In Japan, phones and PDAs are viewed within the industry as separate vertical markets. DoCoMo and other carriers - who control the development and sale of cellular devices - have not seen fit to create a hybrid phone/PDA. Is it fear of loss of control over the subscriber billing relationship? Fear of allowing foreign makers - like Nokia - into the market? Is it the lack of Japanese third-party developers who have worked with overseas platforms (like Symbian)? Today's program looks at a company helping to stir up a market that needs some stirring.
2002 saw 48.8 percent of the nation's households sporting Internet-capable electronics equipment, according to the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry. According to the statement including such devices as computers and mobile phones topped 50 percent in the Kanto and Kinki regions.
Conrad Yiu, director of development at London-based Carbon Partners, a mobile content developer, said last week that the difficulty with using the wireless Internet as a marketing and promotion platform is the grey area mobile marketing and mobile consumer services crossover. He agreed that, even in Europe, or at least the UK, mobile users should be willing to pay for "marketing messages" that are fun and cool. "That is the holy grail for the brand or media owner. I guess the same idea of US college kids who wear their sweatshirts with the college name on it," he added.
But trouble is looming for the battery world. While lithium-ion batteries represent today's cutting edge, the gadgetry that depends on them is advancing more quickly than the power technology. As mobile devices take on richer features, battery life has become a key issue for gadget developers, and now manufacturers need to go one better than lithium-ion, in both size and energy output.
WWJ sr. contributing editor Michael Thuresson, recently returned to Los Angeles to join the LA Business Journal editorial staff, sent in a user-level review of his new Sanyo handset that he uses on the Sprint network: The faceplate looks almost exactly like my old i-appli Panasonic DoCoMo model, but the thing is three times as thick and it is much heavier. This makes it hard to tuck the phone in my front shirt pocket - the left side of my shirt is tugged down by the weight. Based on my experience of trying to download ring tones, I have to say Sprint's user interface is disappointing.
Japanese cell phone giant NTT DoCoMo will become the first phone carrier to offer services based on Macromedia's Flash animation player, Macromedia is set to announce Monday. Flash is one of the most commonly used PC applications, installed on more than 98 percent of PCs worldwide to serve up everything from animated Web ads to homemade cartoons.
Tens of billions of dollars are riding on the future of fast, mobile Internet services, but industry leaders leaving the world's top wireless trade show still struggle to justify the investment. At the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, the 28,000 visitors as usual overloaded the local mobile phone network, underlining that the industry still faces basic problems as it seeks to rekindle sales with advanced data services.
In early 1999, Japan's top mobile-phone company, NTT DoCoMo, received cheers from customers and analysts alike for introducing its i-mode mobile Internet service. The service, which claims 37 million subscribers and lets them check stock quotes, sports, news and other information over their cell phones, was hailed as the greatest invention in Japan since the Walkman.
Last year, NTT DoCoMo exported the successful i-mode concept overseas. A crucial part of that concept is the much talked-about mobile content and service provider "ecosystem" and - sure enough - Japan's ecosystem players are following Big D's path. Today we focus on three smaller players that have found honest-to-goodness cash revenue in Europe due at least in part to their Japan antecedents. Ironically, none are working with any of the baby i-modes over there, showing you don't need DoCoMo to do what DoCoMo does - anywhere.
>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