Vodafone Japan’s big breakthru: NOTHING

Vodafone Japan only has 17% share of the market here and is losing more and more customers. Aggressive flat-rate pricing of KDDI Corp. (27% market share) has forced spawn-of-satan NTT DoCoMo (57% and growing market share) to drop prices on their broad-&-best cellphone network coverage.
On the other hand, Vodafone Japan offers NO price or netword coverage advantages. They offer “a new way of thinking” without ANY details. In other words, they offer COMEDY!

Struggling Vodafone Japan promises turnaround

…the British mobile company was struggling here but promised a turnaround.
Bill Morrow, who became president of Vodafone K.K. in April, said the company will focus on the niche audience of teens and people in their 20s, and offer new services in mobile messaging, an area seen as the carrier’s strength.
“We’re going to serve a small community of people,” he told reporters at a Tokyo hotel. “We have a new way of thinking.”
But Morrow declined to give details, saying he was worried rivals may imitate his company’s ideas….

KDDI’s Au cellphones to provide message board for disaster in English

With this disaster service, “ET call home.” If the Big One ever happens in Tokyo, I wonder if the cell network will crash before everyone’s battery charge runs out. If Tokyo does bite the Big One, I need a solar-cell version of the ruggedized, waterproof keitai/cellphone, the G’zOne TYPE-R by au which is pictured below.

KDDI’s au phones to accept English disaster-time messages
TOKYO — …disaster-time message transmission services via the au cell phone EZweb email function will accept English messages from July 14….cell phone users to leave messages such as “safe,” “sustained damage,” and “staying at home” or “staying at a shelter” as well as a short comment ….

G'zOne TYPE-Rau’s G’zOne TYPE-R cellphone with an attitude– which according to KDDI’s website it has, “outstandingly water- and impact-resistant series built to bear not only the hard use of daily life, but the rain, rugged outdoor use, and sports use as well.” The cellphone is manufactured by Casio and it has “superior” screen readability, a GPS compass, a stopwatch, a 1.28-megapixel camera, but not a Swiss Army knife. Meh.

Japanese leads the way for worldwide popularity of Voice-over-IP

This report doesn’t explain why Japan leads in Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone services and “continues to be the largest VoIP market.” There are two main reasons:
1. The quasi-public NTT phone company as a former monopoly has the world’s highest rates.
2. Softbank’s super-cheap “Yahoo BB” broadband ADSL service has the majority of these VoIP users because it gives VoIP calls away free within their network and very cheaply —70% less— via a regular NTT connection.
This “free” service is also how the American cable networks rank as the second most important “provider” VoIP telephone services in the world.

Chicago (IL) — Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone services are reaching beyond early adopters: According to a report released on Wednesday, more than 17 million people around the world already use VoIP…
Analysts had expected VoIP to change its face as a geeky application to a mainstream application sometime this year…..Japan continues to be the largest VoIP market with about 7.2 million retail VoIP users. ….

yahooBB backbone
Be sure to check the other 3Yen.com reports on VoIP in Japan:
News.3Yen.com – World’s smallest IP-based phone – News on Japan …
Gadgets.3Yen.com – i’m Phone. Are you? – Gadgets in Japan …
Videogames.3Yen.com – Voice over IP on the Nintendo DS and the PSP

Kyodo News in English website is redesigned and improved

Kyodo news redesigned
Like all Japan Inc news agencies, Kyodo News is boring to tears. However, the
Kyodo News in English is a good source of breaking news here in Japan.
Unfortunately in the past, the website was hard to navagate and “hid” major news stories from non-paying users. Out of the blue, today the site has been improved wildly on the English side. See http://home.kyodo.co.jp/
Be sure to click on the “ENGLISH” button to get it into the engrish mode.
Now the Kyodo News in English is a hell of a lot better and all the headlines of the last 60 minutes are available. Also the Java-based news ticker is better such as this one reporting the cluster of quakes that Japan has been having since around midnight today.
Java-based news ticker
At 1:18 AM (Sunday) I was having a fun dreamtime. I was halfway asleep during a magnitude 6.1 earthquake when the nubile night nurse came in to check on me. She had her hand under my covers taking my pulse or something comforting when I woke up. Wo0t! I thought I’d scored.
nubile night nurse

