Access Aims for 30% Mobile OS Share

Access hopes to win 30 percent of the market for mobile device operating systems by 2010, according to Tomihisa Kamada, chief technical officer and co-founder. Access hopes to achieve greater marketshare by integrating its application software with the Linux-based mobile phone operating system being developed by PalmSource. This would result in a mobile phone software stack capable of competing with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS in terms of integration level.

DoCoMo Ready to Roll HTC Smartphone

DoCoMo Ready to Roll HTC SmartphoneNTT DoCoMo and High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) recently announced that they will start sales in late July of their new “hTc Z” smartphone, equipped with the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Japanese-edition operating system. The hTc Z will enable a variety of useful mobile business solutions using Windows Server and Exchange Server, in addition to 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and many add-in applications. DoCoMo plans to sell the handsets to corporate customers as part of its “comprehensive business solutions” effort.

We have a quick hands-on demo video for you on this one shot at DoCoMo’s booth during last weeks Wireless Japan event out at Tokyo BigSite. The full specs [.pdf] are available Here.

HTC to Open Japan Branch Office

It seems that Taiwan’s High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) will soon set up a branch office in Japan, paving the way for the company to support their debut on DoCoMo announced earlier this year. The Japan office location would be HTC’s newest overseas foothold; the company has already set up branches in Europe, the U.S., and Hong Kong. HTC is the world’s largest manufacturer of cell phones that run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

DoCoMo's Blackberry: Q&A with Research in Motion Japan

DoCoMo's Blackberry: Q&A with Research in Motion JapanThe pending Japan arrival of Research in Motion (RIM)’s hyperpopular BlackBerry email device, widely known as the ‘CrackBerry’ for its simple, efficient and addictive delivery of corporate email, will inject a new dimension into this country’s complex device and service matrix.
A wise move or a sign of desperation? These two viewpoints seem to characterize media, pundits’ and bloggers’ responses to last month’s announcement that DoCoMo would bring the BlackBerry email device into Japan, in partnership with RIM, based in Canada. Our own take on it was: Who Cares? WWJ was mindful that “virtually everyone in Japan’s workforce already has an always-on, fully connected email device right in their back pocket — in other words, a phone!”

Furthermore, before and since then, there has been more news, helping make it even more difficult to assess the BlackBerry’s prospects.

According to the pundits, NTT DoCoMo’s decision to import the BlackBerry is either (a) a master stroke aimed at securing the giant carrier’s corporate mobile offerings as 3G competition heats up in 2006/07, or (b) expensive folly that will see enterprise sales teams saddled with a clunky, ‘not-made-here’ device that competes poorly if at all against universal 3G phones that already receive push mail in real time, thank you very much (and some media reports have stated the first Japan BlackBerrys won’t even accept Japanese text input). The truth, however, is probably somewhere between these extremes, and so WWJ went straight to the source.

Motorola and RIM Rolling in – SoftBank a No-Show?

Last week saw an interesting double play for mobile devices in Japan as both NTT DoCoMo and Willcom announced new phones — DoCoMo’s 7-Series — or new PDAs — Sharp’s oddly named W-Zero3[es]. These, combined with the continuing speculation on the this fall’s entry of RIM’s Blackberry email device (will it have Japanese text input capability?), made it a busy week for wireless watchers.

On Tuesday, WWJ was first on the Web with a full report and images of DoCoMo’s new 7-Series, a mix of models from Sharp, Panasonic, NEC and Mitsubishi, as well as from US maker Motorola…

Another Smartphone Soon Via Willcom

Willcom, Microsoft and Sharp have introduced their next generation smartphone. The Zero3 [es] is powered by Intel’s PXA270 CPU at 416MHz, with 128MB of flash memory and 64MB of SDRAM. In addition to the Windows Mobile 5.0 (Japanese) operating system, the phone also comes with the Opera mobile browser and Flash pre-installed. It has a 1.3-megapixel camera, miniSD removable memory, a USB 2.0 port and QR code reader. According to the press release, they are working on seperate W-Fi, Bluetooth and 1Seg TV tuner cards to be released at a later date.

PacketVideo Teams with DoCoMo

We missed this PR yesterday from PacketVideo announcing their “collaboration with NTT DoCoMo to enable advanced mobile music services for the Japanese market using Microsoft Windows Media technology. The collaboration has resulted in the first-ever support of Windows Media Audio protected by DRM in NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA handsets, powered by PacketVideo’s Universal pvPlayer media player. PacketVideo has long supported Windows Media in US mobile service launches and has provided i-motion player capabilities for more than 20 of NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA handsets.

DoCoMo Announces BlackBerry for Japan

NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and Research In Motion (RIM) announced today that DoCoMo will start marketing RIM’s BlackBerry handheld devices to its corporate customers in autumn 2006. The BlackBerry handheld devices to be sold in Japan will operate on both W-CDMA (UMTS) and GSM/GPRS networks and will be useable around the world for voice and data communications. BlackBerry Enterprise Server software tightly integrates with Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise, and enables secure, push-based wireless access to e-mail and other corporate data.

Qualcomm to Integrate Windows OS

Qualcomm and Microsoft will work together to port the Windows Mobile operating system to certain Qualcomm chips, speeding time to market and potentially dropping the price of smart phones, the companies said. The chips are expected to become available to handset makers in the second half of this year and should hit shelves in 2007. By integrating and testing support for Windows Mobile on Qualcomm’s Mobile Station Modem chips, the companies hope to help device makers speed product development times.

Gaming Set to Repeat Mobile Music Success

Mobile Music Hot but Mobile Games will Blaze! by Mobikyo KKAs mobile music settles into a steady mainstream growth cycle, with now-well-established hardware and content offerings, many industry watchers are looking towards the Next Big Thing. We think they need look no further than portable gaming, which is set to take mobile by storm. All the ingredients for mobile gaming success are in place: key platforms, faster 3G networks, affordable and flat-rate data, and a keen, heavy using youth demographic that continues to display a never-ending quest for hardware upgrades. Take a look around the streets of Tokyo, and the conclusion is unmissable: gaming for mobile devices is set for impressive growth in the next few years.

To date, the limiting factor has been the actual devices, as it was at one stage with music. The Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, much like Apple’s iPod, have proven to be early major hits as stand-alone units, having sufficient onboard CPU and memory capabilities to run some intensive games. In view of the success of porting the well-known ‘Walkman‘ onto mobile phones, can it be that long before we see the PSP label on a prototype cell phone from Sony Ericsson?

The photo tells it all. Taken recently by WWJ digital media director Lawrence Cosh-Ishii in suburban Tokyo, it shows a group of mid-teen boys waiting for a train at Shimo-Kitazawa station; all are playing with a PSP, blissfully ignorant of the huge poster for KDDI/au’s new music campaign. Note also that the recent BREW 2006 Conference issued a release with the news that Qualcomm and Microsoft will port MS ‘Live Anywhere’ for X-Box 360 gaming onto BREW-enabled mobile handsets. If you don’t think these tech giants have got it right, just watch what the kids are doing!