Japan Today

Mobile carriers focus on smart phones


Japanese mobile carriers have stepped up efforts to promote multi-functional smart phones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, hoping to stimulate demand among business people.

Smart phones can make business easier as users can send and receive emails, view attached files and create documents. Operability has improved with addition of large-sized keys and touch panels.

The carriers' efforts could fuel demand and energize Japan's almost saturated mobile phone market, industry watchers said.

Since March, NTT DoCoMo Inc has launched two models, its first smart phone roll-out for about two years.

In August, the company started offering BlackBerrys, which had been previously available only to corporate customers, to individuals.

The company believes that many business people hope to use such mobile devices casually when working outside their offices or after returning home, an NTT DoCoMo official said.

Softbank Corp and EMobile Ltd, a mobile unit of broadband service provider EAccess Ltd, have expanded their lineups by releasing two models each this year.

KDDI Corp is poised to launch its first smart phone by the end of this year.

KDDI is now considering what products can meet user needs, the company's president, Tadashi Onodera, said.

Higher transmission speeds and improved compatibility with personal computers have allowed the use of smart phones in the business environment, said Shigehiro Tanaka, an analyst at research firm BCN Inc.

More models are likely to be released and the market is expected to expand, Tanaka said.


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Nokia smartphones have been available from Softbank for years. I've got an N95; 5 Mpix, e-mail, web browsing, excellent audio, Japanese language support- and I can even watch British TV on it via my Slingbox.

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"Smart phones can make business easier as users can send and receive emails, view attached files and create documents."

Should be rewritten as, "Smart phones can make LIFE easier..."

Smart phones also highlight the relative uselessness of conventional Japanese handsets.

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I don't think Japan need any Smart Phones from Abroad. It can and has produce smartphones.

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MissWorldTravel... What's the problem with competition from other countries??? Let the consumer decide, not business and government...

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come on AU, stop lagging behind

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MissWorldTravel: By your logic, Japan shouldn't import import anything that can be made in Japan. I imagine you possess many items made abroad. Do you want to restrict your choice to only Japanese products?

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(Japan) can and has produce smartphones

A large percentage of Japanese 3G smartphones run on the Symbian operating system from Britain. So Japanese consumers have already been buying foreign smartphone technology for a number of years.

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My take on this is simple.

the more competitors that there are within a single market, the higher the bar is raised. The iphone has set a new standard for phones/pda's. It can be argued that the Japanese are a little too happy with the status quo when it comes to their phones, and more development goes into little straps and chargers than the phones themselves. I think the software and usability for items such as the mobile saifu and lismo are cool things, but the internet solutions and office applications for mobile business are lagging.

Now that the iphone is here, the standard isn't necessarily raised, but there is a clear benchmark for what can be done on Japan's existing cellular infrastructure. If the Japanese latch on to this new idea and do the EXTREMELY Japanese act of taking good ideas and improving them beyond belief, then we can probably expect to see some really cool things coming around.

Until then, I will keep my w62CA on the phone side and my Nokia n810 together. These give me all the options of the iphone and more.

When they can put the 2 in one little case, count me in.

I might even wait in line.......

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about bloody time! I just want to be able to send/rec email for work related stuff without lugging a laptop around, I dont give a rats a$$ about regular ketai email, dont use it, but for work it wud be damn nice.

I remember when ketais first hit the scene in the early 90s when Jpn just point blank kept Motorola outta Jpn so they cud create their scamming systems, a lots changed & none too soon!

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What "scamming systems" have been created in the mobile phone industry?

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A few years ago there was a spate of computer generated calls from high-toll-rate numbers. The phone would ring once and people would often call the number back. It was a nice scam but after a few months the phone companies clamped down on it.

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pay attn Jpn kept the world outta Jpn in the early 90s, created PHS etc etc ie different systems , those days they ripped us blind, so when they opened the doors again so to speak it was totally different than the rest of the planet, thats why no ones overseas ketais worked here & japanese phones were usless overseas, its only recently things are changing & as many have noted J-companies presence outside Jpn is negligable, but the the world is knocking & this time Jpn wont be able to do what it did to Motorola in the early 90s, understand now

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maybe FujiFilm, Cannon or Nikon can make a mobile phone which actually takes reasonably good photos.

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