NTT Docomo releases credit card size phone
The push to miniaturise technology has long been the drive of most hardware developers. In the late 90’s Nokia pushed to make ever smaller handsets for customers, regardless of the difficulties users faced with millimetre sized keypads.
Today, Japan's biggest telecoms firm NTT Docomo has announced the release of a new 4G phone with a thickness of just 0.2mm. The dimensions of the device have been chosen so the user can slot the phone into a regular credit card size pocket in a bag or wallet. The phone weighs 47g and utilises a screen similar in colour and touch to what you might expect to use on an e-reader.
The new phone will be used alongside a regular mobile, with the devices linked via Bluetooth. Companion devices have grown in popularity as customers in Japan look to reduce the amount of time spent staring at a mobile screen. These small devices only allow calls and text messages, giving a break from social media, news and using a mobile camera.
Ben Wood from CCS Insight stated: "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."
Demand for these small devices is growing in Japan, but with a price of around £216 it will be interesting to see if new markets will see the benefit of having a second mobile device.
Image copyright: NTT Docomo