Feeds

Java phones to go mega this year?

Here we go looking for killer apps again...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Japan's number three mobile phone company, J-Phone, has claimed another 370,600 users for its 'picture phone' service in the last month, bringing the total up to just under 4 million, or a third of its total users. Rivals KDDI and DoCoMo are also offering high bandwidth, high ticket picture services, and the success of such systems in Japan offers western operators some entrancing clues as to how they can make money out of broadband services, and high-spec handsets.

Speaking to The Register at the recent GSM World Congress Sun representatives predicted a boom this year for Java handsets. All three of the major Japanese networks have deployed them successfully; they account for 25 per cent of DoCoMo's shipments, and J-Phone has shipped its 4 million phones with built-in camera since last July. Worldwide Sun expects Java handsets to top 100 million this year.

A return of the boom-days fuelled by picture phones, broadband and chargeable services however depends on the operators and whatever partners they sign actually having these services ready to roll. And while pictures play in Japan, how sure are we that the rest of the world will want to play? The mobile phone companies now wisely say that they've learned from texting, which took them by surprise, so they're not going to get caught out by the Next Big Thing. But is it pictures? Games? Soft porn?

Knowing you fluffed it once, and knowing there are several possible areas where the consumer's imagination may be set on fire, is not the same thing as being able to avoid fluffing it a second time.

The networks later this year will have large numbers of expensive phones which they'll want to get into the hands of consumers. If they've got great, compelling services to roll at the same time, then the phones may walk out of the doors. But otherwise, they'll find themselves spending heavily on subsidies and waiting for the service to take off, so that they can get their money back. It's a challenge, to say the least, because while Japan is frequently a phenomenon, it is not always a signpost. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.