The folks at Niwango have announced a beta trial for users to setup a live broadcast channel from and for their mobile handsets. According to the announcement [.PDF in Japanese] they will enable up to 500 concurrent viewers starting June 1st, with plans to scale up to support a total of 3,000 viewers per stream in July. They have positioned this as an experimantal service and for the initial launch it will only be available to premium members who also subscribe via i-mode. If you don't know what NicoNico Douga (Smile Video) is, they presented to Mobile Monday Tokyo in July 2008 - details Here.
MCN-Inc. has announced they have enabled the launch of Smart Search for Philippine-based Smart Communications, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PLDT. Smart Search is an SMS triggered discovery service that will be targeting the companies 37M subscribers who can use a shortcode to text queries for their favorite downloadable music content. Smart Search will be available for free during an initial promotional period after which each successful search will cost P1.00 per transaction.
Rounding out the big three summer 2009 handset series launches, KDDI took the wraps off their new line-up here yesterday, announcing eight new models, with two devices coming from each Kyocera, Sharp and Toshiba while Hitachi and Casio each adding one more. There are a couple main attention grabbers at first blush; the Solar Phone from Sharp, which packs a 5 mega-pixel camera and boasts waterproofing for the beach too boot, and the Hitachi HD Wooo claims to be the world first mobile phone with high-definition video, shooting 1280×720 pixels at 30fps and built-in HDMI Mini Connector for easy viewing on the big screen!
The Run & Walk built-in fitness functions seem popular and the latest Casio G'zOne adds Beat Run along with improved compass and temperature sensors along with calorie counter and trip memory. Not be
Stepping forward with a spring in their stride market leader NTT DoCoMo introduced 18 new handsets for their Summer series at a presser here in the Prince hotel this week. Along with these latest models, which included the rumored HTC Magic Android unit, big D also announced a few interesting service additions. Of course WWJ was on the scene, slightly foggy from our MoMo Tokyo event the night before, and will post our thoughts - including link to video - for the paid members after the jump. Meanwhile, you can get a peek at the new offerings via their new flash website and the basic specs in English from official .pdfs with the original press release Here.
Tuesday May 19th saw a double-shot of new handset series announcements with flashy press conferences held by both DoCoMo and SoftBank Mobile (KDDI will announce next week). Leading the pack with six new units from Sharp, including the Solar Hybrid and unique Mirumo models, the energetic third place operator introduced 15 new handsets in total. The rest of their new line-up, due to hit the street over the next few months, come from NEC (3), Panasonic (2), Toshiba (1) and Samsung with the final trio including their OMNIA smart phone - targeted at girls! - and a branded Armani device. You can watch the presentation -
The folks at GfK have produced a Top-10 list for handsets sold in Japan for the calendar year of 2008. Apparently this list is referenced by using POS data compiled through their network of electronic re-sellers, so we have to take the ratings with a grain of salt in the absence of any other official stats provided elsewhere. Since the results are separated by both operator and device maker and then compiled into the overall list, there are a few interesting points to note. First off, apparently Sharp secured four of the top ten spots while Panasonic managed to snag two of the top three best sellers. Also, while DoCoMo showed the way with six of the best movers SoftBank Mobile only got one unit in the top 10, and it was not the iPhone. See the full breakdown after the jump.
We've always wondered when, not if, the PSP would finally have voice functionality added and the rumors are heating up again as a result of a recent FT article quoting Sony Ericsson President Hideki Komiyama. While it would seem clear the company will roll out the PSP2 model - without the UMD drive - at E3 in LA next month, his comments were somewhat less clear "could happen" regarding the PlayStation mobile phone. We hope they make the splash here - Again - at TGS in September instead!
The web is blazing with speculation that DoCoMo will introduce their first Android device, HT-03A or better know as the HTC Magic, along with an expected soon upcoming summer 2009 handset series announcement. While we would not be at all surprised, naturally nobody who really knows is prepared to confirm the scoop for us.. wink-wink. Meanwhile, there are even more tongues wagging about big D rolling an iPhone! Now that would be interesting, and even odds-on possible, but again we're sadly only in a position to speculate along with the masses - including the Nikkei - on that one as well.
According to the Nikkei, via Bloomberg, all four major Japanese telcos are moving one step closer to building out their 4G networks, with infrastructure investments pegged at $10 billion. DoCoMo alone is said to have budgeted nearly half of that amount, to enable data delivery at near fiber speeds, with service launch expected in fiscal 2010 with the others set to follow by 2012.
According to this post on the Asahi Shimbun, the Ministry of Affairs and Communications (MIC) has a proposal to run an experiment later this year, across the country using 2,000 cellphone volunteers, to record potential encounters between people infected with a contagious disease. From what we can tell, the proposed trial will track and collect GPS data for time and location so if someone is found later to be infected the agency, with some help from the telecom operators, would be able to identify and notify people who had may have had recent contact.
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