South Korea's Kakao Corp, operator of the most popular chat app in the country, has launched its first 5G smartphone that comes equipped with Qualcomm chipset, according to reports.
Stage 5G, developed by Stage Five and Infomark, is loaded with a number of features, including a triple rear camera, a 6.47-inch FHD Plus Display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal memory, and wireless charging, among others.
Kakao did not specify if the Stage 5G will have its own UI, but it did say that the phone will run Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.
The Stage 5G also comes with a 4000mAh battery, plus support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ feature. More importantly, the phone is charged via the on-board USB-C port.
Stage Five is a 5G service affiliate of Kakao while Infomark is a local smart device maker. The phone comes with a price tag of ₩814,000 (US$702)
The phone is also preloaded with Kakao's main services, including Kakao Pay, Kakao Page, Kakato T, Kakao Navi, and Kakao Games Friends Marble and Friendstown.
"We plan to expand our lineup to 5G devices beyond the IoT with the launch of the Stage 5G smartphone. We will continue to push forward with the combination of devices and Kakao services provide the experience that our customers demand," Stage Five CEO Seo Sang-won was quoted as saying.
The trend of communications giants producing smartphones is actually not new. For instance, Samsung, LG, HTC, and Pundi X have also recently introduced their own smartphones in the market.
The launch of Kakao's smartphone comes less than a month after the company signed a ₩300 billion (US$257 million) share swap agreement with compatriot SK Telecom. The deal aims to strengthen their cooperation in e-commerce, digital content, and communications technology.
SK Telecom is South Korea’s largest telecom company. With the partnership, it aims to attract more than 50 million Kakao users to its own e-commerce affiliate, Eleven Street.