WW-95 -- Natsuno and Ai Kato Launch 505i; and WWJ - Facing a Transition - Solicits Euro Feedback

Wireless Watch Japan Mail Magazine
Commentary on the Business of Wireless in Japan
Issue No. 95, Tokyo, Wednesday, April 9, 2003
Subscribe for free: http://www.wirelesswatchjapan.com
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in this issue
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++ Viewpoint: Natsuno and Ai Kato Launch 505i; and WWJ - Facing a
Transition - Solicits Euro Feedback

++ Advertorial (promotion):
>> Access Your Mail Accounts via Your Cell Phone

++ Wireless Notes
** DoCoMo Finger Scanner Boo-Boo with Fujitsu Celly

++ Noteworthy News
--> NTT DoCoMo Unveils 505i Series i-mode-compatible Mobile Phones
--> Japan Adds More Than One Million 3G Subscribers in March
--> Access, Adobe to Develop PDF Browsers for Non-PC Devices
--> ROBODEX 2003 Showcases Humanoid Robots, Astro Boy Featured

++ Events (promotion)
>> SECOND ROUNDTABLE ON BRANDING IN JAPAN
>> ICA EVENT - Steven D. Fitz of EMC on Building Robust Business

++ Sign of the Times
"Printing Giant Entertained Gangster for 20 Years"

++ Subscriber statistics, corrections, credits, administrivia

----------------------------------

++ Viewpoint: Natsuno and Ai Kato Launch 505i; and WWJ - Facing a Transition - Solicits
Euro Feedback

The WWJ mail newsmagazine is a little late this week due, primarily, to extra time
required to keep up with all the recent developments.

First and foremost has to be Tuesday's NTT DoCoMo launch announcement and press conference
for the 505i-series - the next generation of the carrier's 2G i-mode terminals.

Among the six (from Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson), you'll
find enhanced Java, mobile Flash display capability, enhanced onboard memory, removable
memory sticks, a 1.3-megapixel camera, QVGA-resolution displays, finger-print-scanning
authentication, and enhanced i-mode mail (see first news item below).

My first impression was that DoCoMo has now entered a "post-packet-fee" era. By this I
mean that the company is no longer merely fixated on deploying features and services that
boost individual packet usage and ARPU; this has been the sine qua non of mobile carriers
in this country since the dawn of i-mode.

Now, with 1.3-megapixel cameras, extensive use of removable memory, a high-tech
fingerprint reader/scanner built-in, and other non-packet-generating features, DoCoMo has
clearly decided to make the phones uber-sexy so as to grab market share and stem the churn
over to KDDI (and - to a lesser extent - J-Phone). Who cares how many packets 505i users
generate, so long as they actually buy one of these babies and make lots of voice calls
(still the cash cow for DoCoMo); Oh - and you can take pretty decent snaps with it, too,
even if you never send a pic over the network.

In any event, all that technology in one place was enough to make a guy forget that it was
the drop-dead gorgeous teen idol Ai Kato up on stage cooing about how great the phones
were (OK - not quite enough...).

As WWJ video producer Lawrence Cosh-Ishii wryly pointed out, the contrast between this
week's DoCoMo extravaganza and J-Phone's December 2002 3G launch press event couldn't have
been starker. Then, the traditionally teen-market-focused J-Phone guys went out of their
way to look, act, and appear ultra-buttoned-down and uber-corporate - in keeping with the
business target audience of their new Vodafone Global roaming services.

On the other hand, DoCoMo - a traditionally plodding, corporate entity that regularly runs
B&W snaps of their president in full-page newspaper ads touting their technology - bent
over backwards to emphasize the youth-centric appeal of the sexy new i-mode handset
series.

Natsuno-san, co-creator of i-mode, was on stage wearing a cream-colored suit with no tie,
while the firm must have written an I-don't-know-how-big cheque to get the (apparently)
keitai fan Kato to try out the new models first-hand; La Kato appeared surprised to find
camera-quality digital photo capabilities in the new phones. Maybe teen idols don't get
out to Akihabara much?

We got some great footage as well as an interview with Natsuno-san, and will put it
together for you in an upcoming WWJ video program.

Big D has recently rolled out a watch-phone that runs on the PHS network, a GPS-enabled
handset (their first consumer mass-market device so enabled), and an e-commerce payment
system that uses the IR port for POS terminal communications (see additional news items
below). Whew!

