Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fancy Phones

Ten new models of cell phones were announced yesterday from au (KDDI) and NTT DoCoMo respectively like they do every 3 months. Softbank didn't make its announcement the same day but I'm pretty sure they're going to do so in a short while. au and DoCoMo are going to have four more models each so for spring there will be 14 kinds of new designs coming out from each carrier.

Because spring is the beginning of the new school year or office year, it is the most busiest time for cell phone companies. A good load of students entering a new school is likely to get new phones as well as freshmen in office because they're going to be using their phones for business on top of private.
Therefore the energy the phone companies give to the spring models is more than extraordinary. They've got to get new customers, and especially after the distinctive victory and defeat among the three companies in the battle of the introduction of the number portability system, they're all going almost mad.

The models for DoCoMo focused on the appearance, of making it thinner and lighter than the previous models. Most of the new ones have the function of wallet-mobile in which your phone carries e-money meaning you can make payments with your phone by just touching a panel with it. This function was only included in the higher and more expensive models, but because the function and system spread wider they made the function more handy for all people.

au, the winner of the number portability battle strengthened the quality of displays and media contents. Not that the displays weren't as good as others, it just made them clearer and more smoother. But more than anything, I think the difference between au and the other two is the passion in designing. au has this project called "design project" which releases models that focuses on artistic designs on top of the spec of the phone, and the ones in this project are designed by the designers of the day or next-generation designers. It was only a couple of days ago that I heard in the news that four models from this design project are going to be kept and displayed in MoMa for its artisticness. The newest one, by the way, looks simple but is covered by this special kind of smooth material that feels soft and comfortable on your skin. They even say it's a new kind of skin. I'd like to feel what it's like, though I'm not sure if I want to have it as my own...

You can read the
mobile article on Japan Mode if you want to know more about Japanese cell phones and what kinds of elements have higher priority in making, selling and buying cell phones in Japan.

Okie, I have to make this short cuz I'm really super running out of time.

Today's update:
Sakidori Events - Major cultural events in February vol.2: there're five all together but I'll add more in the upcoming week. They're all big events and are very Japanese so even if you can't come you might want to have a look of what kinds of events are being held over the winter. I also got lots of help from city offices so there's a good lot of pictures too.

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