The redoubtable reporters at Japan’s leading business daily, the Nikkei, have just come out with a poll showing that 1,000 Japanese teenagers surveyed recently moaned that their mobile phone bills are eating up to half their pocket money. In fact, a lot of them apparently said they wanted to reduce their spending on mobiles so they could do other productive (consumptive) pursuits such as buying fashion or going to rock concerts (fine, as long as it’s Motorhead). Although this sounds like a silly season story (baring in mind that few things are sillier than Christmas in Japan) and the poll didn’t give any real useful demographics (where, when, ages, etc.) it sounds about right to us!
Japanese companies are rapidly commercializing the so-called Net Kaden system for electronic control and monitoring of homes through links with mobile phone and high-speed broadband systems. Toshiba Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. are already marketing segments of a Net Kaden network. Hitachi Ltd. plans to debut one on the domestic market next spring and Sony Corp. is preparing a home server using new semiconductors.
Vowing to stay No. 1 in Taiwan’s mobile phone wars, Motorola announced it would roll out at least 30 new handset models next year in addition to the three sporty camera phones it unveiled yesterday. Its 2004 product portfolio might include at least two third-generation handsets, said Jonathan Hong, Motorola’s senior marketing promotion specialist in Taiwan. “In the coming year, we will be launching two to three models of our 3G phones. Everyone will be switching to 3G phones sooner or later. Motorola thinks it will happen in 2005 because there’s not enough content to make 3G devices attractive,” he said.