Did the PENCK cellphone rip off its fonts?

image of PENCK
The PENCK(tm) shown above is Japan’s hotest new cellphone and has won universal acclaim for its unique design.
Gee, I even tried to get one until I learned the price for me was 34,000yen ($318.59 USD) and there was waiting list of weeks, meh.
3yen.com’s Yves has covered in the entire story in au Design project’s Penck as well as Penck me not and in Penck: What?
Now that “unique design” of KDDI’s au Design project is being called into question.

ripoff Machine translated version of www.9O3I.com
Concerning the case of the “Major Kong” font of the 9031.com is being illegally used by the “PENCK” of the au by KDDI
This website 9031.com in 1999 released the font … and it was published in the “DTP font handbook ” (2002 ) and in the ” デザイナーズ * font catalog 692 ” (MDN —2004 year publication) and the like the Major Kong being published….
Maj0r K0ng  font

Penck video

KDDI Designing Studio in Harajuku

See the future as now in uber-trendy Harajuku where you can design your own cellphone!
Watch the broadband-only video via our friends at Wireless Watch Japan (Hi Lars). Now if KDDI could make a cellphone with a big screen and buttons so that I could use it without a magnifying glass and zircon-encrusted nano-tweezers, meh.

KDDI Harajuku Designing Studio: Video Tour
…Harajuku’s ultimate mobile zeitgeist.
Program Run-time 8:50

Lastest hit: Japanese reading porn novels on their cellphones

New Zen koan: What is the sound of one hand reading?
The hit keitai novel DEEP LOVE mentioned in this news story is a real laugh. The keitai cellphone format of short lines and brief ideas allow even a stupid foreigner like me to catch the drift of the manga comic storyline. Read the interviev with the author “YOSHI” here at the DestroyAllMonsters website.

Deep Love
Books on cellphones take off in Japan

TOKYO –obably hurt just thinking about it: Tens of thousands of Japanese cellphone owners are poring over full-length novels on their tiny screens….”You can read whenever you have a spare moment, and you don’t even need to use both hands,” says Taro Matsumura, a 24-year-old graduate student who sometimes reads essays and serial novels on his phone.

Vodafone flops in Japan with a big yawn

1. Although this article barely mentions it, but Japan Inc (sometimes called the Japanese government) effectively banned prepaid phones just as Vodafone started a major prepaid push in Japan…OUCH…Vodafone normally expects 30-40% of its revenue from prepaid phones..
2. This is Japan and they use these funny squiggles called Japanese to write. Vodafone had no idea of the constant heartache of filling their phones with 2-byte characters and crappy-cute cartoon characters that the Japanese need.
3. Vodafone is a yawn in Japan without any compelling attractions to Japanese customers. The market is loaded with cute, ultra-tech keitai phones here and Vodafone has nothing “special” for Japanese customers.

Vodafone a festive flop in Japan
…….Ben Wood, analyst with Gartner, the research group, said that…”It has got to the point already where Japanese people have all they want from their phones—cameras, games, television and so on,” he said. “They have had 3G phones for a couple of years, so it is nothing new to them now.”….more…Voda-girl

Markets for blog tools in USA vs Japan

Via the commentary in the of my friend here in Tokyo, Gen Kanai, here are two great graphs of the blog tools markets of USA and Japan.
“Growth Share Matrix” of blog tools markets
in USA vs Japan.

Elise Bauer’s US weblog tools market is shown on the top. On the bottom is my rough translation of the Japanese graph made by Masahiko Satoh
for the Japan market.
From the graphs above you can see that the Japanese market is very fragmented and great opportunty exists for a company that has a better product and very DEEP pockets.
Read Elise Bauer’s paper here.
Refer to Masahiko Satoh’s explanation in Japanese here.