WW-157 -- Blackberry makes entry into Japanese market

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

Commentary on the Business of Wireless in Japan
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Issue No. 157
Wednesday October 4, 2006
Tokyo

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CONTENTS
+ Viewpoint: Blackberry makes entry into Japanese market

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Blackberry makes entry into Japanese market

DoCoMo started selling the Blackberry 8707h in the Japanese
market on September 26. The device supports the 3G-(W-CDMA),
GSM- and GPRS-networks and is similar to the Blackberry 8707
sold outside Japan. DoCoMo initially targets foreign
companies with this Blackberry - the key board is a
QWERTY-type. Japanese language is only partly supported -
Japanese mail and web pages are viewable but it is not
possible to input Japanese. I-mode is not supported and
the device does not feature a camera either.

The Blackberry Enterprise Solution integrates with Microsoft
Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise for secure
wireless access to e-mail and other corporate information -
the killer application that made the Blackberry so successful
in the US and Europe. The Blackberry comes at a monthly
rental fee of JPY 5,985 per handset without data.
The pake-hodai flat data rate plan does not apply.
Foreign companies will not bother about these fees but prices
should drop if DoCoMo wants to target the mass
business-to-employee market.

Why has the Blackberry make such a late entry into the Japanese
mobile market? Until recently Blackberry devices did not support
3G (W-CDMA) networks. Furthermore, DoCoMo has probably waited
until RIM's (Blackberry's manufacturer) patent issues were
settled.

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Will the Blackberry become successful in Japan? E-mail is the
most widely used data service since the introduction of
browser phones in Japan in 1999. Unlike the western world,
Japanese mobile phones had an email client pre-installed
that allowed sending and receiving emails to any e-mail
address. PHS-provider Willcom is already successful with
the W-Zero - a PDA-type phone equipped with a key-board.
The W-Zero provides full Japanese language support and
flat data rates - a better proposition than DoCoMo's
Blackberry. Blackberry's success will mainly depend on
how much RIM is willing to invest in the Japanese market
- is it willing to design special phones that support
convenient and fast input of Japanese characters and
i-mode? Until that time, expect only expatriates trying
to impress the girls in Roppongi with their e-mail gadget
to use the Blackberry.
-- Arjen van Blokland
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STAFF
Written by Arjen van Blokland; edited by the
J at pan Inc staff (editors at japaninc.com)

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Comments

Please, can anybody inform me of the way or the place to get my BB 8300 work in Tokyo??

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