The March edition of Nikkei Electronics Asia features an interesting peek under the hood of three current handsets now available in Japan. They expose how the insides of these so-called “All in One” multi-function models; the P905i VIERA from Panasonic, W53H from Hitachi and the 920SH by Sharp, are designed in cooperation of a local electronics manufacturer. Interesting to note the OLED screen on the W53H ‘Wooo’ by Hitachi was produced by Samsung and that efforts to slim the design while increasing battery power, to a whopping double 1-Seg. viewing time, are key considerations.
In a one-two punch for Japan mobile tech watchers on Monday KDDI announced 10 new models for the companies spring 2008 sales campaign. The line-up includes models from; Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Panasonic PanTech&Curitel, Casio, Hitachi, and Sanyo. For those lucky enough to be in Tokyo the ultra-trendy Designing Studio in Harajuku will have the whole fleet on display for touch & try. Flash Gallery Here and more details after the hop.
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.
Casio expects a 10 billion yen ($86 million) investment in new mobile phone models to return a profit in the first year, helped by sales of handsets equipped with its Exilim camera and G-Shock watch technologies. The handsets, based on the W-CDMA standard, will be sold at a higher profit margin than earlier models, said Tateki Ohishi, chief executive officer of Casio Hitachi Mobile Communications Co., the Tokyo-based company’s venture with Hitachi Ltd. Full Story Here.
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.
Hitachi and Alvarion have agreed to develop Broadband Mobile Wireless Access System using Mobile WiMAX technology jointly in Japan and overseas market. The goal of this agreement is to develop system solutions, combining base station technology of Alvarion with the mobile gateway technology, construction and maintenance technology of Hitachi. Alvarion also announced activity in this space recently with NTT West in Okinawa.
According to AP, Hitachi recently unveiled RFID chips that are just 0.002 inches by 0.002 inches and look like bits of powder. They’re thin enough to be embedded in a piece of paper, company spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi said Thursday. Shown to the public for the first time earlier this month, the new chip is an improvement on its predecessor from Hitachi — the Mu-chip, which at 0.4 millimeters by 0.4 millimeters, looks about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
A coalition of government, industry and research organizations in Japan has proposed the adoption of a common platform based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication for higher security on mobile-phone networks, bypassing ID- and password-based security. The group announced that it has developed the technology with the aim of providing a common platform for secure mobile-phone communications in Japan. The group comprises the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), the mobile IT Forum (mITF), Hitachi, NTT Docomo, KDDI R&D Laboratories and NEC. Hitachi, Docomo, KDDI and NEC have been working for three years to develop the mobile-security technology, funded with about $5 million from NICT.
KDDI announced their spring 2007 handset line-up this week with ten new 3G models focused on form and function. The latest addition to their Au Design Project, the Media Skin concept by Tokujin Yoshioka, was introduced along with this announcement that it will go on display with earlier offerings – the Infobar, Talby and Neon – at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The other models on deck are coming from Toshiba (W51T and W52T), Casio (W51CA), Sanyo (W51SA), Kyocera (W51K), Hitachi (W51H), Sony Ericsson (W51S), the second-ever model from Sharp (W51SH) – a popular design originally introduced by Vodafone in spring 2006 (and also recently available from DoCoMo) – plus a first-time offer by top-tier maker Panasonic (W51P).
The W52T, a candybar slider with a wide VGA 480×800 resolution 3-inch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and 1GB of on-board memory [.jpg image] stood out as quite impressive during our quick test drive. An immediate and interesting observation is that eight of the ten handsets are 1 Seg digital-TV enabled, which should clearly signal (pardon the pun) that KDDI is bullish on broadcast TV content and services. Otherwise, most have the FeliCa mobile wallet function and the usual goodies such as GPS, PC Site Viewer, Hello Messenger and – of course – all units are running on BREW and come with the EZ suite of mobile content (books, games, auctions etc.) and are LISMO music ready.
The carriers and handset makers are pumping full blast with mobile number portability pushing everyone to improve and deliver better product offering. DoCoMo also announced ten new phones this week while SoftBank is expected to introduce their line-up soon as well. March is traditionally the busiest handset replacement month of the year in Japan, as the new academic and fiscal year begins April 1st; we’ll be looking forward to the official TCA subscriber results.
HitachiSoft has announced the launch of its “GeoMation Keitai” series, a GIS (Geographic Information System) product that will allow users to view and renew GIS-managed business data previously restricted to environments such as the office LAN from their mobile phones. “GeoMation Keitai” enables users not only to view business data from the field, but also renew it securely from their mobile phones. The software can be used with DoCoMo and au, and is compatible with other mobile phone applications.