Breaking Windows, DoCoMo Axes Mobimagic

If ever there was proof how far DoCoMo has lifted up its skirt and fled the Microsoft camp for Symbian and perhaps a Linux chaser, here’s the pudding; 39 months after Keiji Tachikawa and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer stood on a platform together and promised to “agressively” promote MS’ microbrowser technology and CE OS on DoCoMo Cellies, DoCoMo has finally cut the cord and axed its Mobimagic subsidiary, the company supposed to have us grappling with Windows on our handsets as well as our PCs

Symbian to Lead Smartphone Boom

The mobile phone industry will sell 150 million smartphones in 2008, 15 times this year’s sales, with the Symbian OS leading the smartphone operating system market, according to a report published this week by ABI Research. The report projects strong growth for high-end mobile phones, with Microsoft’s market share trailing behind Symbian, and Linux bringing up the rear.

Symbian/Linux, DoCoMo Orange Seed Smart Phones

Service-centric platforms are pushing towards Linux and Symbian OS, a move toward flexibility and customization being pushed by DoCoMo, Vodafone and Orange will play an important role in pushing smart phone sales to 150 million units, according to research firm ABI. “With increasing competition and high churn rates,” explains ABI analyst Kenil Vora, “operators have felt the need to differentiate their products.”

Fujitsu 3G Phones for EU in 2005

Fujitsu Ltd. is reported to be re-entering the European market with both 2- and 3G phones in 2005, according to a report in Japan’s Nikkei. Fujitsu’s last foreign foray overseas, in the United States, ended in 1997. The Nikkei reports that Fujitsu plans to develop dual-standard phones with France’s Sagem SA, with which Fujitsu signed a technology partnership agreement back in 2002. The new phones are reported to support both GRPS and W-CDMA.

DoCoMo Plows $343.8 Million into 3.5G HSDPA

Signaling its seriousness to get its HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) network and concomitant mobile/smart phones up and transmitting in 2005, NTT DoCoMo said today that it is plowing 37 billion yen ($343.8 million) into 5 Japanese handset and network builders AND Motorola Japan Inc. What is immediately surprising about this move is that once again, as with yesterday’s media extravaganza on the new 900i phones, long-term handset partners Toshiba, and handset maker and major infrastructure builder Sony Ericsson are both missing. But it now looks like DoCoMo feels its time to start really kicking in the efficiencies to differentiate itself from KDDI’s WIN service both in terms of performance and, more critically, to faster recoup the considerable investment the company has made in 3G as it probably gears up for a packet price war with KDDI and Vodafone KK. And then, there is the leveraging of Motorola’s Linux links too!

DoCoMo Pre-Christmas Press Briefing

DoCoMo Pre-Christmas Press BriefingDoCoMo Chieftain Tachikawa gave his final press conference of the year and looked happier and more relaxed than we’ve seen him for some time. And he should. After good first half financials and FOMA finally taking off, he was able to give a good spin on DoCoMo’s performance and managed to sling an arrow at Microsoft, as only a spin-off from a monopoly can! Japan’s phone market unexpectedly achieved solid 1H growth; net additions were almost the same 1H 03. 2H was down, but overall growth for DoCoMo will be 80 percent of 02. Japan’s phone market is NOT saturated. DoCoMo still thinks it will achieve 8 percent growth. Non-voice is growing, as well as voice. Japan’s penetration rate still lower than Europe. DoCoMo still sees growth opportunities. Full Program Run-time 20:24

SD Card to Add Wi-Fi Capability

Chip design company SyChip Inc. is testing software for its SDIO (secure digital I/O) WLAN card so it can be used to add Wi-Fi capability to smart phones. With the card and the software, smart phones can use a WLAN to transmit data and double as a cordless VoIP when linked to a corporate IP telephony service, said Navi Miglani, SyChip’s director of marketing.

Magic Machine for Camera Phone Photos

Magic Machine for Camera Phone PhotosJapan is famous for cool camera-phones and its massive vending machine industry, put them together and you’ve got a significant business opportunity. We visited Pinchange Co. Ltd, and got a step-by-step demo. of their lean, mean Print Club Sticker making vending machine. Spun out of Panasonic’s Central Research Institute in 2001, the company is making a digital photo printing unit thats sure to follow in the foot steps of digital cameras – on phones or otherwise – around the world. By allowing users to input their photos from almost any type of memory card or even straight from the handset IR Port, we think they’ve tapped into a global goldmine. But thats not all we saw, they also gave us a sneak preview at a prototype LED virtual keyboard for mobile devices set to hit the streets here in 2004.
Full Program Run-time 13:49

3G Taking Off, DoCoMo Develops FOMA Wireless LAN Phone

Just got news out from DoCoMo today that Big D has developed its first WLAN FOMA module. Details are sketchy at the moment, with official information we could find limited to a single statement in Japanese. However, the IEEE802.11b compatible clamshell weighs 123g and is 103 mm long by 53 mm wide. DoCoMo has yet to release other specs, or say when the phone is going to be on the market, but a big move for WLAN-FOMA has been on the cards ever since Big D announced it was trailing a FOMA-WLAN network at Japan’s gateway to the world- Narita Airport, with Japan Airlines this June. Meanwhile FOMA added a record 334,000 subscribers in October, underpinning the impression that 3G is finally flying. Could the next batch of FOMA cellies, out in February 04 have WLAN? The news comes on top of a recent report on DoCoMo by CSFB’s Mark Berman appropriately titled 2004: The Year of 3G, predicting FOMA subscriber growth surging to a million a month…