MTI Ltd. unveiled on Jan. 31 the “TUNA M+,” a Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) application program for wireless operation of a Windows PC by an “au” mobile phone available from KDDI Corp. Users pay a monthly charge of 315 yen.
EXTRACT: Originally developed by WeeW Communications, Inc of Korea, it has already been introduced in the Korean market in March 2002 by KT Freetel Co, Ltd, a leading mobile carrier in that country. CONTINUE
COMMENTARY: Hey! What’s this? Japan importing mobile Internet application know-how from Korea?!? Actually, this may be a trend we’ll have to learn to live with. Korean carriers are much further ahead than Japan’s KDDI in developing BREW apps, and since KDDI only controls a portion of the market here, maybe it won’t be cost effective for the carrier to strong-arm third-party application providers into investing heavily into BREW. Yes, yes: all the BREW guys will chant the mantra about BREW being a global platform and Japanese providers would be able to benefit from overseas sales… I don’t see that happening until there’s a way to assure providers here that customers in other markets won’t be relying on them native-language support (Korean, English, Mandarin) for tech troubles or sales. MTI admits in this News Item that “There are possibilities of supporting [an] English language [version] in the future.” But not yet.