If a company can figure out how to perfectly toast a slice of bread, it can surely bring something to the table with regards to Android smartphone design. And anyway, some people think Android phones are nothing but chunks of carbs, so there’s clearly a market out there!
Balmuda is a Japanese company that developed a humidifying toaster oven about six years ago. It became infamous for its toasters that produce fluffy yet perfectly browned slices of bread. I can taste the Nutella now, melting through the cracks of warm, soft brioche. I shouldn’t have written this article before lunch. My stomach actually growled as I typed this sentence.
Balmuda only recently brought its bread-toasting magic gadget to the U.S. But after becoming known in Japan for its modernised take on kitchen gadgets, it started producing other appliances, like fans, lanterns, a vacuum cleaner, and even a speaker.
Balmuda’s next foray will be designing a smartphone. It’s enlisted the help of industry-veterans, Kyocera, to manufacture the 5G device. The smartphone will be designed for use specifically on Softbank’s network in Japan, and there will be a SIM-free version available to purchase. The company’s CEO, Gen Terao, told the Next Web the phone would not merely be another appliance and would offer proprietary apps to make it a “great everyday-use” smartphone.
There are no details about where or when the Balmuda smartphone will appear. Android devices such as these don’t typically get a ton of traction because they’re niche and localised. Balmuda is likely testing the waters to see how it would do, lending its name to devices that could sell at scale. Apple’s iPhone currently dominates Japan, with 66% of users on iOS. The Balmuda phone will have to compete with the rest of the Android manufacturers vying for a slice of that remaining market share.