Walt Disney Japan held a press conference in Tokyo to introduce their new "Disney Mobile" service which is slated for public launch on March 1st. Although the company will run the business as an MVNO, it emphasized that the service will be distributed in collaboration with SoftBank Mobile with the same "White Plan" price package offerings. There's a nice Flash video on the home page Here.
Sharp announced on Friday that it has passed the five-million mark for shipments of 1Seg digital tv phones in Japan. Since releasing its first hanset in May 2006 - originally introduced by Vodafone KK - Sharp has deployed a total of eight models across all three operators. By reaching this milestone in less than 18 months, Sharp becomes the first OEM in the industry to ship five million 1Seg handsets.
Domestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models - a record 23 handsets unveiled at once - and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed 'father of i-mode' and always energetic MC, from the stage.
The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in
According to reports in the Japanese media, NEC Corp unveiled its 'Wideband Wearable Antenna' which can be attached to various kinds of material, including clothing. NEC will conduct a field test to receive 1Seg digital-tv in the 470-770MHz band and apparently plans to continue evaluating other potential target areas such as WiMax.
The fall and winter 2007 handset season is officially upon us now with au announcing their new series of models will hit the dori by middle of November. The latest line-up also claims one 'world first' with a co-op between Samsung and Hitachi, on the W53H - Wooo, touting a 2.8 inch QVGA organic EL display targeting users hooked on 1Seg digital-tv. More details with pics and links after the jump.
Based on the success of the original InfoBar model, the first handset from KDDI's in-house design team which was released in October 2003, followed by the same candy bar styled Talby by Marc Newson a year later, the AU Design Project has just announced the long-awaited InfoBar2. Available on Oct.31st in four colors, this latest model touts a 2.6-wide inch QVGA organic EL display with a 1Seg digital tv tuner, FeliCa m-commerce and GPS functionality. The full specs (in Japanese) are available Here.
Cumulative shipments of handsets that can receive so-called 1Seg digital TV broadcasts totaled 11.7 mln units at the end of July according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association. Overall unit shipments climbed 54.6 pct in July from a year before to 5,348,000 units, surpassing five million for the second straight month.
Gartner is reporting that worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users in the second quarter of 2007 reached 270.9 million units, a 17.4 per cent increase from the same period last year. In Japan, sales to end users in the second quarter of 2007 were 12.1 million units, an increase of 10.3 per cent from the second quarter of 2006 but a decline of 17.5 percent from the first quarter of 2007.
Obviously it's been rather quiet on the mobile tech news front here this week. While WWJ could blame that on taking a little R&R at the beach, but the truth is we have been very hard at work to finish our Japan Mobile research report. However, we decided to put together a few quick tidbits that caught our eye this week, after the jump.
Qualcomm quietly opened MediaFLO-info.com on 1 August as part of the companies march to launch their mobile tv broadcast services in Japan. The Japanese only version includes overview materials, links to the FloForum and Mobile Media Planning Corp., which is wholly-owned by SoftBank, along with a sign-up form for their mail magazine. No official press release announcing the new site could be found, in English or Japanese, at the time of this posting.
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