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New Japanese craze: Knickers for iPhones' nether regions

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Ever worried that your smartphone is putting just a little bit too much of itself on show? Well worry no more, thanks to SmartPants, the latest eccentric invention from Japan.

Available in several different colours and designs, these iPhone “pants” are the brainchild of Japanese video game maker Bandai and are being marketed with the tag-line “protect your home button”.

In a country where cute (kawaii) is the be-all-and-end all, Bandai has apparently hit the jackpot with its forthcoming range of tiny knickers.

Although not on sale until later this month – at Y200 a pop – the range has already sold out, according to local entertainment site RocketNews24.

Customers can apparently choose from eight different styles including black boxers, leopard-print thong, strawberry-patterned panties and a mysterious “secret” design.

Sadly for Android users, the SmartPants are only available, for now at least, to iPhone users keen on preserving their smartphone’s dignity whilst protecting the home button from daily wear and tear.

It’s reassuring to know that while Japanese researchers continue to lead the world in everything from mobile network technology to stem cell research, a hefty amount of time and money is still being spent on ventures such as this.

As pointless inventions go, it’s got to be up there with the Super Great Toilet Keeper (SGTK) – a bespoke toilet designed not to sit on but to save football penalty kicks.

Or, continuing the smartphone theme, how about this edible iPhone 5 case? ®

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