Fellow Canadian and keen Japan wireless observer Sean Bennett asked a question last week that should be thunderingly obvious to anyone watching this market: have a question regarding NTT DoCoMo's M-Zone - do you know how this differs/compares to NTT Communication's Hotspot WiFi [WLAN] service? The pricing is similar, though one charges higher sign-up fees while the other has higher monthly fees...
Satoshi Nagao, executive managing officer of KDDI, said: "We are already in an era of one mobile phone per person, so the market itself is saturated. To make the company grow in such a situation we have to increase our share of the market, by making other companies' customers shift to us."
The SD Card Association, a group of about 500 firms dedicated to the promotion of SD Memory Cards, on March 13 announced a new mini version of the cards. The smaller SD Memory Card, which has about 60% less capacity than current cards, will be used mainly in mobile phones for recording image data. Association member Toshiba Corp will market a version with a 32MB recording capacity in June and another with a 64MB capacity in July.
NTT DoCoMo announced today that the company will expand its M-stage Visual Net service to include Personal Handyphone System (PHS) and land line phones that have teleconferencing capabilities, starting March 24, 2003. M-stage Visual Net provides a communications platform that enables numerous people to participate simultaneously in mobile videoconferencing.
Most teens and young adults in Japan rarely use computers to surf the World Wide Web. Instead they use cell phones to access a scaled-down wireless Web. The result: A growing computer literacy problem among Japan's youth. Yasushi Takashita smiled sheepishly when his slender girlfriend Rika, clinging to the train stanchion next to him, suggested he use the Internet to search for some college-related information he needs. "I don't know how to use a PC," he admitted as the orange Chuo Line train car bumped out of Yoyogi, an area in central Tokyo with a high concentration of private prep schools.
After a two-year business strategy planning pause, BREW finally launched in Japan last month. From the consumer point of view, BREW and Java work more or less the same: you navigate a menu, select an application, download it, then run it. There's little to chose on a technology basis. But BREW - like 3G - may be able to gain a leg up on Java (DoCoMo's favored choice) if KDDI can continue to roll out cool, fun, cheap, feature-laden (and BREW-enabled) handsets - much as the carrier has done with 3G. Now that KDDI has finally rolled out BREW, we wonder how competition with Java will unfold in 2003? Ironically, BREW’s future may be intimately tied up with that of 3G.
When Rei Nagashima, a 20-year-old university student, first saw the new-fangled mobile phone, she thought it was pretty cool, not to mention harmless. Equipped with a tiny camera, the sleek device could take and send not only photos, but video clips as well. It was given to Nagashima (not her real name) by her wealthy boyfriend after she taunted him, half jokingly, to buy her a new mobile phone.
Went to Machida on Saturday to buy a 256-MB SDRAM memory module to replace the original one that has long plagued my PC with crashes and other devilry (3900 yen, for those that are interested). Sofmap was selling the new SD Card-format mobile data cards for DDI Pocket's PHS network for 17,800 yen - a little pricey for something that is so small it can be lost in a blink.
It's rare for me to be Oh-My-God! impressed by mobile applications these days (blame it on George Bush and the endless beat of dreary war drums...), but the demo we saw was really terrific. The animations were great, the sound effects weren't irritating (like they are with a lot of Java applets), and you could access pics of all the latest car models that slide onto the screen from the left or the right. If there's a better way to sell cars via mobile, this may be it.
I received a nice plastic bag with a brochure and a pack of tissues (standard Tokyo street-level marketing fare) from a young lady in Ginza last week. The packet flogs DoCoMo's "M-Zone" WLAN service, and the brochure prominently displayed a map showing where you can access the (recently expanded) system around Tokyo station (13 locales, including Tokyo International Forum). Time for Big D to play catch up to Yahoo! Mobile?
>Mobikyo K.K. publishes Wireless Watch Japan, organizes MobileMonday Tokyo networking events and operates Mobile Intelligence study tours providing related custom research and advisory services. Mobikyo's founding directors are deeply connected with, respected by, and committed to, Japan's wireless and IT business community. Thousands of managers, planners, engineers and strategists depend on Mobikyo to learn about Japan's unique business models, technologies, contents, services, applications and hardware from the most innovative test-bed market for next-generation mobile industry. "Mobikyo" was chosen for the unique blending of Mobile and Tokyo. However, depending on the kanji character used for kyo, it could also mean association, capital, religion or today. With fantastic support from our clients, partners and affiliates in Japan and overseas, we have become the trusted source of independent market intelligence & business networking connections based in Tokyo.
MobileMonday Tokyo is a leading networking organization supporting Tokyo's mobile industry. We launched in September 2004, with over 70 events to-date, hosting an average 100-200 industry delegates. MobileMonday is an open platform for mobile industry visionaries, developers and industry insiders fostering cooperation and business development through live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets. Chapters are active in over 100 cities worldwide and new locations continue to launch monthly. Founded in Helsinki, Finland, in 2000, MobileMonday is organized by a global team of 300+ volunteers and it has become the world's largest mobile community network. Details via MoMo Tokyo website
Mobile Intelligence offers related custom research and consulting designed specifically for industry executives working in sales, marketing, product development, strategy, venture capital and the media. From private workshops and conference presentations to trend spotting innovation and detailed analysis, our services are based on the direct experience and lessons learned in the Japanese mobile market. We also run a unique in-Japan guided tour service providing market introductions, personal connections and actionable lessons for clients overseas. Delegates take part in seminar and attend inside sessions, at individual companies, in technology showrooms, and -- most importantly -- on the fabled streets of Tokyo. Alumni return home with a competitive edge, integrated awareness and personal contacts moving them to the forefront of new business development. Full details via Mobile Intelligence website