Garake phones or Galapagos cell phones are a never dying breed here in Japan, go to any phone shop and you’ll find a complete line-up of the latest “dumb” phones. For those not familiar with the term Galapagos phone let me give you a small explanation: For years Japanese companies have produced phones which were years ahead of the phones produced by Nokia, Motorola etc in terms of features and technology . Amazing cameras, emoji, digital TV, radio, paying with your phone, waterproof, mp3 players,colored screens, internet access, you name it, they had it before Steve Jobs introduced them on the Iphone.
The only problem was that for these phones an extensive infrastructure was set up across the country which the rest of the world didn’t adopt ..leaving the manufactures unable to export these magnificent devices and therefore creating a Galapagos island like (uh) island…a place where evolution seems to have occurred independently with the rest of the world.
Don’t think that the up-rise of the smartphone has killed the gara phone, a lot of folks still want to use their phone just to call, take an occasional picture and carry their phone in their skinny jeans pockets, those people have no use for expensive data plans and therefore stick with their flip phones. Flip phones are also trouble free, no software glitches, no software updates and have a physical keyboard and a long battery life.
Trying to sell a good old flip phone to today’s young people is close to impossible,you need better arguments than “speedier calling” and size…no, you need to re-design it in a way that it becomes more than just a piece of technology..witness the birth of the Hello Kitty phone!
No this is not a toy, it’s a proper phone with some limitations. First there’s a tiny 240×249 dot 1.54 inch colored screen, and it doesn’t have a camera..(.but who cares, if you’re using this, people will take pics of you.)and you’ll only be able to make phone calls and send SMS mails (no MMS), but it is sim free, has bluetooth, wifi , a micro USB slot AND it’s full of “cute software”.
We’d say that this phone would be great as:
1-phone to use as VOIP phone, it sure is a nice accessory for your room.
2-A second phone for when you go cosplaying or partying.
3-A phone for a child(but the lack of GPS would worry me)
4-Something you just buy it because you love Kitty.
5-A present for your technologically challenged girl/boy friend for valentines day.
6-You’re a business man/woman with attitude. It would go great with your Hello Kitty skull ring
It runs on the WCDMA/GSM networks (CDMA 800/2100MHz) (GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
The Hello Kitty Phone is available from April and OLA(the manufacturer) is taking pre-orders now.
Oh yeah the price for this lovely thing is 12,000 yen (about US$102), not too shabby right?
Serge Roso JWS