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.

KDDI Launches New Models for Spring 2008

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.

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-Series

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-SeriesDomestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage.

The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.

Opera's Widgets Become KDDI's Gadgets

We missed the this one somehow last week, KDDI has announced Opera Widgets will be available in December on three of their latest handsets; Toshiba W56T, Sony Ericsson W54S and Sanyo W54SA. Branded as “au one Gadget” by KDDI, the widgets provide instant access to services such as RSS feeds, game results, weather, traffic information, stocks, news, and social networking services. This is the first time Opera Widgets have shipped on mobile phones.

Hideki Komiyama to Lead SonyEricsson

SonyEricsson appointed Hideki Komiyama its new top executive as Miles Flint has decided to step down from the post. Flint, who became president in 2004 and guided the venture to profitability, will remain executive adviser to Komiyama until the end of the year. Komiyama, currently chairman of Sony Electronics, will move into the new job on Nov. 1.

InnoPath Named Global MDM Leader

IDC released a report earlier this month which identified InnoPath as the strongest MDM (Mobile Device Management) vendor in its ability to gain market share and alignment with market opportunities. Of the top eleven MDM providers, InnoPath was favorably positioned with its ability to leverage market trends, its growth potential, as well as its ability to gain market share.

DoCoMo Bringing Chocolate to Japan

DoCoMo introduced their 704i-series of eight 3G FOMA handsets, as mentioned yesterday, featuring a range of models from Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, Mitsubishi and the LG Chocolate design. The F704i, SO704i, N704iμ and P704iμ will be available this month while the D704i and SH704i will go on sale by the end of August. The P704i will be launched by the end of September and we’ll have to wait for that LG sweetness until sometime in October. Specs and images after the jump.

AOL Sells Tegic to Nuance

Nuance Communications and Time Warner announced yesterday they have signed a definitive agreement whereby Nuance will acquire Tegic Communications a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL and a developer of embedded software for mobile devices. Tegic brings industry-leading T9 predictive text input software, which has shipped on more than 2.5 billion devices, and next-generation integrated text and touch input solutions to Nuance’s portfolio of voice-enabled applications for device control, mobile search, email and text messaging.

KDDI Announces 15 New Handsets

Mark May 22 on your calendar under Tokyo mobile madness. In the space of a few hours we had an avalanche of new handset models – 27 in all – announced by both KDDI au and (see our previous post) SoftBank Mobile. The Okura hotel was swarming at 10am as the wraps came off au’s Summer 2007 lineup and of course they have their usual dedicated, and slick, Flash site online Here. It will take us a little while to plow through the complete details of each model, available in Japanese, meanwhile we have compiled a quick overview for you after the jump.