J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Japan Newsmagazine:


Commentary on the Business of Wireless in Japan

Issue No. 78 (Lite Version)
Monday, October 28, 2002

+++ Noteworthy News
--> Sharp to Ship Vodafone 400,000 Camera Phones by Dec.
--> Namco, Taito to Distribute Games Via Vodafone
--> Kenwood to Halt Mobile Phone Production
--> Book Review: DoCoMo Soars by Tapping Power of Emotions

+++ Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia


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+++ Noteworthy News
(Long URLs may break across two lines so copy to your browser.)

--> Sharp to Ship Vodafone 400,000 Camera Phones by Dec.
Source: Reuters, Oct. 25

EXTRACT: Japan's Sharp Corp. said on Friday it planned to ship 400,000 camera
phones to British mobile phone giant Vodafone Group by December in a bid to take
its domestic success overseas. Sharp, Japan's third-largest mobile phone handset
maker, said it had recently started shipping Vodafone its foldaway handsets
equipped with a digital camera and a large colour screen. The handsets are
already available in the US market, but this would be Sharp's first cell phone
shipment to Europe, a company spokesman said.

COMMENTARY: Sharp was the source for J-Phone's first Sha-mail camera-equipped
handsets back in late 2000, and it is now also supplying similar models to NTT
DoCoMo under the i-shot brand name. Make sure you tune into the the WWJ video
program next week (Monday, November 4) for our report from the CEATEC 2002 show.
The annual gathering of the big consumer electronics makers at Makuhari Messe
was pure eye candy, and we got a few shots of upcoming 3G handsets.
Surprisingly, shares in Sharp (which is also the largest LCD display maker in
Japan) closed last Friday down 0.19 percent at 1,060 yen (while the Nikkei
average rose 1.30 percent).


--> Namco, Taito to Distribute Games Via Vodafone
Source: Nikkei on Yahoo, Oct. 25

EXTRACT: Three Japanese video game companies will distribute titles to mobile
phone users outside Japan jointly with Vodafone Group Plc, sources close to the
matter said Thursday, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports in its Friday morning
edition. Namco, Taito, and G-Mode are expected to expand the service eventually
to 28 countries, keeping pace with the growth of the Internet access service of
the world's top mobile phone company. The phone company will begin on Thursday
its Vodafone Live Net access service for 2.5-generation cellular phones based on
the General Pocket Radio Service, or GPRS system. The Japanese suppliers will
start distributing games at the same time.

COMMENTARY: This is one of the first concrete examples of Vodafone's investment
in J-Phone finally paying off in the transfer of revenue-producing technology
out of Japan and into Europe. Of course, they didn't have to buy a controlling
interest in Japan Telecom (J-Phone's parent) to cut a deal with the Java game
makers, but it sure helps. First handsets, now Java games. What riches will
Vodafone next reap from its Japan investment? We think marketing savvy is high
on the list.


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people in Japan -- invites you to participate in a special Law/Legal
ad section scheduled for the January 2003 issue.

The January 2003 special ad section will feature the major companies
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--> Kenwood to Halt Mobile Phone Production
Source: Nikkei on Yahoo, Oct. 25

EXTRACT: Japan's Kenwood Corp. will stop producing mobile phones at the end of
October, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Saturday reported in its Saturday morning
edition, citing company sources. The firm will halt output at a subsidiary in
Yamagata Prefecture and turn the unit into a production base for industrial
wireless equipment. The subsidiary plans to reduce its work force of nearly 400
to about 150 through a voluntary retirement program and other means. Kenwood
aims to put its restructuring efforts on track by concentrating on areas where
it retains competitiveness, such as in-car devices.

COMMENTARY: While interesting (this is one of the first reports we've seen
wherein a Japanese handset maker has said it would cease all production) this is
neither surprising nor hugely significant. Kenwood is only a midsize maker
mobile phones for J-Phone (700,000 unit output in fiscal 2001). Kenwood entered
the mobile phone business (in the US) in 1991, and in Japan in 1994. The move is
animated in large part by business losses and restructuring.

JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association), has
already released figures showing that domestic shipments of mobile phone
handsets (cellular and PHS) declined 1.8 percent from a year earlier to 50.77
million units in fiscal 2001, registering the first year-on-year fall. Last
month, PHS handsets in particular suffered some serious declines. Makers are,
obviously, struggling to balance shrinking revenues against the deepening R&D
investment required to commercialize the latest models (with cameras, Java, and
other advanced features).


14-17 January 2003, Tokyo, Japan

As with our hugely successful 2002 event, 3GMobile World Forum 2003
will aim to present a realistic view of the 3G opportunity, and to
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--> Book Review: DoCoMo Soars by Tapping Power of Emotions
Source: Boston Globe, Oct. 27

EXTRACT: "In Japan, nearly one-third of the population already works, plays, and
shops with wireless, continuously connected to a universe of data, services, and
other people. The force responsible is a young, visionary company, with a name
that means 'anywhere' in Japanese: DoCoMo." What is DoCoMo and why is this
company so notable that a book should be devoted to it? The subtitle of John C.
Beck and Mitchell E. Wade's book dubs DoCoMo a "wireless tsunami," a moniker
that is indicative of the influence of the company in Japan's moribund
marketplace. The authors contend the secret behind the company's phenomenal
growth is due to one important factor: emotion. Strategic decisions and
headstrong personalities play a key role in this company's rise, and the authors
hammer home the power of tapping emotions as the ultimate component of DoCoMo's
astounding success, emphasizing, "in the end, what sets DoCoMo apart is passion.

COMMENTARY: We haven't read the book, so we won't comment on the thesis
directly. However, if the point is that creating i-mode took passion and some
good 'ol fashioned business smarts and bloody-mindedness, then we'll support
authors Beck and Wade. Amazon.com reviewer Mike Tarrani says, "If you are
seeking in-depth technical details you will be disappointed. However, if you are
among the target audience [upper management on the business side, marketing and
IT/IS management] you'll find this book to be one of the best in its genre for
introducing the business and strategic issues surrounding mobile commerce."

We might add that if you are looking for a more technical explanation of
i-mode, you can do no better than the "i-Mode Developer's Guide"
(ISBN 0672321882); WWJ creator Daniel Scuka is one of the coauthors and
highly recommends this book. ;-)

+++ Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia

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WWJ video newsmagazine researched, edited and hosted and email
newsletter researched and written by:
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Michael Thuresson (michael@wirelesswatchjapan.com)

WWJ video newsmagazine produced and edited by:
Lawrence Cosh-Ishii (video@wirelesswatchjapan.com)



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