IHT; Yahoo Japan is an Internet superpower on personal computers here, but when surfers use the browser on their cellphone, that famed Yahoo logo rarely pops up. In Japan, the phone screen and the Internet content underneath is almost always controlled by the mobile carrier. But Yahoo and the other major Japanese portals, like Excite Japan, MSN and Goo, see that barrier breaking down, and they are investing heavily in their mobile phone content.
Entry into the mobile carrier business by Softbank and E-Access, also expected next year, will do even more to raise competition. Some analysts believe Softbank, the top shareholder in Yahoo Japan, may set Yahoo Mobile as the default page on its mobile service.
WWJ Editors’ Comment: While the crunch is likely to happen, WWJ thinks that number portability won’t be as important a factor as some media are reporting; carrier competition on everything from content to billing (and handsets) has been ongoing for years and DoCoMo’s user base hasn’t collapsed. Number portability won’t make people decide to use a different portal and besides, there’s no email address portability. Also, i-moders, Vodafone live!ers and EZ Webbers have had the ‘my bookmarks,’ set-your-own-homepage option all along!
Full article: IHT