A historical perspective – Daniel Scuka, Former editor Mobikyo/Wireless Watch Japan
Daniel worked in Japan from 1994 to 2003.
NTT Docomo, KDDI, Softbank are the three main operators
Why is mobile so successful in Japan?
Good tools perform well with good looking models. But then again some mobiles feature items such as solar panels or they are waterproof.
The success is not due to the unique user culture: Mobiles are used the same way all over the world. But, there is a unique competitive culture in the business environment and regulatory regulations.
The operators dictate the standards, hence handsets and content fit perfectly.
Apple has the exact same model, albeit with just one provider for handsets and software.
E-mail, camera, decorated e-mails are the top three applications used on mobiles.
61% of the users use the mobile web for more than an hour a day.
Games are very popular, some integrate mobile and TV applications.
All new headsets support GPS location with apps for dining, playing, exercising, buying, traveling: Short term jobs are offered on short notice, say someone needs a dish washer right now at a given spot.
The Broadcast Markup Language is used for mobile TV.
QR codes are ubiquitous.
«Mobile service innovation: A European Failure»: The paper is due in November 2010 in Telecoms Policy.
Most mobile innovations such as e-mail, camera, downloading, GPS, full motion video, music, QR code, eWallet, zoom view came all from Japan.
i-mode took off between 1998-99 due to fierce competition in mobile messaging. The revenue was going down to zero.
Technology competition is the major underlying factor driving the Japanese mobile industry: This has led to Japan becoming the No. 1 mobile market.
Japan’s number two, KDDI, chose to opt for a different network technology. This enabled them to offer flat rates, something NTT Docomo couldn’t offer in their system. This led to a very competitive situation.
Uncertainty is ubiquitous in the Japanes marketplace, suppliers never know when a competitor is coming up with a disruptive innovation.
Europe lacks wireless network and handset technology innovation, the markets are fragmented, there’s weak competition.
Most significant innovations of the third-generation mobile era have come from America and Asia.
Potentially disruptive: Apple’s iPhone FeliCa debut…