Breaking: Japan’s 2nd Telco KDDI Reportedly To Sell iPhone5

Nikkei Business Online is reporting [J], according to people familiar with the matter, the nation’s second carrier KDDI has an arrangement with Apple on selling iPhone in Japan.

In Japan, iPhone has been exclusively provided by the 3rd carrier Softbank Mobile. It is not officially disclosed but Nikkei speculates that Softbank has been selling 7.5 million units. Half of Softbank’s new subscribers are said to purchase iPhone, which push them up to the close third position despite its rather weak network.

KDDI To Bring Android Apps To China Mobile Subscribers

Japan’s second biggest telco and mobile carrier KDDI is planning to bring a set of made-in-Japan apps to Android users in China, in cooperation with China Mobile, the country’s biggest telco (over 600 mobile subscribers).

Under the deal, KDDI will start offering an initial 22 apps, for example manga or games, in China Mobile’s Android market as early as from the end of this month. KDDI uses apps made by a total of five Japan-based companies, i.e. Cybird, Acrodea or G-Mode.

The company says services like billing or fee collection for these app developers will be handled by Hong Kong-based DMX Technologies, a firm KDDI acquired a 51% stake in back in 2009.

The Nikkei is reporting that KDDI is only the 10th company to be given the right to sell apps in China Mobile’s Android market (which has 90 million customers).

Google Japan Launches Minna no Business Online, Free Website Hosting For Small-Mid Business

Minna no Business Online (=business for everyone online) is a newly released web hosting service by Google in Japan, today on September 13 2011.

The site is, very different from typical Google web services, not under google domains but have its own jp domain (, designed with vivid red, like the color which is used by the nation’s largest e-commerce mall Rakuten [J].

Features they post on the top page are:

  • Easy for everyone to build
  • Free for 1 year
  • Specialized designs for many industry categories
  • Your own domain

On your registration, you will be asked a new domain name you want to use, from the selection of “.jp”, “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.biz” and “.info”, which covers most top level domains Japanese companies usually choose.

You may choose about 100 different designs from 14 categories of industry. At the end of registration process, you need to receive an automatic phone call to get authenticated (that you are a real shop owner).

Google’s motivations for the service seem on 2 points. Firstly, this service will start charging after 1 year, for example with “.jp” domain, 1,470 yen (US$19) per month. The other part is the site guides the new website owners to its advertising platform, AdWords.

Google’s commercial film is up on YouTube,

“Free website building in 15 minutes”

The partner page shows that Google Japan is collaborating with some others. KDDI, 2nd largest cellphone carrier, and its subsidiary KDDI Communications who has been running website builder/hosting Jimdo in Japan. Actually, design choosing form on the Minbiz’s registration process is on Jimdo site.

Extra-governmental Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation and NPO IT Coordinators Association [J] are also on the partners list.

The first case studies are introduced on the site. There Google took a small island Kouzusima, and let some small business owners make their first websites.

via Google Japan Blog

KDDI Buys 15% Stake In French AR Company Total Immersion

Japan’s second biggest telecommunications firm KDDI announced [JP] it has acquired an equity stake in French based Total Immersion S.A., an augmented reality (AR) software maker. Business daily The Nikkei says it has learned KDDI paid 100 million yen (US$1.3 million) for a 15% interest in the company.

Total Immersion has offices in North America, Europe, and Asia (their Japan office is located in Tokyo). The company was founded in 1999 and received US$5.5 million in funding from Intel and others back in March this year.

(So according to The Nikkei, Total Immersion’s valuation can be estimated to be somewhere around US$8.7 million, while TechCrunch reports that (before the money from Japan), the company collected US$11 million from investors over the years.)

In any case, KDDI says they are especially interested in using Total Immersion’s core technology, the so-called D’Fusion AR software platform, for smartphones. Subscribers can expect the first content based on D’Fusion to be rolled out in December (the picture below shows D’Fusion Mobile used as a marketing tool).

KDDI has also invested in Tokyo-based AR startup Tonchidot last year.

Mobage Pre-installed On KDDI’s Android “REGZA Phone IS11T”

DeNA [J] has announced that they will offer pre-install smart phone version “Mobage” applications for Fujutsu Corporation’s Android equipped KDDI smartphone “REGZA Phone IS11T,” which is released for sale on September 9th, which is today.

The REGZA Phone IS11T, on which these smart phone version Mobage will be pre-installed, has slide keyboard and touch panel, which when used together will ensure operability. In addition, because off the high efficiency 1.4 GHz chip set, it’s an Android cell phone which supports comfortable character entry. It is loaded with Mobile Relaxation 4.0 for video screen, and you can enjoy high quality video.

I think that because “Mobage” applications will be pre-installed by DeNA on this device, “Mobage” can be easily accessed and a wider class of users will enjoy this service.

Translation licensed by VSMedia