The news itself was widely covered on Chinese and English media, so I won’t repeat details here.
Coverage on Japanese media are even bigger. The reason is that NEC’s PC business has special meanings to Japanese personal computer users who began their computer lives in 80’s to early ’90s.
NEC dominated Japanese PC market in BASIC and MS-DOS era. First by PC-8001/8801, 8-bit computer which should match with Commodore 64 in West,
then by PC-9801, 16 bit personal computer series established its kingdom, defended domestic market against badly-localized PC/AT and its compatibles.
They had, like IBM compatibles, Microsoft BASIC and DOS. At the end of PC-9801, when PC/AT became to be able to handle Japanese text in software level, they even had MS-Windows for PC-9801.
After Windows 95, they could not keep selling their original personal computers, however, were able to let their loyal customers switch to PC/AT-based “NEC”. They are not “dominant” anymore but are competing top share in Japan.
NEC’s PC-9801 was one of the first looser against global de facto on Japanese personal computing, which is followed by Ichitaro (against MS-Word), Kiri (MS-Access), Hanako (Illustrator), Just Windows (MS-Windows), Oyayubi Shift (Qwerty and Japanese input method environment), ODiN/Senrigan (Yahoo!), goo (Google) and Mixi (could be Facebook, in the long run).
So, like IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo, this news is symbolic for Japanese.
Evernote‘s press conference was held in Tokyo on 23rd June, just one day before their second anniversary.
At the conference, Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin, who was visiting Tokyo, announced a lot of new things for their Japanese users.
1. Japan branch
They opened a 100% subsidiary, Evernote Japan. Evernote’s vice president Takeshi Nakajima, who worked in Sony Vaio team before, leads the local team. Japan branch is to hire 5 more employees this year and cooperate with US head office.
2. New feature – Japanese OCR now supported
Evernote now can extract Japanese texts from printed letters and handwriting images.
3. More and More Partnership with Japanese companies
In addition to the current partners like Canon(document scanner integration), Sony(Vaio pre-installed) and Eye-fi(bundled package),
The definition of “smartphone” is vague even among Japanese. Japanese Wikipedia [J] says that smartphone means that the phone has any of these operating system; “Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, iPhone OS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Palm OS and Palm WebOS”. That is, all non-Japanese OS.
Apple built up their 4.9% share in few years is a great achievement in this crookedly-evolved competitive cellphone market, even though it was initially supported by loyal users of Macintosh and iPod, both had succeeded more than world average in Japan, and exclusive partner Softbank Mobile’s aggressive “Substantially Free” campaign, which is now being extended over a year.
But honestly, I dislike English media repeat posting “latest iPhone domination in Japan” news with misleading number, which should not be good also for serious foreign companies who are thinking how they should go into Japanese mobile market. You must support Japanese cellphone… yet.
In order to cover one of this year’s remarkable mobile exhibitions in Tokyo, I’ve checked many IT news sources, but most of new products and new services introduced at the exhibition have been already featured on Asiajin. (Probably this is what we have to be proud of, because that means we keep covering the cutting-edge.)
That’s why we focus only on what we’ve never featured on Asiajin but have been exhibited at Wireless Japan 2009.
Mobile giant NTT DoCoMo and Applix, a Tokyo-based Java mobile platform developer having two-dozen-year history, announced they would join forces to develop AR(Augmented Reality) products. Following Tonchi-Dot’s Sekai Camera[E/J] (backed up by Softbank Mobile) and KDDI’s AR cellphone, NTT DoCoMo joined the race in developing AR-based products, which means all three Japanese mobile carriers believe AR may be one of key factors for making the next-generation mobile business more successful.
The video above was taken and published on YouTube by freelance writer Tamotsu Hashimoto.
The team of NTT DoCoMo and Applix developed a new Android app allowing you to retrieve information associated with what you’re seeing through a camera built-in your cellphone, and its experimental prototype was exhibited. The app is also downloadable for signed up users at the trial service category[J] of NTT DoCoMo’s corporate website.
Meanwhile, Japan’s only PHS mobile operator Willcom developed a high-speed data transmission standard called XGP, and it’s now on test drive at Tokyo’s CBD. However, with such a brand new technology, most of us have no idea on how our life will be changed in the future. Willcom developed a variety of concept-based product mockups in association with major Japanese mobile device manufacturers, and those have been introduced on the company’s special website[J] for the last several months. The mockups were actually exhibited within booth visitor’s reach, which makes us easier to imagine what happens next.
(The mockups introduced below are not intended for sales but conceptual models for encouraging further consumer understanding.)
A floating WiFi access point allows you to enjoy the Internet on sea, lake and river. It measures up-to-date water temperature and sea current, capture images and sounds, and transmit them over wireless Internet connection.
Broadband Communication Tool for Motorbike Riders developed by JRC
By attaching this device to a motorbike rider’s helmet, he/she will be always updated with useful information even while he/she is driving.
Image Tube: Multi-task Display developed by Kyocera
An LCD rolled around a hand-held body will show you a variety of information, and you can choose a menu only by touching it with your finger.
RFID (radio-frequency identification) tagging will be well spread at retail services, this bag allows housewives to keep the list of what you’ve bought. By transmitting the list over the Internet, it allows them to manage the family expenses and to promote health care.
This attachment for bicycles will change them to rental bikes. The attachment has features of GPS navigation, FeliCa (for accepting rental fee payment by contactless cellphone wallet) and remote lock system for possible fraud use.
A combination of wearing this device and high-speed wireless connectivity allows you to communicate with many people who speak different languages from your mother tongue, since it translates what you speak as well as your gestures. Translation results will be uttered by the device or appeared on its surface.