WW-169 -- Keitai for Kids

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Commentary on the Business of Wireless in Japan

Issue No. 169
Thursday December 20, 2007

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Keitai for Kids – Security in a safe country

DoCoMo successfully taps into the market segment for children.
The first generation kids' phone, the SA800i, was introduced in
March 2006. It turned out to be a long-seller with more than 400
thousand phones sold. This month, a second generation phone is
launched – the F801i from Fujitsu. What is so special about these
kids' phones?

Although Japan is a rather safe place, parents are very much
concerned about the whereabouts of their kids. DoCoMo tailored
a bunch of security services for these concerned parents. The
kids' phones have built-in GPS. For 210 yen per month they can
subscribe for a special location-based service called 'Ima Doco'
– 'where are you now?'. From their mobile phone or PC, parents
can notify the phone of their kid to send the location
coordinates. The location is then displayed on a map. Kids can
also notify their parents of their location with one push on a
button of their phone. The Fujitsu phone is also equipped with an
emergency buzzer. When the phone strap or battery is removed, a
100 decibel alarm starts buzzing and an emergency message is send
to the parent with the location. A wrist watch is sold as an
additional accessory. By pushing a button on the watch, the phone
can be located. At the same time the phone is locked. In case the
phone is not unlocked within five minutes, a location
notification is send. With more than 500 thousand subscribers,
'Ima Doco' is one of the most popular services in the i-mode

Like all other DoCoMo phones, the kids' phone gives access to
i-mode services. Kids can access special content through the
i-menu – the mobile services portal top page. Categories are
'learn,' 'search,' 'ring tones,' 'wall papers,' 'games,' 'mail,'
and 'search location.' Through a special i-mode filter, an access
level can be set to prevent kids from browsing to dating sites or
other content that is not suitable for young viewers. Another
feature blocks access to all i-mode services between 10pm and

The F801i is IPX5/IPX7 qualified which denotes that the phone is
capable of temporary immersion down to 1 meter. DoCoMo did not
forget that kids like to play with toys. The dial-pad can be set
like a scale – the musical notes sound when the corresponding
keys are pushed.

DoCoMo will start selling the phone on December 20th, just in
time for the Christmas shopping season. We bet the kids will be
happier with the latest game software than a phone that tracks
their location.

By Arjen Van Blokland

To comment on this newsletter please visit the website version of
the article at www.japaninc.com/ww169


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---------------- ICA Event - Jan 16 -----------------------

Event: New Year Mixer Party-Joint event with
the American Chamber (ACCJ)

Overview: An evening of fun, games, salsa dancers, dancing,
prizes, drinks, and delicious food
Details: Complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
(RSVP Required)

Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Time: 7:30-9:30, includes open bar, finger food.
Open ended nijikai at same location
Cost: 6,000 yen (members), 6,500 yen (non-members)
Open to all-venue is 57 - Roppongi 4-2-35, Tel. 03-5775-7857


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------Metropolis Magazine Valentine`s Glitterball-------

Glitterball is back!
Tokyo's favorite party makes its triumphant return on
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An institution for nearly a decade, the Metropolis-hosted
Glitterball was on hiatus this year due to the closing of
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Roppongi hotspot Alife will host over 1,000 V-Day revelers
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Prize drawings, swag bags, and Tokyo's funnest crowd will make
the reborn Glitterball the highlight of the Tokyo social calendar.



Some of our readers have asked us why there are more Ima Doco subscribers than SA800i phones sold in the market. The reason is that Ima Doco services are available for more handset types than just the SA800i.

Don't know how he did it but my 12 year old kid managed to make an application for an using the web provided on his phone. I wasn't aware he has internet access and I got a paper home stating I can get the loan. I did some research and found the guilty part. I instantly bought him one of these kid phones because it's safer.

I like the design from Keitai, as I know, another phone design for kids is fireflymobile, specifily its keypad, the unique keypad is very fun, it has dedicated keys for Mom and Dad and 5 way navigation key to navigate the features and play games. other good design is my kids browser, for children, the input-mode is very important, Doco should provide more kids-style services, not only one phone.