WW-127 -- Phone Software Glitches -- What to Do?

============================================
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
============================================

Wireless Watch Newsletter
Issue No. 127
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
TOKYO

Subscribe for FREE:
http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/index.html?list=ww

CONTENTS

@@ Viewpoint: Phone Software Glitches -- What to Do?

============== MAY DAY/M'AIDEZ ===============

The new MAY issue of JI magazine boasts FREE online access!**

Check it out NOW:

http://www.japaninc.com

(**For a limited time; thereafter all archived contents will be
subscriber-only.)

>> INVENTOR VENGEANCE: Leo Lewis visits wacky Dr. NaKaMats -- and
shows us the inside story of this year's inventor litigation craze.
Japan's star innovators are suddenly ... making money!

>> BIZARRE BAZAAR: NPR's Lucille Craft shows us how Japan's used-car
auctioneers just might outglamor IT and tech -- and why Yokohama has
become the new home base for selling Japan's junks.

>> PAPER SKY FLIES HIGH: Two American brothers are selling Japan to
the rest of the world (http://www.paper-sky.com/new/english/). Who
says English-language media in Japan is ... dead?

PLUS: Join us at Anime Fair '04; Find out what McCann Erickson is doing
in Japan; Hop north to Hokkaido's forgotten wealth; Learn how to invest
in the freshly fecund Japan -- and have a whisky on us ... in Kansai.
=========================================
============ GET YOUR OWN DOT.COM ==============

Tired of your Hotmail or Yahoo address?
Why not get a personalized email address?
It does not cost a lot to get your own dot.com...

Domains-Japan.com offers very affordable domain registration,
and a whole range of related services such as webmail and email.
Choose from .com/net/org .us .info .biz .uk .cc .tv .ws .tm .de
and many more...

http://www.domains-japan.com
================================================

@@ Viewpoint: Phone Software Glitches -- What to Do?

DoCoMo and KDDI are experiencing problems with the quality of the firmware
on their recently released phones. KDDI had to upgrade software in its Sanyo
phones; DoCoMo has announced problems with the F900i and N900i, manufactured
by Fujitsu and NEC, respectively. In 2001, Sony took a heavy blow when it
was forced to replace hundreds of thousands of DoCoMo's SO503i phones.

While updating software for the desktop through the Internet is routine
work nowadays, firmware updates for mobile phones are much more complicated.
Software glitches often force the carrier to recall and replace the phones --
a very expensive procedure. According to Bitfone, a Laguna Niguel,
California-based company providing mobile phone firmware update solutions,
the cost impact reaches $8 billion annually.

Quality assurance by Japanese carriers, who control the value chain and
phone specifications, is still superior compared to that in Europe, where
we often experienced problems with newly released phones. But the complexity
of the latest and most sophisticated Japanese phones, and their rush to
market, leaves less time for thorough testing -- resulting in the greater
potential for firmware problems.

Bitfone claims to have the ultimate solution: over-the-air software updates
for mobile phones.

Bitfone installs a micro-client on the mobile handset that allows for a
byte-to-byte firmware update of the device. Once a firmware problem has
been identified, Bitfone's solution initiates the update via a network
"push" or subscriber "pull" method.

For now, Bitfone's challenge in Japan is to close a package deal with
DoCoMo for their new 506i and 900-series, which will be marketed this
year. The first steps have already been taken: Bitfone has already
announced agreements with SonyEricsson to support the SO505iS and
Korean SKT.

While the Korean and Japanese mobile markets are relatively easy to
enter for Bitfone (because of total control by the carriers) the GSM
markets will pose a bigger challenge.

Customers can still buy their GSM phones in independent retails shops.
Carriers do not feel responsible for firmware problems on phones not
sold under their control. Bitfone has to strike deals with the major
handset manufacturers to cover the market.

Bitfone's target market will not be limited exclusively to mobile
devices. Once each device in a car, home, or outdoors is connected
to the Internet (the ubiquitous Web society of geek dreams), over-
the-air firmware upgrades could be a breeze, saving piles in maintenance
and servicing money.

Dream on?

-- Arjen van Blokland

======================================
Nikkei Net Interactive - We put Japan's business world on your desktop.
EXCLUSIVE NEWS: Nikkei news with 100 stories daily & The Nikkei Weekly.
COMPREHENSIVE DATA: Stock quotes, profiles, financial summaries & news.
LIVE MARKET INFORMATION: Real-time quotes for Nikkei Indexes.
CUSTOMIZED SETTINGS: News filters, portfolios and e-mail alerts.
COST-EFFECTIVE: 6,300 yen per person per six months.
Register for your trial today:
http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/
======================================
============ EVENT =====================
Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo -- May Seminar

Russell Willis, President of eigoTown.com Limited will be presenting,
"geigoTown: Making A Consumer Website Work in Japan." Come out and learn
how he has generated 80,000 members, 200,000 unique visits per month and
much more.

Date: Tuesday, May 11 | Language: English
http://www.ea-tokyo.com Email: info@ea-tokyo.com
======================================
======================================
SUBSCRIBERS: 11,351 as of April 28, 2004

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

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER JAPAN-SPECIFIC NEWSLETTERS:
http://www.japaninc.com/subscribe_news.html

UNSUBSCRIBE
To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here:
http://www.japaninc.com/unsubscribe_news.html

ADVERTISING INFORMATION
To advertise in this newsletter, contact:
ads@japaninc.com

GET THE MAGAZINE
Subscribe at:
http://www.japaninc.net/mag/subs.html

FEEDBACK AND PROBLEMS
We welcome your viewpoint:
editors@japaninc.com
(NB Please do not reply to this newsletter -- it's outgoing only,
so we won't get it!)

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS:
webmaster@japaninc.com

(C) Copyright 2004 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

business