Business / Tech

NTT Docomo to launch world’s ‘thinnest and lightest’ phone in November

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

For years, electronics giants have been developing smartphones with increasingly larger screens. Bucking the trend for phones to be bigger and flashier is a handset set to debut next month from NTT Docomo Inc. that can fit in your business card case.

Docomo, the country’s largest mobile phone carrier in terms of subscribers, announced Wednesday that it will launch the ultralight phone in November.

With many people choosing to watch videos and play games on their smartphones, makers have increasingly made devices with bigger screens. But there are people who want simpler handsets that are easy to carry around, NTT Docomo President Kazuhiro Yoshizawa said during a news conference to unveil Docomo’s winter and spring products.

That’s why the telecommunications firm has come up with a model that is “focused on being simple and small.”

Indeed, the phone is super minimal, as it is designed for those who only need to make calls, check short text messages and occasionally browse the web.

The phone has a 2.8-inch screen and doesn’t have a camera or headphone jack. Made by Kyocera Corp., it weighs only 47 grams and is 5.3 millimeters-thin — the firm claims it is the world’s thinnest and lightest phone. The iPhone XS, by comparison, weighs 177 grams.

Electronic-paper technology is used for its display, so it looks similar to e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle. Users are not able to download and install apps.

Docomo said the phone will retail for ¥32,000.