WW-124 -- New Japanese handsets announced in Europe's mega IT show CeBIT

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J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Newsletter:

W I R E L E S S W A T C H

Commentary on Japan's Wireless World
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Wireless Watch Newsletter
Issue No. 124
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
TOKYO

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CONTENTS

@@ Viewpoint: New Japanese handsets announced in Europe's mega IT show
CeBIT

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@@ Viewpoint: New Japanese handsets announced in Europe's mega IT show
CeBIT

This week at CeBIT, Europe's largest IT and Telecom show in Hannover,
Germany, the major handset manufacturers unveiled their new handsets for
the GSM and W-CDMA networks.

NEC is currently the world market leader for 3G W-CDMA-phones. Among its
new handset models for the European market is a TV-phone similar to the
one introduced last year by Vodafone Japan. NEC has not decided yet
when actual sales of this handset will start in Europe. The company has
the ambitious goal of gobbling up 15 percent of the worldwide share.

Most of NEC's growth must come from China, since its non i-mode phones
are not popular at the moment in Europe. Though NEC has recovered from
early criticisms of the dramatically short battery-life in its first
i-mode phone in Europe, it still has a long way to go and faces stiff
competition from Japanese and Korean handset suppliers.

We are most impressed by Panasonic's efforts to gain market share in
Europe. Its clam-shell GSM/WAP models are very popular in the UK, and
last week we had a blast playing with the X70 handset. The user inteface
of this handset is intiutive, and the multimedia capabilities of the
phones are excellent. After a few difficult years, Matsushita/Panasonic
is clearly on the rebound with cool consumer products. We expect more
from them in the coming months, starting with smartphones based on the
Symbian 60-series. Panasonic's new G70 model appears as a circular
cosmetics-box model targeted at sophisticated young ladies. After
initial hesitation, Panasonic announed the launch of its first European
i-mode phone.

Following Vodafone's successful moves, T-Mobile has tied up with
Sharp to introduce carrier-branded handsets. The TM100 Sharp phone has
a vivid screen featuring 260,000 colors and a VGA-camera.

For sustainable growth, Japanese handset makers better take a close
look at the aggressive marketing of Korean giant Samsung. This company
is on its way to becoming the second largest handset supplier after
Nokia, surpassing Motorola. Samsung's time-to-market for its new
models is impressive and will be difficult to beat.

3G will finally be introduced by the larger European carrier groups
in major German cities. The initial focus is to enable data-
communications for business users. We talked to a few test-users of
these services who were quite satisfied with the bandwidth.

Maximum downstream speeds were 384kbps. Changing the connection from
the 3G network to GPRS takes tens of seconds, which can be annoying
for the stressed-out businessman.

Unlike in Japan, German carriers are considering offering an all-in-
one package that includes GPRS, 3G and WiFi. Not a bad move, as
there will be a dearth of appealing 3G applications and handsets in
the next six months.

-- Arjen van Blokland

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STAFF
Written by Arjen van Blokland; Edited by Roland Kelts
(editors@japaninc.com)

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