SoftBank Mobile, along with China Mobile and Vodafone, is planning to set up an ‘Joint Innovation Lab’ in order to promote the future development of applications for enhanced mobile internet service offerings. According to this statement from the SoftBank corp. website [in Japanese] the 3-way JV will focus on mobile widgets that ensure cross platform operations for security, privacy and billing. This new effort aims to develop an enviroment that will encourage advanced software services, although the lab is apparently awaiting regulatory approval.
Except from WWJ Viewpoint article May 2006
The idea that these two, now-separate companies (with distracted concerns over their own road maps) will “[work] together to develop and purchase handsets, create software as well as make and distribute mobile content” sounds at best optimistic. It’s window dressing for their respective shareholders and, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, a ‘wait-and-see’ approach is the best we can recommend.
This might well be the first example of the $100M JV they announced almost two-years ago