JIN-135 -- Sexy Organic Screens Will Seduce Japan

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J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
T H E J @ P A N I N C N E W S L E T T E R
Commentary on the week's business and technology news
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Issue No. 135
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Tokyo

CONTENTS

+++ Viewpoint: Sexy Organic Screens Will Seduce Japan
+++ Noteworthy news
- Latest figures on Japan's Net users released
- J-Phone to explore Net phones using 802.11b wireless LANs
+++ Worth a read

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+++ VIEWPOINT

Sexy Organic Screens Will Seduce Japan

New research emerging this week from Nikkei Market Access indicated
significant improvement in the world market for small- and mid-sized
liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) for mobile devices like cellphones
and PDAs. No surprise there. The value of the output in 2000 was
US$6.01 billion, a year-on-year increase of 58 percent.

Projections for 2001 are not quite as bright, largely because of a
slowdown in the mobile phone market. But if you're an LCD maker,
which of course you're not but keep reading, a more significant
threat is a sexy new display technology called organic electro
luminescence film.

JI was ahead of the curve(s) when we wrote about organic EL screens
in our March issue, but we didn't know they were sexy enough to
steal the limelight at a high-end modeling event. That's what
happened last month at the Media Fashion Show in Tokyo's chic and
trendy Aoyama neighborhood, where the most mesmerizing outfit had
meishi-sized organic ELs on its sleeves, breast, and back. The crowd
was captivated by crystal-clear pictures of moving people attached
to moving people.

These screens are truly amazing. See our March piece at
http://www.japaninc.net/mag/comp/2001/03/mar01_filter_thin.html.
We're betting they'll take off in a big way in Japan's wireless Web
market, where users of browser phones and PDAs will be drawn to
glare-less, easy-to-read, thin, incredibly vivid screens. But, as
always, we'll wait and see.

-- Steve Mollman

More: "Models don wearable computers as show fuses fashion,
technology," Yomiuri Shimbun, June 3,
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20010603wo62.htm; "Worldwide
Production Value of Smaller LCDs for 2001 Rises by 29 Pct.: Survey,"
Nikkei, May 30.

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+++ NOTEWORTHY NEWS
(Long URLs may break across two lines.)

** Latest figures on Japan's Net users released

EXTRACT: The telecom ministry released the latest figures as of the
end of March: Dial-up Net subscribers: 17.25 million (compared to
10.59 million at the end of December 1999); Net through cable:
784,000 (compared to 216,000 a year earlier); through DSL: 112,182
(at the end of April, not March -- this up from 16,194 at the end of
January). Subscribers to limited wireless Net services like i-mode,
EZWeb, and J-Sky totaled 36.94 million, compared to 9.35 million a
year earlier.

Meanwhile, Usen, with its super-fast fiber-to-the-home Net access
service (started in March), reports installing equipment for
connection services for slightly over 500 users as of the end of
May. Over 3,000 customers have been contracted. Usen also began a
joint venture with wireless equipment maker Root Inc. to test the
idea of high-speed wireless LANs for the home. The JV is capitalized
at JPY100 million.

COMMENTARY: So, here's your cheat sheet, good for at least a few
weeks:

Net cellphones: 36.9 million
Dial-up: 17.3 million
Cable: 784,00
DSL: 112,182
Usen: about 500

Never mind the limited capabilities, it's still amazing how quickly
Net access through the cellphone has spread in this country. No
wonder Usen is exploring wireless LANs -- mobility is clearly a
hit.

SOURCES:
"Japan Dial-Up Subscribers Top 17M In March," Newsbytes, June 5,
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/010605/13/s7xo.html; "Japan Usen Installs
Internet Svc For 507 Users At End-May," Dow Jones, June 5,
http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/010605/15/s6kd.html

** J-Phone to explore Net phones using 802.11b wireless LANs

EXTRACT: J-Phone will conduct research and development for a service
to link cellular phones with IEEE802.11b wireless LANs. It expects
to sell contents at public spaces such as restaurants and stores,
so-called "hot spots," and also to offer Internet connection
services.

COMMENTARY: Wireless LANs, we've noted before, have huge market
potential. Generally we've associated them with portable computers
like laptops and notebooks, but there's no reason cellphones
couldn't hook up to these networks as well. Interesting development.

SOURCE: "J-Phone East to Conduct Research for Service to Link
Cellular Phone with Wireless LAN," AsiaBizTech, June1,
http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/moren/1
31745

+++ EVENTS (ADVERTISEMENT)

** The 2001 Global Wireless and Internet Summit

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President Michael Lynton, Softbank's Strategic Director Jonathan
Epstein, and 300 European, US, Japanese, and other Asian wireless,
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the 2001 Global Wireless and Internet Summit, June 5-6. Organized by
the Japan Society and Consect, the Summit features two days of
networking, dialog and intelligence. For more, go to
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** "Interactive Contact Centres to be held in Tokyo on 2-3 July
2001

marcus evans, the world's leading provider of business events, is
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Please contact Kyomi Azuma at (81) 3-5790-6480 or email:
kyomia@marcusevansjp.com

** Mobile Telecoms Japan
Presented by Strategic Research Institute
July 11-13 Sheraton-Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA

At this event, you'll hear first-hand from Japan's three major
wireless carriers: NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and J-Phone. This is the first
American conference to focus on the wireless revolution in Japan. It
will provide in-depth information about i-Mode, as well as its
important Japanese competitors, EZWeb and J-Sky.

For more information, contact Ron Berg at rberg@srinstitute.com or
visit the conference Web site at http://www.srinstitute.com/ck101.
Please mention keycode "DWSH000264" when registering.

+++ WORTH A READ

It's hard to track everything Sony is up to. This piece, despite the
poor headline, provides a nice overview of its recent activities and
challenges:

"Sony's Aims to Gain Dominance Over Broadband Business,"
AsiaBizTech, June 4, http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/
leaf?CID=onair/asabt/fw/131835

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STAFF
Written by Steve Mollman (steve@japaninc.net)
Assistance with news compilation:
Richard Ochero (richard@japaninc.com)

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(C) Copyright 2001 Japan Inc Communications. All Rights Reserved.

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