----

The other big news is much more personal and represents a transition for WWJ.

After an intended two-year Japan stint that has surprisingly turned into nine years, my
wife and I have decided to accept a transfer with her employer to Europe, and we'll
relocate to the Frankfurt area this summer. After more than two years of thoroughly
enjoyable weekly work on this newsmagazine, my last issue will come out at the end of this
month.

Present plans also foresee at least a temporary pause in the WWJ video newsmagazine
series, but be aware that we've got enough footage in the can to present several more WWJ
video newsmagazines to you even after my participation in the newsletter ends.

I won't get all maudlin and teary-eyed just now - I'll save that for my last issue on Apr.
28. ;-) But I am getting excited about the move. I realized the other day that I know much
less about the European mobile industry than about Japan's - naturally enough.

Herewith, I'd like to query you, the loyal and keen WWJ readers (some 30% of whom are in
Europe, according to last fall's subscriber survey), on what an outsider needs to know
about Europe's mobile Internet.

What are the companies, technologies, business models, and content services serving to
boost the future? What - and who - matters most? Which will triumph: i-mode or Vodafone
Live? Can Japanese terminal makers kick their way into the market? And will the Open
Mobile Alliance boost Europe's wireless industry far ahead of Japan's - given sufficient
buy-in from content providers and software creators?

Please don't hesitate to drop me a note (mail address below) - even if just a few lines -
to provide your feedback; I'll collect and collate the responses and present them to all
in next week's WWJ (please send by 12:00 JST, Monday, April 14).

-- Daniel Scuka
daniel@wirelesswatchjapan.com

NTT DoCoMo 505i-series Launch Announcement and Specs
http://www.nttdocomo.com/current_information/product/pressrelease/articl...
0.html

Pop idol Ai Kato
http://www.interq.or.jp/saab/accbbkat/kato/ai115.htm

++ Advertorial (promotion)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Access Your Mail Accounts via Your Cell Phone

"classY Mobile" (pronounced "class Y") lets cell-phone users access private and work
e-mail accounts via Internet-capable mobile phones. classY Mobile also allows users to
respond to messages with the e-mail address of their choice, and to delete unwanted "spam"
messages.

** Message from Nelson Fung, creator of classY Mobile:

Although there are similar products on the market (which are on the official menu of NTT
DoCoMo!), I went ahead and developed classY Mobile because existing services are
difficult to use, offer too many features, and are relatively expensive. In contrast,
classY Mobile is easy-to-use and offers only needed features. classY Mobile is available
now in both Japanese and English versions for EZweb, i-mode, and J-Sky subscribers.
Moreover, unlike our competitors, classY supports access to POP3 and IMAP mail servers.

Various Japanese businesses and individuals have tested classY Mobile over the last 12
months. However, knowing that our Japanese users tend not to complain and report bugs, I
am now looking for interested parties to give our system some serious thrashing!

Japan-based users can sign-up for free at: http://classY.jp/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

++ Wireless Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

** DoCoMo Finger Scanner Boo-Boo with Fujitsu Celly
During the 505i launch event on Tuesday, Takeshi Natsuno was on stage to demonstrate the
F505i's capabilities - including the fingerprint reader used to authenticate access to the
phone's address book, mail, picture store, and scheduler. When Natsuno applied his finger
onto the reader platen glass (located at the bottom of the phone), **nothing happened!**
"OK - we'll try that later," he added somewhat sheepishly, after waiting for some 30
seconds....

Now to be fair, the phones on demo were all pre-production models and the company said it
will still take up to three months to get them ready to hit the market; presumably, any
interface flaws will be solved by then. But on the other hand, they wouldn't have tried to
demo the fingerprint reader if they hadn't thought it was ready for prime time. ;-( Early
adopters: be forewarned.

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++ Noteworthy News
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--> NTT DoCoMo Unveils 505i Series i-mode-compatible Mobile Phones
Equipped for Macromedia Flash & Enhanced Java-Based Applications
http://www.nttdocomo.com/current_information/product/pressrelease/articl...
Source: DoCoMo PR, Apr. 8

EXTRACT: NTT DoCoMo today unveiled specifications of its new 505i mobile phones, a series
of six enhanced PDC (2G)-compatible models equipped for advanced i-appli applications
based on Macromedia Flash and Java technology. Each 505i model also comes with a camera,
infrared port, and external memory slot. DoCoMo expects to introduce the models one by one
beginning in mid-May.

