If you’ve ever spent some amount of time trying to find a really good toaster, then you’ve probably heard the name Balmuda. The Japanese company’s $329 bread heater has something of a cult-like following due to its fancy design that uses steam for an enhanced texture. But according to Nikkei Asia, the company is getting ready to enter an altogether new product category: smartphones.
To be fair to Balmuda, it doesn’t just make a high-end toaster; the company produces all sorts of home appliances, from fans, to lanterns, to air purifiers. But a smartphone is another beast entirely.
Balmuda CEO Gen Terao said the phone would “not merely be a stylish appliance” but promised to create proprietary apps and offer “great everyday-use handsets.” The company is also partnering with Kyocera to make the phones, which will run on Android and support 5G connectivity in an exclusivity agreement with SoftBank.
Unfortunately, the company didn’t reveal much about what to expect from the phone in terms of design or price range. The phone also appears to be planned as a Japanese exclusive, although there’s always a chance it could make its way to other markets eventually; the company’s toasters only made their way to the US last year after all.
It’s tremendously hard to successfully break into the mobile market – many have tried and failed. But who knows, maybe Balmuda can figure out how to toast bread with a phone. Now that’s a gimmick I’d pay to see.
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