Ok.. sorry – but – this Japanese Tech Myths Debunked article by Jacob Lewis @GizmodoUK requires a quick ++reality check, see our take inline below.
We don’t take delight in doing this, and wouldn’t even bother if it was coming from annual in-bound visitors here for Tokyo Game Show running on Red Bull and adrenalin, however this comes from someone claiming to have spent 8-months in Japan – and – was published on a pseudo main-stream blog platform. Of course we get the edgy approach, cool, but a bit of balance appears to be in order.
It’s a shame we didn’t get a chance to chat, if it would have made any difference, for openers maybe this little gem below – as noted in our 10th anniversary post – should have been cause for pause:
According to JEITA estimates, and recently noted by iSuppli, some 40% of the internal components (batteries, screen display, memory chips, etc.) in all handsets around the world – are produced by Japanese companies.
That simple fact, plenty of action under the hood, kinda takes some juice out his opening assertion:
“… Japan is losing its technological edge to the likes of Apple and Samsung..”
++ to be accurate.. global competition is getting better at copying the track-proven biz models and adopting technologies developed, produced and deployed here in the ‘galapagos’ long ago.
“… but after living there for eight months, I was surprised to learn the UK is actually ahead of Japan in some technological areas.”
++ that is (very) surprising.. but we somehow didn’t notice a single mention of where the UK is ahead of Japan in mobile? Certainly not on 3G subscriber penetration, which finally tipped the 50% mark over there, maybe he meant that Britain leads on the SMS
theft revenues for telcos segment..
“… the iPhone was miles ahead of Japan’s domestic ‘Galapagos’ phone market, just like it was miles ahead of our own here in the UK, and as a result, it sold like ‘hoto cakey’..”
++ hmm… it would be swell if this ‘journo’ could reveal a credible source to back that? How about we start with report via MCF showing 3.9M iPhones active in Japan mid-2011 = 3% of total market share.
“… Despite iPhone’s revolutionary effect on the mobile market, many of these phones aren’t of the “smart” variety because the feature phone market just refuses to die..”
++ ahhh… missed the obvious on a few points, such as the Apple-iPhone ‘walled-garden’ is a rip of DoCoMo-imode (other than 90/10 rev. share) for starters, but to the nut: body design does not a smartphone make.. or most certainly that so-called Jeezuz device would have been able to run Flash like all clams have done here since back in 2004. Perhaps he missed the memo on PDA-style handset volumes shipped in Japan, with NFC, 1Seg TV & 12MP cams, over the last couple of years?
“… which means over in Japan, there are millions of men and women walking around using buttons to text. It’s like the dark ages!”
heh.. forgot to note those ‘texts’ are actually MMS.. and Free. Guess most would prefer the ‘dark ages’ of exchanging real email between ‘any web connected account’ inclusive of their monthly ISP bill..!?!
… “Where’s My Damn Wi-Fi!?”
++ huh.. this is odd coming from anyone who was supposedly on the ground for more than a week? Seriously, here’s a new tech term fer ya: t.e.t.h.e.r! For starters.. nobody who lives here needs ‘Free’ WiFi because we already have real speedy, and totally Flat-Rate, data plans. Tokyo is a Mesh network, anyone with a Yahoo BB fixed-line account is auto-on anywhere near a connected router, circa 2005.
“… wonderful Mr Donut.. staff would always tell me off for trying to charge my laptop.”
++ ahhh.. Mr. Donut is not your living room.. wonder if he was here during the post-quake days with natl. focus on saving power? Tip: man-up to Starbucks.. they have open power bars everywhere.
“… not a mech in sight, not so much as a robotic hoover.”
++ oh dear.. not enough cosplay girls wandering around to fill that teen spirit fantasy either.. #_#
“… paying with your phone isn’t as cool as it sounds and is only really used for trains and vending machines”
++ good grief.. add airplanes, buses and taxis, any combini or retail chain stores.. yada-yada (yada). But it’s not just about payments.. Touch & Follow and NFC Posters are pretty cool too! Of course people would rather fumble with coins, stand in long line behind others swiping their precious debit card – c/w PIN code – to settle a sub $5 transaction.. now ‘that’ sounds like real fun.. huh.
“… you’d be hard-pressed to find an ATM to extract money from.”
++ wOw… that would really suck.. if it was true. How about ANY 7-11, or one of countless regular banks with ATM machines, that accept VISA/MC/AMEX and even xfers the cash via NFC onto your phone..?!? Sadly.. it seems this brave young beer guzzling, bus jumping, wannabe myth debunking scribe had challenges with common street sense or needed a local guide to get stuff sorted.. *_*
“… compare this to the 50 national retailers in the UK pushing contactless payment..”
++ nice.. how many of them have POS reader installed – what’s the penetration of enabled handsets there now? The best metric would be Daily Active Users Across All Demographics, 16% in 2010. We’d imagine that could easily be +3x, for the key 20-40 age group range, by now in 2012.
Of course it’s a challenge to get to the core of what’s really going on here, we know, but these childish hit jobs – claiming to debunk the myth no less – are insulting to the facts which are clearly available, in English, for anyone who bothers to dig just a little. Japan mobile continues to lead in most aspects, at the same time give an inch take a mile expectations tend to distort realities. A final closing comment; it was rather poor taste to use that Kyokujitsu-ki image – unless running the odd swasika logo with cheeky stories is par for the course over there – maybe it was silly of us to expect better of Gizmodo.