COMMENTS: A quick summary of specifications:

* Macromedia Flash browser for rich content
The 505i-series incorporates Macromedia Flash in the microbrowser, allowing users to
access a broad range of rich content and applications enhanced with highly fluid
animation.

* Enhanced i-appli ("i-appli DX")
The 505i series is equipped for "i-appli DX," a new service from DoCoMo, to handle a wider
range of Java-enabled content. A 200-KB scratch pad, double the size of scratch pads in
the former 504i- and 504iS-series models, enables more data to be downloaded at one time,
thus reducing required number of connections. You can also have more applis onboard that
each receive a chunk of dedicated memory area to save persistent data like games state,
user ID and PW, etc. You can also now have more than one appli running at once and
"hot-switch" between them, just like you can with applications running on a Windows
desktop PC. There are other enhancements that make the onboard Java environment much more
similar to that of a PDA or desktop.

* Enhanced storage capacity
Enhanced storage capacity enables 505i models to store up to 20KB of data for browser
pages and ringing tones each, meaning, for example longer, better-quality ringing tones.

* Extra-friendly i-mode mail
Already used on FOMA (3G), users can decide in advance which mail messages to download by
checking each mail's subject line, sender name, and receipt date/time (helps cut down on
spam packet fees).

* Extremely high-resolution cameras
Each 505i phone is equipped with a high-resolution camera for taking still pictures. Some
models offer resolutions of 1 to 1.3 megapixels, similar to that of a low-end digital
camera; some can also take video clips (although you can't transmit the clips via the
network). Cameras can also read JAN- and QR-standard barcodes for easy retrieval of data
from printed materials.

* External memory storage
505i phones accept "Memory Stick Duo" and "miniSD" memory cards for data storage and data
exchange.

Spec sheet:
http://www.nttdocomo.com/current_information/product/file/20030408132921...

----------------------------------

--> Japan Adds More Than One Million 3G Subscribers in March
http://www.digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article.asp?datePublish=2003/04/08&pag...
Source: DigiTimes.com, Apr. 8

EXTRACT: More than one million users signed up for 3G mobile phone services in March in
Japan, helped largely by surging 3G subscribers from KDDI, according to Japan痴
Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA). KDDI, Japan痴 second-largest mobile phone
service provider, added about 914,100 3G subscribers. NTT DoCoMo continued to see growing
3G subscribers; The carrier added 138,400 new FOMA subscribers in March, nearly tripling
the accounts it added in February.

Commentary: Tokyo CSFB analyst Mark Berman wrote in a report to investors that Japan's net
cellular additions rose 15 percent (year-on-year) to 1.29 million. Significantly, DoCoMo's
share of net adds rebounded to 49 percent. He also pointed out that KDDI had its "best
month yet for CDMA 1X," adding 914,100 subscribers for a total of 6.81 million - although
this figure was just short of the carrier's stated goal of 7 million by end-March 2004.
Berman also cited March as FOMA's "best month yet" - with 138,400 new subscribers. This
brought the DoCoMo 3G W-CDMA user base to 330,000 (slightly ahead of the company's
much-revised full-year forecast). It appears impossible for FOMA to ever catch up to CDMA
1X - and will certainly be so as long as DoCoMo keeps rolling out killer 2G handsets like
the 505i-series!

----------------------------------

--> Access, Adobe to Develop PDF Browsers for Non-PC Devices
http://neasia.nikkeibp.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/news/241117
Source: NEAsia Online, Apr. 9

EXTRACT: Access said Tuesday that it has tied up with US software developer Adobe Systems
to enable car navigation systems and Internet-accessible home appliances to read PDF
(portable document format) files. Users must pay for software to convert files into PDF,
an electronic text format that Adobe developed, but can download software for read-only
access free of charge. Other than for personal computers, there are currently few browsers
for reading PDF files.

COMMENTARY: Adobe's PDF format is a de facto Web standard for cross-platform document
viewing. It only makes sense to create a viewer that works with a cell phone browser.
Looks like the celly is becoming even more like a PC.

