New BREW Handset – Toshiba A5304T ;-(

A regular WWJ reader who requested anonymity (for obvious reasons) send me a blast panning the new Toshiba BREW-enabled CDMA 1X handset. “Just thought you might be interested. I bought a A5304T with BREW last week, and it is crap! Actually, the BREW part and the camera are all right, and the phone design itself is nice; but the user interface and display suck.

Mobile Marketing is the Mobile Internet

Morinaga is a great example of the content providers that organize their offerings into more sophisticated “mini platforms” that support sales, marketing, and promotion campaigns for off-line products. In other words, they provide mobile content (images, ring tones, etc.) as part of an overall marketing effort (either for themselves or for clients) – usually combined with PC Web or non-electronic channels.

KDDI 3Q Rock'in Results and BREW Comes to a Boil

Berman warns, however, that with a typical handset cost of 37,000 yen in the latest quarter, “it will require about 23 months to cover [the] cost for upgrade customers.” He goes on to state that this creates a difficult situation for KDDI, wherein there’s lots of room for concern for the cost of the 2G-to-3G upgrade cycle. Remember, too, that KDDI has committed to launching a 1X EV-DO upgrade in late 2003. Will it have to commit to another two-year cycle to convert subscribers to the new system? If so, the expense half of their balance sheet may get a little out of control no matter how strong the revenue side remains.

Sun Microsystems VP On Java in Japan

Sun Microsystems VP On Java in JapanOur final program from Sun’s JavaOne conference sees Rich Green, VP and General Manager for Java software, fielding questions on the content provider ecosystem, the transfer of made-in-Japan mobile programming expertise to overseas markets, and how terminals are becoming ever more complicated – due at least in part to Java. One of the most interesting questions that Rich addresses is whether carriers outside Japan will be able to create and foster a “content ecosystem” similar to that established domestically by NTT DoCoMo (and, to a similar degree if not extent, competitors J-Phone and KDDI) — which many have pointed to as a major reason behind the success of mobile computing (and Java) on Japan’s wireless webs.

CTIA Notes and NEC 3G Recalls

WWJ contributor Michael Thuresson was in Las Vegas, Nevada, last week and managed to pull himself away from the one-armed bandits long enough to drop in on the CTIA “Wireless IT and Internet 2002” fall show. His report below was culled from a late-night, bleary-eyed email dispatch (italicized annotations partly contributed by me). Who says war correspondents in Kandahar have more fun than tech stringers in Vegas? 😉

Mobile Madness at the Fall Tokyo Game Show

Mobile Madness at the Fall Tokyo Game ShowBy platform, mobile games (mostly Java, as far as we could see) represented 9.2 percent of the 393 new titles announced at the TGS, a significant if yet modest chunk of the overall game market. This was up steeply from 4.1 percent of 339 titles at the fall 2001 show, but still not equal to the 11.0, 14.7, and 17.1 percent shares seen at the spring 2001 (309 new titles), fall 2000 (334 new titles), and spring 2000 (380 new titles) shows, respectively. We have lots of Java screen savers,” said Taito Corporation at the DoCoMo booth; Seoul-based game maker GameVIL comes ashore to leverage made-in-Korea BREW expertise (KTF’s BREW allows 200KB downloads — the standard for KDDI to beat?); and advice on creating successful Java services from PCCW: “Prepare a good environment for the developers.” Daniel had a splitting headache, but this program rocks!

Java on J-Phone: The Fine Grind of Mobile Computing

Java on J-Phone: The Fine Grind of Mobile ComputingJava continues to be one of mobile Japan’s little-told success stories. We drop by J-Phone/Vodafone to find out who’s using Java, how “applis” are loaded onto the portal, and how “desktop” applications function. Already, Java content providers are focusing on the desktop appli as a way to capture and maintain new subscribers, since the always-on functionality tends to drive loyalty. We also get a live demo of downloading and running Java games. There’s an ecosystem brewing here, and the aroma is pure success. Wireless marketing heads everywhere: Pay Attention!