DoCoMo is gearing up for launch of the Google phone in 2009 according to company officials. The Nikkei said Wednesday South Korea’s KT Freetel is also involved in the DoCoMo-Google project but the official said nothing had been decided on potential partners. DoCoMo has a 10 percent stake in KT Freetel. The daily also said the new Google phone would come with a keyboard and a touch-panel display and be some 20 percent cheaper than currently available cellphones.
According to this post on Bloomberg a few hours ago, DoCoMo is preparing to announce they will take a stake in Tata Teleservices. A company official, who asked not to be identified, is quoted as stating “The board approved the investment today” but declined to provide the size of investment, which the Nikkei Net Interactive site reported at 260 billion yen ($2.7 billion) for a 26 percent stake. If this happens – which seems quite possible – it would represent their largest overseas investment since the AT&T adventure back in 2000. This could be rather interesting 😎 Update: It’s Official
With all guns blazing market leader NTT DoCoMo took the wraps off their next-generation series of handsets at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon, watch the full event video (in English) and/or review the individual offerings via the press release . The company has officially marked it’s shift from the legacy lineup of mainly 90xi and 70xi series handsets – currently 906i and 706i – in an effort to achieve new growth, as was recently outlined. The introduction of a new, although still somewhat confusing, 0xA-series numbering scheme has models targeted at four main consumer segments.
With (hopefully) something for everyone bundled into this latest line-up, including the introduction of i-Conceirge and i-Widgets, the first wave starts hitting the store shelves in December with several models coming along in the first few months of 2009. Meanwhile, you can always check-out the fancy Flash Gallery for all the imagery. What a week, between the three main operators we have seen a total of 45 new handset models for the coming season!
SoftBank Mobile opened a floodgate of new handsets for the year-end season with an impressive presser in Tokyo on Thursday. While the Omnia from Samsung with it’s TouchWiz UI was turning alot of heads here, it’s likely a new TV-tuner for the iPhone will pick up more attention from people overseas. The add-on device also works as a battery pack, very handy considering the surprisingly limited power which everyone is complaining about, it will apparently use an external antenna for access to 1Seg digital TV broadcasts as well. You can watch the complete event video, in English, streaming online Here.
KDDI has introduced seven new handsets for it’s fall and winter season. This new lineup has three stand-out models; the Wooo W63H from Hitachi has a first in the world, as of this announcement, 3.1 inch organic EL display with wide VGA liquid crystal, Sharps AQUOS W64SH has a full 3.5 inch LCD, which is said to be offering the best display specifications available to-date and the EXILIM W63CA by Casio is touting an 8.1M camera with face-detection auto-focus. The Panasonic W62P and Kyocera W65K are both waterproof 1Seg digital TV enabled and all devices have Global Passport roaming capabilities along with Felica e-wallets and GPS of course. The Flash Gallery is Here.
NEC and Bubble Motion have announced the formation of a global partnership agreement. Under the terms, NEC will exclusively provide the BubbleTALK service to telecom operators in the Japanese market. BubbleTALK enables users to send short voice messages – basically voice sms – directly to the receiver’s handset. NEC and Bubble Motion will collaborate to provide the underlying products, functionality and related services, while NEC provides deployment and technical support for operators in Japan. Additionally, the companies are aiming to offer BubbleTALK to telecom operators worldwide and create synergies between BubbleTALK and NEC’s NGN products, such as NC series and IP Messaging.
KDDI Corp has reported a 27 percent jump in quarterly profit, attributed in part to lower handset subsidies, with operating profit at 138.5 billion yen ($1.38 billion) in the July-September quarter, against a 108.7 billion yen profit a year earlier. The company stuck to its profit forecast of 443 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March 2009.
AdMob, which recently became cash-flow positive, just landed a new round of funding from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. The San Mateo, Calif., company raised $15.7 million in Series C funding. The company plans to use the money to hire staffers in key markets in Western Europe, India, South Africa and Japan, improve the technology that powers its mobile advertising marketplace and grow its sales and business development teams.
DoCoMo, Renesas, Fujitsu and Sharp announced that they plan to jointly develop the SH-Mobile G4 single-chip LSI device, and a platform incorporating it, to support the HSUPA1/HSDPA2/W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G) mobile telephony standards. DoCoMo and Renesas began joint development work in 2004 on the SH-Mobile G series of single-chip LSI devices, which integrate a baseband processor that supports dual-mode communication and an application processor. The SH-Mobile G4 will be the fourth product to emerge from this collaboration.
It was yet another exciting TGS event here in Tokyo, running October 9 – 12, and the ‘Ready For Game Time’ theme was splashed around Makuhari Messe with plenty of next-generation mobile games coming out into the public eye. Wireless Watch Japan was on site – as always – to get a sneak peek at the latest, and some soon-to-be greatest, offerings coming out from the usual software powerhouses.
While we didn’t make it out there for Cosplay Saturday, like last year, we noticed a marked improvement in performance on the latest handset models and saw several very cool networked products that are sure to please above average casual gamers.