Tag Archives: handset

Japan: Mobile Phones and Fashion

Softbank spring collection

Each season Mobile Operators in Japan present their new handsets, often developed in exclusive by Japanese vendors as Hitachi, Sanyo, Panasonic or Kyocera.

See these articles with details on the latest models announced by KDDI and Softbank: KDDI spring’08 phones and Softbank 2008 Spring Collection.

It is interesting how Japanese operators manage the release of handsets with a seasonal renewal, like in the fashion industry. Not only that, but the handset as a fashion  item is becoming a reality: e.g. Softbank has reached an agreement with Tiffany’s for exclusive designs.

If this trend goes on, I wouldn’t be surprised to see soon mobile phones being presented in a runway as a fashion show.

Is this an specific behavior in Japan? or just an anticipation in Japan of what is coming for the rest of the world?

Google introduces Android

One month ago, the much expected G-Phone was presented as Android, a SW platform for mobile phones, backed by the Open Handset Alliance. The Alliance includes vendors as Motorola, Samsung, LG and HTC, as well as Operators and software partners.

Although the first commercial handsets will only be available by end 2008, and despite Nokia downplaying Android’s impact, the industry is anxious about what Android can bring.

In the clip below, Sergey Brin and Steve Horowitz discuss the availability of the SDK,  planned to be open source. They also demo applications on the Android platform

For more, see the Android Developer Channel in YouTube.

Nokia, the leader in a considered mature handset market, has seen iPhone rapidly occupying the mindset of the consumers as the premium No.1 Mobile Phone. Microsoft Mobile has also been growing market share consistently. With Android open platform, and its similarities to iPhone, I would be really worried in Nokia’s shoes.

No doubt Net-heads and Bell-heads are converging, but Net-heads (Apple, Microsoft and Google) seem to be gaining terrain in a battlefield so far dominated by Bell-Heads (Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson).  Mobile Operators, beware of the impact on this new devices in your business – both an opportunity and a threat.