I was talking to my accountant last week; she's a smart, self-employed mid-career professional with a husband and kids and she's definitely one of the more practical-minded Europeans I know.
We were talking about 'handys' (keitai, in Germany), and I told her about the huge success the mobile Internet and 3G are having (still) in Japan, versus in Europe where no one's making a single (Euro) cent on UMTS. Her reaction was typical, but interesting: "I'm not going to use the phone for sending mail or anything but talking. The keypad is far too tiny. It's just not in the mindset of my generation."
The media, industry analysts and Japan Wireless Watchers everywhere have been hit with two sets of numbers in the past fortnight: the initial, media-and-analysts-only post-MNP subscriber churn numbers released on 31 October (one week after MNP start) by NTT DoCoMo and KDDI (SoftBank Mobile was silent), followed by the regular monthly release of overall subscriber numbers issued on 8 November by the TCA Telecommunications Carriers Association; keep in mind that the TCA release is based on self-reporting from the carriers).
It's been a fairly hectic six weeks for Japan's mobile industry and therefore also for us here at WWJ. Starting with the Tokyo Game Show in late September, followed in short order by CEATEC and DoCoMo's new 903i-series launch -- and combined with the MNP (mobile number portability) official launch on 24 October -- it's been crazy. Your WWJ staff have also b