Japan Apes The US in The Release of Small-Sized Phone

Japan Apes The US in The Release of Small-Sized Phone

 

Japan follows manufacturers of the US Smartphone, Palm, by releasing a tiny phone into its market.

Could this become a new norm in the smartphone industry in an age of large screened devices? Recent events suggest the love for small-sized devices may be coming back.

Japans biggest telecoms firm, NTT Docomo announced an accessory 5.3mm (0.2in) thick 4G phone will be released in November this week.

 

The compact device is designed to fit inside a cardholder.

 

It is part of a trend to offer so-called companion mobile devices to those who already own larger smartphones.

 

The phone weighs 47g (1.6oz) and features an electronic-paper touchscreen, similar to e-books.

 

It will have limited functionality, with calls, texts and a net connection but no camera or facility to work with mobile apps.

 

The phone – dubbed Card Keitai KY-01L – will be made by electronics firm Kyocera.

 

The ‘simple, easy-to-carry’ card phone is seen by NTT Docomo as a useful extra device for people who have already purchased large-screen smartphones. The Stephen Curry backed Palm phone was just released this month. It too was to be an additional card-sized device to be used for convenient activities like exercise or late dinners.

 

NTT Docomo describes the mobile as the ‘world’s thinnest’ but that claim is likely to be disputed by other phone makers.

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The Oppo R5 was 4.85mm thick when it was released in 2014, followed the same year by the Vivo X5 Max at 4.75mm.

 

And in 2016, Motorola released the Moto Z which was just under 5.2mm thick.

 

The KY-01L will cost 32,000 yen ($280, £216).

 

Ben Wood, the chief analyst at research firm CCS Insight, said: ‘This flurry of so-called companion phones reflects the desire of phone makers to try and find new sales opportunities in a saturated market.

 

‘A small companion phone looks like an appealing idea on paper but the devices tend to be a compromise and furthermore consumers have to pay for them over and above their existing smartphones as well as often requiring additional airtime fees too.’

 

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