DoCoMo just announced that subscribers to their flat-rate data communication billing plans "pake-hodai" and "pake-hodai full" surpassed the 10 million mark on May 1, 2007. The pake-hodai plan, launched on June 1, 2004, allows 3G FOMA i-mode subscribers unlimited viewing of i-mode content for a flat monthly subscription fee of 4,095 yen (including tax). The pake-hodai full plan, introduced on March 1, 2007, enables subscribers with full-browser handsets to view not only i-mode sites but also browse PC websites for a flat monthly subscription fee of 5,985 yen (including tax). Neither plan applies to data surfing using connected devices, such as PCs, and cannot be used outside Japan.
KDDI and Mitsubishi-Tokyo-UFJ Bank have jointly established the Mobile Net Bank Development Corp. in preparation for the two companies to launch their mobile 'New Bank'. The entity has since been formalizing the business plan, finalizing products and services, and building the required core systems for the New Bank. Subject to approval from the appropriate authorities, KDDI, Mitsubishi-Tokyo-UFJ, and Mobile Net Bank have now agreed on the line-up of products and services and the commercial time frame for launch, which is scheduled to open midway through this financial year.
Market leader NTT DoCoMo has just released their accounting for the fiscal year ending 2006. Net income dropped to 457.3 billion yen ($3.8 billion) in the 12 months to 31 March, from 610.5 billion yen a year earlier, when earnings included a 102 billion gain from share sales of Hutchison 3G UK Holdings Ltd. and KPN Mobile. While sales climbed 0.5 percent to 4.79 trillion yen annual profit was down YoY by 25 percent based on increased handset subsidies and 3G network upgrade costs. DoCoMo also noted that ARPU in the fourth quarter fell to 6,530 yen from 6,720 yen a year earlier.
According to this article on IT Media, Hakuhodo DY Group i-Business Center and IT DeSign have developed a new "Movie QR code," which incorporates moving video into the design. To personalize the appearance of usual static 2D QR codes, IT DeSign recently developed Design QR which inputs images of logos, characters or photos into the code. Movie QR code takes this concept a step further by incorporating moving images into the design, thus optimizing it for use on video screens, where it promises to be even more effective in attracting the attention of potential scanners.
Profit at Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. jumped 15 percent in the latest fiscal year on strong sales of flat-panel televisions and mobile phones according to results reported this week. Net income surged to 101.7 billion yen (US$861.9 million) in the year through March, while sales climbed 12 percent to 3.13 trillion yen (US$26.5 billion), Sharp said in a news release.
On Monday 23 April NTT DoCoMo unveiled their latest 3G handsets, the 904i-series, at a press conference held here in downtown Tokyo.
WWJ pointed to this webcast of their presentation, which clearly stated from the very beginning the new "DoCoMo 2.0" campaign theme.
We shouldn’t really be surprised that the main message, from Japan’s dominant mobile operator, contained in the announcement somehow managed to get 2.0 attention from the mainstream media. With few exceptions, the entire tech web focused on the
KDDI has released their final accounting statement for the 2006 fiscal year, which ended 31 March 2007, at a press conference here yesterday afternoon. As reported in several other media channels the company reported a slightly lower net income, down 2%, on the year despite higher operating income thanks to the "au" mobile unit performance, which was up 11%, with net profit from the wireless operations increasing 44%. The company also revealed that they gained a net subscriber addition of 853,000 customers since mobile number portability took effect here in October last year. The full presentation webcast - in English - runs 1:45 and is available in Windows Media player Here.
DoCoMo has also introduced their new premium DCMX GOLD credit card at the 904i-series presser here this afternoon. This latest offering in their mobile credit card service joins the DCMX mini and the standard DCMX, which were announced in April 2006 [video here]. Like the DCMX mini and standard DCMX cards, this new gold card is compatible with iD, DoCoMo's branded platform for mobile credit cards. Members will be issued a standard Visa or MasterCard magnetic card for use when making purchases overseas or at shops in Japan that do not have FeliCa enabled readers/writers.
As we had hinted here last week, DoCoMo has just announced their latest 3G FOMA handsets - the 904i-series - this afternoon at a downtown Tokyo hotel. While you may not be able to attend the event in person, they will have a video broadcast of the presentation online here starting at 18:45 (GMT+9).
Here's a super slick offering for AU camera-phone otaku's. KDDI has launched this new Flash-based image wall [.jpg] in somewhat stealth mode as we just happened to stumble across it by accident recently. Simply put, members can upload their photos, or short video clips, from their handset or desktop PC. They also provide an easy cut & paste java script for those who hope to see their content appear in the rotating loop and so bloggers help spread the word. As part of the companies popular Duo-Blog service it's yet another great example of youth targeted community based products which clearly is having a positive impact on their monthly new subscriber additions. Nice one!
>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