Upmarket toaster maker Balmuda launches smartphone in iPhone-dominated Japan


TOKYO (Reuters) – Excessive-end Japanese toaster maker Balmuda Inc unveiled a stripped again smartphone on Tuesday, aiming for a toe-hold in a market dominated by Apple’s iPhone.

Chief Government Gen Terao mentioned on the launch occasion that the 5G enabled Android system is predicted to contribute 3 billion yen ($26 million) to Balmuda’s gross sales within the present monetary 12 months.

The “Balmuda Cellphone” prices 104,800 yen ($920) and has a small 4.9 inch display and a curved again.

It’s constructed by industrial ceramics agency Kyocera Corp and provided by wi-fi service SoftBank Corp, which first introduced the iPhone to Japan.

“The iPhone has turn out to be an excessive amount of the usual,” mentioned Terao, who was a highschool dropout and in a rock band earlier than founding Balmuda.

The system has a customized house display with Balmuda’s model of fundamental apps just like the calendar and clock and matches within the hand, Terao mentioned.

Balmuda, which listed final December, has carved out a distinct segment promoting minimalist family home equipment at premium costs reminiscent of “The Toaster”, priced $225, and a $520 espresso machine named “The Brew”.

Its smartphone will face stiff competitors from Apple, which notched up iPhone gross sales in Japan of $28.5 billion within the 12 months to September. The 5.4 inch iPhone 13 mini is sort of 20% cheaper in Japan than the “Balmuda Cellphone”.

($1 = 114.1900 yen)

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Modifying by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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