• Kyodo News


Softbank Mobile Corp. unveiled its new summer phone lineup Tuesday, including a solar model and a handset designed by Giorgio Armani.

The nation’s third-largest mobile phone carrier said the first of 19 new models will start hitting store shelves by the end of the month.

The lineup will focus on the firm’s plan to “strengthen the content” and functions of mobile phones to make them more appealing, Softbank Mobile President Masayoshi Son said.

One of the attractions is the Solar Hybrid 936SH by Sharp Corp., which is trying to grow its solar-panel business. The handset, which can be recharged by solar energy, is slated to go on sale in late August for an estimated price of around ¥40,000.

“The key word in current times is ‘eco,’ and having said that, this is our latest offering that is environmentally friendly,” said Son, who also heads parent Softbank Corp. “On top of that, this particular handset is convenient for people on business trips and outings such as camping.”

The Solar Hybrid can collect enough energy for two hours of standby display time or a call of one minute if recharged in sunlight for about 10 minutes, Softbank said.

The company also rolled out the classy 830SC Emporio Armani handset, a collaboration between Giorgio Armani Spa and Samsung Electronics.

The handset has the Armani name and logo on its side.

Softbank said the design was created by Armani with night views of Tokyo in mind.

The Armani handset will be available in mid-September.

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