In one of the weirder stories today, details have leaked online that the company synonymous with electric guitar playing for half a century, Marshall Amplification, is set to release its first smartphone, the Marshall London, in August. The phone will feature a 4.7 inch screen with 720p display, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and a microSD card slot for even more storage.
Although the phone features two front-facing speakers, what’s a bit different about it compared to other smartphones on the market is that it also has two audio outputs, along with a single button at the top solely dedicated to easy music access. Marshall is also set to release a set of in-ear headphones, the Marshall Modes, which will presumably be much higher quality than Apple’s earbuds.
This is an interesting foray into lifestyle products by Marshall, who are attempting to stretch the legs of their business as the music merchant business continues to crawl through an uncertain economic period. It parallels moves by Guitar Center, Gibson, and Fender to try and reach a younger audience through these sorts of products. It’s also not totally unusual for Marshall to take a step away from the amp game, as in the past they’ve gone so far as to release their own boutique headphones to rival Beats that you can pick up in Urban Outfitters, as well as a refrigerator.
The phone will retail at £399 in the UK and $499 in the U.S. – certainly not cheap. We’ll see if this move plays out better for Marshall than it did for Amazon.