Leica announced that it will release its first smartphone, the Leitz Phone 1, in July. It will be released only in Japan and will be handled exclusively by SoftBank. However, it will be released SIM-free. The price is 187,920 yen.
The base model is the Sharp “AQUOS R6” released by NTT DoCoMo and Softbank on June 25th. The lens and camera performance of this model is supervised by Leica. The AQUOS R6 is supervised only by the camera part, but the Leitz Phone 1 is also handled by Leica, such as the user interface.
Actually, a while ago, I heard a rumor from an industry insider that “Sharp seems to release a Leica model.” However, I was wondering if it was a collaboration of “How about the Leica color of AQUOS R6?”
However, when I actually opened the lid, I was surprised because it was a solid “Leica” rather than a “collaboration”. Like the Leica camera, the pamphlet does not include the Sharp “sha” character.
The Leitz Phone 1 is a Leica product and isn’t ostensibly sharp (although it’s reassuring that Sharp will do the OS and app version upgrades).
A Sharp official who was in charge of development also said, “When I thought that it was a simpler Leica version at the beginning of the project, there were many detailed instructions from the Leica side, and it was harder than I imagined. It wasn’t, it was a manufacturing process, and I learned a lot from Leica. “
For models such as the AQUOS R6 that Sharp designs from scratch, the exterior is designed after the internal design such as the 5G antenna is decided, but for the Leitz Phone 1, things are decided based on the exterior design and texture. It was. Therefore, there are a number of slits on the side of the main unit that are reminiscent of a Leica camera, but the width of the notch that makes it easier for the antenna to receive is determined according to the slit width.
There is a high quality overall, and many media people who got the actual machine were convinced that “with this texture, the price of 180,000 yen can not be helped”.
Smartphone sales are less than 50,000 yen
In the recent smartphone market, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has severely regulated terminal discounts, and the best-selling products are exclusively under 50,000 yen.
Sharp, which has the largest share in the Andorid smartphone market, is none other than the AQUOS sense series, which sells for less than 50,000 yen. Sony has introduced not only the Xperia 10 III but also the Xperia ace II in the 20,000 yen range for NTT DoCoMo. Samsung Electronics has also released the Galaxy A52, and each company has begun to aggressively develop products in the range of 50,000 yen if it supports 5G, and 20,000 to 30,000 yen if it supports only 4G.
Breaking news: Sony Xperia Ace II announced, simple and necessary and sufficient low-priced model of 22,000 yen (updated)
High-end smartphones that cost more than 100,000 yen, which was the mainstay until a few years ago, have been forced into a severe situation.
According to a manufacturer official, “40% of sales in the smartphone market are iPhones, 40% are middle-class Andorid smartphones of 50,000 yen or less, 10% are high-end Android smartphones, and the remaining 10% are feature phones.” ..
In other words, high-end Android smartphones, in which manufacturers have competed for features and camera image quality, are not in a narrow market size, where only about 10% of the total is sold.
That doesn’t mean manufacturers can withdraw from high-end Android smartphones. High-end Android smartphones have implications as an important advertising tower that creates the brand image of each company. It’s definitely high-end Andorid smartphones that instill in users images such as “good camera image quality” and “beautiful screen.”
Users buy the same middle-class brand, saying, “I want a high-end brand, but the budget is tight.” In order to earn sales in the middle class, a high-end class with a good image is indispensable.
The leading role of differentiation is to the super high end
However, even if you try to create a high-end class, it is difficult to differentiate. Compound eyes such as three or four cameras have become commonplace, and even if you compete for magnification with super zoom, users are no longer fluttering.
Meanwhile, each manufacturer has begun to focus on “ultra-high-end routes.”
Sony is developing the “Xperia 1 III” as a high-end model, but has released the “Xperia Pro” that is equipped with an HDMI terminal as an ultra-high-end model and enables video input.
It is SIM-free and aims at the needs for video sites and professional cameramen. Originally, Sony sells equipment such as cameras for video sites and professional cameramen, so it can be said that it was a product that could be challenged.
Approximately 250,000 yen How to use “Xperia PRO”. Target is YouTuber and news cameraman (actual machine impression)
Of course, this Leitz Phone 1 is also a “super high-end” product.
With the Xpeira Pro for 250,000 yen and the Leitz Phone 1 for 180,000 yen, neither Sony nor Sharp would expect to sell that much in terms of number.
In the past, Sharp’s telecommunications business headquarters, Shigeru Kobayashi, personal telecommunications business manager, said, “Somehow the era of high-end smartphones is over.”
With the high discount on the terminal, the user somehow chose a high-end smartphone without thinking about anything, but as the discount disappeared, the price of the smartphone became severe, and in the end, it was less than 50,000 yen. Smartphones with good cost performance are now selling.
On the other hand, if the added value of “if there is this function and brand” is recognized by the user, the user will buy it even if the price does not seem to be a smartphone. If you pursue the “high end”, the manufacturer’s brand will become established among users as a result.
While appealing for professional specifications on ultra-high-end routes of nearly 200,000 yen, we are differentiating ourselves by incorporating some of the professional specifications on high-end smartphones in the 100,000 yen range. It seems that the current Andorid maker’s survival plan is a three-stage stance of earning sales volume with a cost performance of about 50,000 yen that incorporates that element a little.
Looking at the actual Leica original smartphone LEITZ PHONE 1, what is the difference from the AQUOS R6?
Breaking news: Leica announces its own smartphone “LEITZ PHONE 1”, exclusive sale by Softbank
Leica’s first smartphone LEITZ PHONE 1 does not have a SIM lock, there is also a way to buy it at a good price