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.
The Communications and Information network Association of Japan (CIAJ) and the Telecom Carriers Association (TCA), which jointly operates the Mobile Recycling Network (MRN), have established a partnership with the Tokyo Metropolitan government to promote the recycling of cellular telephones. MRN has asked individual local governments for their cooperation in promoting the collection of cellular phones, but this is the first case where a prefectural government has established a council and asked for participation of the Mobile Recycling Network.
The Record Industry Association of Japan has just released the RIAJ Yearbook 2008, its annual roundup of sales figures, statistics and trends from the previous year. As expected, the CD sales continued to decrease for the ninth straight year. However, total recorded music sales are up for the third year running, thanks to strong growth from the digital sector - or more specifically from the mobile sector, which accounts for the bulk of digital music sales in Japan with full-track downloads rising 91% over the previous year.
DoCoMo unveiled their new corp. logo today at the Tokyo Prince hotel -- WWJ was there of course -- along with other re-branding elements that are set to be introduced beginning July 1st. The new logo's color is red, meant to symbolize energy and "Passion" according to the presentation made by Senior Advisor Masahiko Uotani, who is also the chairman of Coca-Cola Japan (video coming asap!). The changes are a direct result of DoCoMo's review of its branding and related marketing strategies as was announced here last summer.
Rafael Spring, and his partner, Max Braun, were thoughtful enough to ping us here at WWJ with an interesting tip. They have created a 3d-navigation and location targeting system, code named Enkin, as a submission for the first round of the Google Android Developer Challenge. The pair are students of Computational Visualistics in Koblenz, Germany and started this project when they were in Japan for robotics research. See their video and very detailed .pdf after the jump.
We sat down with Masahiro Ito, founder and CEO of YAPPA Corp., last week and were entirely impressed with both the product presentation and his charming ease when discussing the mobile industry. We managed to get a sneak preview of their so-called Spin UI Effect Engine [video here] and with the press release now public we're thrilled to go live with this report. The company has an admirable list of top-tier clients, including the 3D Box
MasterCard's sponsorship of Japan Fashion Week's "3GTV Japan" has been the first to use the latest branded interactive mobile video service - MobiActions. Visitors of Japan's MasterCard Fashion week, were prompted to videocall into the MasterCard branded MobiActions service and leave a videoblog (Vlog) of their experience of the MasterCard Fashion experience. This was then posted directly to the live JFW website, where other mobile videobloggers could view their comments.
KDDI Corp. intends to maintain the CDMA 2000 method, used for the current 3G mobile service offerings, for voice communications in future advanced mobile services, company officials have said according to JiJi press. For data transmission, however, KDDI plans to adopt the Long Term Evolution, or LTE, technology, an internationally supported method to be compatible with the wideband code division multiple access, or W-CDMA, mobile method now used by its rivals NTT DoCoMo and Softbank Mobile the officials said.
NTT Com has announced that it will run a pilot test, from April 10 to 20, of its new Mobile Fragrance Communication service. Apparently, Fragrance Playlists can be downloaded via i-mode and transferred to a dedicated device pre-loaded with a cartridge of base fragrances. The device, a smaller, lighter and more stylish version of the previous model, then mixes the specific fragrances and emits them as the user enjoys the A/V content played back on their phone.
Kyocera announced three new CDMA handsets at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas yesterday. The new models introduced included the Neo E1100, Mako S4000 and Adreno S2400. All three of the phones are tri-band models, targeted at primarily at carrier customers operating in South America, and will be available in Q3 2008 at affordable price points. The news came on the same day that Kyocera finalized its acquisition of Sanyo's mobile phone division, making it the 6th largest globally, and unveiled its first-ever GSM handsets.
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