i-mode cellphone shipment announced to cease by end of this year

NTT Docomo announced today November 2, 2016 that they will end the sales of i-mode cellphones between this month November and December.

No new i-mode supported featurephone is announced so that P-01H, which was released November in 2015, would be the last i-mode cellphone for regular users.


The announcement tells that their i-mode capable Rakuraku-phone(easy phone) for elders, will continue to be sold.

i-mode Internet service began in 1999. After massive domestic success and failure of export, iPhone and Android smartphones and their app store overwrote the Docomo’s local success. Docomo says that the i-mode service itself continues. There are still a lot of i-mode cellphone users in Japan, and those fans now need to worry their cellphones becomes old and broken.

Three Of Japan’s Top Telcos Standardize Display Of Email Emoticons

Three of Japan’s four biggest mobile carriers, namely NTT Docomo, KDDI au, and eAccess, are about to make it easier for their combined subscriber base of roughly 90 million people to exchange emails with other.

The plan is to standardize the display of emoticons, or emoji in Japanese, across handsets offered by the three networks.

As of now, certain emoji aren’t correctly displayed when sent from the cell phone of a Docomo user to that of a KDDI user, for example. I am not a big emoji fan, but The Nikkei says that if a Docomo subscriber sends an emoji showing i.e. Taurus the Bull to somebody using a KDDI phone, a cow is displayed.

What may sound trivial is actually quite a big deal in Japan, where emoji have been in use since 1999 and emails have been the most popular way to communicate between mobile phone users since.

It’s especially young people who use emoji excessively. Around 2008, the lack of emoji support was blamed as one of the factors leading to the (initially) sluggish sales of the iPhone in Japan. In the same year, it was Google Japan’s local team that made it possible for Gmail users worldwide to use emoji in their messages.

KDDI an eAccess are also in the process of creating around 200 new emoji that fit NTT Docomo’s most popular ones. The standardization will kick off with new handsets released this summer.

SoftBank Mobile, Japan’s No. 3 carrier, isn’t part of the agreement: the company says it simply doesn’t display problematic emoji sent from handsets offered by other carriers on its handsets.

Twitter Japan Starts Brand Page With Docomo, Lawson and Warner

Twitter Japan official blog announced [J] that the brand page for promotion launched in Japanese Twitter.

The new advertising program on Japan’s (probably) most popular social networking service is introduced 4 month after its US launch.

The first three companies use the brand page are the largest telco NTT Docomo, convenience chain store Lawson and Film Distributor’s Japan arm Warner Entertainment Japan.

NTT Docomo Offers Home Gardening SNS

NTT Docomo from February 28th has released “Minna No Engei Hiroba TM” (Everyone’s Gardening Plaza), a social network service for enjoying home gardening.

“Everyone’s Gardening Plaza” is a new SNS for gardening enthusiasts, who can record a daily cultivation log while raising plants, connect with peers, and share information.  By entering the type of plant or the cultivation starting date, explanations about essential thinning, fertilizing, and other such tasks are sent by mail at appropriate times.  In addition, you connect with other users raising the same plants and reference skillful gardeners’ methods, and since you can give each other advice when you run into trouble, beginner gardeners can tend their greenery in a carefree spirit.

Also, from April 1st (scheduled), a paid membership service will be implemented, for a monthly fee of 157 Yen (incl. tax), allowing users to receive cultivation advice from a horticultural specialist advisor.


Translation authorized by VSmedia