Willcom to sell world’s smallest mobile phone, about the size of a box of mints


Willcom-strap-phone-2Photo via. k-tai.impress

PHS mobile career Willcom and Willcom Okinawa recently made a joint annoucement for the release of the world’s smallest and lightest Frisk-size PHS phone (pictured above). These tiny phones are available for pre-order and will go on sale on March 21.

The so-called Strap Phone 2 has been upgraded from its previous version with an added email feature, and is available in three colors, black, white, and pink. PHS phones are known for low power consumption, and this one is no exception. With its movable antenna, the signal detection ability of the phone has been improved as well.

Japan’s smartphone penetration is currently just over 40%, so why are these companies still producing [1] out-of-date PHS phones? Such phones typically cost less than regular mobile phones, and are often used at manufacturing factories. They can be used like any regular mobile phone, but when in vicinity of a factory, the call can be made as extention calls within the company.

But according to Willcom, the usage of PHS phones is not limited to corporate use. The first version of the Strap phone was made availabe in January of 2012 and sold out rather quickly with an average user satisfaction of about 93% according to surveys. With the newer version of the phone, Willcom added more feminine colors to the line to attract female fans.

Of course the size helps too. The Strap Phone 2 weighs about 32g, and the screen size is only one inch. PHS phones have become something of a niche in the age of smartphones, but it does seem like they have a purpose to serve.

  1. In fairness, the production is limited to 12,000 units.  ↩