----------------------------------

--> ROBODEX 2003 Showcases Humanoid Robots, Astro Boy Featured
http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/frm/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/news/24...
Source: NEAsia Online, Apr. 8

EXTRACT: ROBODEX 2003, a four-day exhibition featuring various robots, was held at the
Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama April 3-6. The robots on display included pet robots, ASIMO
and other human-shaped robots, and some others with different purposes. Many robots were
seen with various capabilities for doing household chores. Housekeeping robots were also
abundant. They are less than one meter high. Many of them had an adorable design with
practical capabilities. Such capabilities included climbing over steps with dexterity and
monitoring a residence while its owner is away from home. The house-sitting robot MARON-1
[has] adorable eyes. It measures some 30cm wide x 30cm high, a size small enough for
household use [and is] remotely operated with a mobile phone handset.

COMMENTARY: Robotics and wireless are an interesting intersection of technologies and this
is one of the first times I've seen mention of a keitai-controlled 'bot at Robodex.
Doubtless, wireless control will expand as robots become more mobile. One of Honda's
walking bots can now attain 3 kilometers per hour.

We didn't cover this as a WWJ video program, but video producer Lawrence Cosh-Ishii did
swing by to grab some footage. You can see the celly-controlled robot as well as many
others on his site at: http://www.video-link.com/jpn.htm.

++ Events (promotion)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> ICA EVENT - Steven D. Fitz of EMC on Building Robust Business

How do great companies protect their business and retain customer value when confronted
with crisis? As the world's leading networked storage provider, an astonishing 95% of
Fortune 500 Financial Services companies have selected EMC to protect their business from
the "unexpected." Steven D. Fitz is president of EMC Japan KK and managing director, Asia
Pacific, for EMC Corporation.

RSVP REQUIRED
If you would like to attend please RSVP on our sign-up page at:
http://www.icajapan.jp/signup.html
by 17:00 Tue. April 15, 2003.

MEETING DETAILS
Thursday April 17, 2003
Time: 6:30 Doors open
6:30 Networking / Cash bar
7:00 Dinner
7:35 Main Presentation
8:30 Q&A

Yurakucho Denki Building, Foreign Correspondents' Club
http://www.fccj.or.jp/static/aboutus/map.php
Cost: 3,000 yen (members) 5,500 yen (non-members)
No shows will be charged. Dinner will be served.

>> SECOND ROUNDTABLE ON BRANDING IN JAPAN
WIN A FREE TICKET TO ATTEND THE SECOND ROUNDTABLE ON BRANDING IN JAPAN

Brand Mythology: results-driven strategies to leverage the brand story
Four Seasons Hotel, Tokyo
Wednesday May 28th 2003
http://210.176.233.138/published/asia/branding/JapanInc/form.htm

Main issues to be discussed:
- Fusion of the brand and business strategy
- Brand management in crisis and recession
- Delivering global brands in foreign markets
- B2B targeted versus consumer sector branding
- Global and local case studies of failure and success

Online registration is available at:
http://210.176.233.138/published/asia/branding/JapanInc/form.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

++ Sign of the Times
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Printing Giant Entertained Gangster for 20 Years
http://www12.mainichi.co.jp/news/mdn/search-news/874900/mobile-0-1.html
Mainichi Shimbun, Mar. 26
Toppan Printing Co., a giant in the industry, entertained a senior gangster who is also
known as a corporate racketeer for 20 years, its president admitted Wednesday. Two
Toppan board members have resigned to take responsibility for their role in maintaining
collusive relations with the gang boss. Since 1984, the two former board members wined
and dined the 61-year-old senior member of an affiliate of the Sumiyoshi-kai crime
syndicate and invited him to participate in golf competitions organized by the company.
At the instruction of the board members, the company also footed the bills for a mobile
phone the gang boss used.

... I wonder what sort of packet usage fees a wireless Web-surf'in gangster racks up? ...

Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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STAFF
WWJ Video Newsmagazine host & research:
Daniel Scuka (daniel@wirelesswatchjapan.com)

WWJ Mail Newsletter editor & host:
Daniel Scuka (daniel@wirelesswatchjapan.com)

WWJ Sr. Contributing Editor:
Michael Thuresson (mthuresson@labusinessjournal.com)

WWJ Video Newsmagazine digital media producer:
Lawrence Cosh-Ishii (lcosh-ishii@wirelesswatchjapan.com)

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS:
webmaster@wirelesswatchjapan.com

Text copyright (C) 2003 WirelessWatchJapan.com. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole
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