Behind the Faceplate of Sharp's 921SH

The Nikkei Electronics ‘Teardown Squad’ has cracked open the 921SH handset by Sharp which recently became available via SoftBank Mobile. One of the main features of this model, touted successor to the 913SH and 920SH released last year, is of course the fingertip tracing sensitive screen and motion control sensor functionality. In a valiant effort “to determine the differences and similarities” between the past and present models they have posted detailed findings, with photos, Here. We also noted their Dissecting the Japanese Mobile Phone article posted back in March.

Sharp Maintains Top Spot in 2007

Sharp sold the most mobile handsets in Japan during fiscal 2007, with 25% market share, to hold top spot for the 3rd consecutive year according to data released by MM Research Institute. The company boosted handset shipments by an impressive 23% YoY, for a total of 12.76 million units, setting a new record as their Aquos branded LCD models proved to be a popular choice with growing consumer demand to watch 1Seg digital tv broadcasts. Overall, the domestic handset sales increased 2.9% to a new record of 50.76 million units.

YAPPA 3D User Interface – Video Interview

YAPPA 3D User Interface - Video InterviewWe sat down with Masahiro Ito, founder and CEO of YAPPA Corp., last week and were entirely impressed with both the product presentation and his charming ease when discussing the mobile industry. We managed to get a sneak preview of their so-called Spin UI Effect Engine and with the press release now public we’re thrilled to go live with this report. The company has an admirable list of top-tier clients, including the 3D Box UI on Sharps device for eMobile, and is growing beyond Japan with several offices overseas.

Sharp Bluetooth Watch from Citizen

SoftBank Mobile is promoting this iVIRT-M watch, made by Citizen, as an added bonus feature to accompy their 920SH handset by Sharp. According to the details provided it “connects via Bluetooth, so incoming calls, mail, and S! Quick News will always be right at hand”.. we’re not sure if the pun was intended. In addition to functioning as a remote camera shutter, it features a 64-color LCD and can even display mail pictographs. It’s not clear whether the Citizen unit can also function with Sharps 920YK device, recently introduced with a bundled E*Trade stock market application.

Sharp Handsets Hold Top Market Share

Sharp increased it’s position as the top supplier of mobile phones in Japan in 2007 for the second straight year, according to a Jiji article press quoting market research company IDC Japan. In the October-December period, Sharp held on the top spot for the seventh consecutive quarter. The company took a 25.1 pct share of domestic mobile phone shipments, up from 18.6 pct in the previous year, thanks to the popularity of its Aquos branded models. Total shipments, across all handset makers, was up year-on-year 4.4 pct to 51.52 million units.

Dissecting the Japanese Mobile Phone

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.

SoftBank Mobile Unveils Spring Handsets

SoftBank Mobile introduced their latest handset line-up for Spring 2008 at a press conference here in Tokyo on Monday afternoon – video in English – with 15 new models announced. With something for everyone on offer they have followed in DoCoMo’s lead of adopting a wide range of GSM roaming enabled units, 7 in all, along with new designs targeted at everyone from children to seniors including all the standard bells and whistles. Several items worth noting include the – better late than never – introduction of Nokia’s N95 into the Japan market and a collaboration with Tiffany for an exclusive designers model. More details after the jump.

Disney Japan Prepares for Launch

Walt Disney Japan held a press conference in Tokyo to introduce their new “Disney Mobile” service which is slated for public launch on March 1st. Although the company will run the business as an MVNO, it emphasized that the service will be distributed in collaboration with SoftBank Mobile with the same “White Plan” price package offerings. There’s a nice Flash video on the home page Here.

Sony to Demo TransferJet at CES

Sony has announced “TransferJet”, a new Close Proximity Wireless Transfer Technology enabling the high speed transfer of large data files (photos, HD images, etc.) between electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, digital video cameras, computers and TVs. Using this technology, data can be sent at speeds of 560Mbps. Sony will present reference exhibits of this newly developed technology at CES International, to be held in Las Vegas from January 7th.

CyberAgent Results Rise on CA Mobile

CyberAgent has reported consolidated results for the full year ended September 30, 2007, with net sales rising 26.4% on the previous year to 76,007 million yen, operating income rose 26.7% to 5,501 million yen, and ordinary income also rose 38.2% to 5,143 million yen on the year. These gains were driven by solid growth in site listing (search results) advertising and main portal site advertising sales in the advertising agency business, as well as sharp advances in the mobile business and commission and fee collection businesses such as the finance-related business and online game services.