– One year later au by KDDI came out with Type C-2. A redesign of all emojis from Type B-3, this version expanded the number of smileys from one to seven. All the emojis had vibrant, sharper colors.
– In 2003, au by KDDI released Type D-1 set of emojis. A complete redesign of the emojis in Type C-2, the artists at au by KDDI animated each emoji. They also gave the characters a more pixelated look. Type D-1 had 630 characters, 255 more than Type C -2 which just had 345 characters.
– A year later, au by KDDI introduced Type D-2 to the public. It had the same number of emojis as Type D-1 but with a higher resolution and no animation.
– A higher resolution version of the Type D-2 emoji set type D-3 came out on January 1, 2005. Unlike Type D-1, it had no animation and ran on all au devices. Used from 2005 to 2012, Type D-3 was the last set of emojis to feature designs unique to the company.
– First available in May 2012, Type F is the first emoji set from au by KDDI to move away from realistic designs to more abstract symbols. To provide more cross-platform consistency, Type F mimicked a group of emojis from NTT Docomo, a popular mobile phone operator in Japan.