We’ve been working with Japan’s leading mobile phone operator NTT DOCOMO and manufacturer LG to develop an exciting Conran-branded lifestyle mobile phone, the L-04B. It’s available in Japan from this week and we’re really pleased to say that the phone has received loads of great press coverage and is busy buzzing around the techno-blogs. (see below)
The ergonomic, candy-bar shaped phone, designed by Studio Conran, is characterised by a 176-degree angle which echoes the natural contour of the human face, sitting gracefully and gently in the hand and wrapping perfectly around the face when making calls. Its subtle angle also means it sits really comfortably in your pocket.
It’s deliberately thin, measuring just 11mm and is radically different from the flip phones most often seen in Japan. We’ve added soft touch finishes and contoured keypad buttons which provide a subtle tactility. The rear surface is clean and seamless – free from any unnecessary detailing.
Japan is arguably the most technologically advanced mobile phone market in the world and the Conran phone is positioned as a lifestyle phone aimed at 20-40 year old design conscious men and women.
It’s the latest in NTT DOCOMO’s series of lifestyle mobile phone design collaborations with top designers worldwide, which in the past included Alessi designer Stefano Giovannoni, French macaroon king Pierre Herme and Japanese art director Kashiwa Sato.
Hugo Eccles the Creative and Managing Director of Studio Conran had this to say:
“This phone, with its uniquely elegant and understated form, was developed from scratch by our designers in collaboration with the NTT DOCOMO and LG technical teams. The result is a phone that has everything you need, but remains intuitively simple to use. We believe it’s exactly what design conscious Japanese consumers are looking for in a phone.”
NTT DOCOMO’s Product Department seem pleased too:
“In Conran, we’ve found a design partner and name linked to a phone that is synonymous with everything that is timeless and thoroughly contemporary in both design and function – exactly what we were trying to achieve in releasing our first candy-bar handset in two years.”
We are really pleased that in a market characterised by all-singing, all-dancing technological wizardry, the Conran phone’s design strips back the bells and whistles to create a sleek object of desire that doesn’t compromise on the functionality of those things phones were actually invented to do.
Studio Conran also designed a range of screens named after London areas and menus in a monochromatic palette named Dawn and Dusk for the pale and black faces respectively.
The phone is available in three colours chosen to appeal to Japanese consumer sensibilities: sleek gender-neutral black and red bodies with black faces through to a more feminine brown body with a pale face.
Jill Webb, Brand Development Director from Conran & Company says:
“This is a great opportunity to strengthen the already popular CONRAN brand in Japan within a very exciting product category.
It’s been a privilege working with such a prestigious partner and we are all really pleased with the product”
TV commercials will be run by LG in Japan to support the launch later this summer.
Here we are in The Sunday Telegraph Business section
and here’s some other links
There’s also this, on youtube