Cell phones in Japan are not like the rest of the world. ?They are among the most advanced in the world! ?But is that really a surprise considering Japan is always coming out with interesting new electronic gadgets within their electronic culture? ?The first citywide cellular network emerged in Japan in the late 1970s with a car phone (remember those??) then evolved from there into what we know as a cell phone and the cell phone industry today.
The biggest cell phone companies in Japan are NTT DoCoMo, au, Softbank Mobile, Emobile and Willcom (PHS). ?As of May 2011, NTTDoCoMo had over 58 million subscribers and was by far the largest provider in Japan. ?au had approximately 33 million subscribers, SoftBank Mobile 25 million, Willcom 3.8 million and Emobile had 3.1 million subscribers.
A standard Japanese cell phone is internet and email ready, unlike many U.S. phones that are still just standard phones without all the bells and whistles. ?You can even use them as boarding passes and such obscure things as a body-fat calculator. ?Of course, in the U.S., on such phones as the Iphone and many smartphones, you can find such obscure programs and you can use your phone as a boarding pass, which has only been in large scale usage very recently. ?The Japanese have been using their phones as boarding passes at least since 2008, if not before. ?Japanese cell phones have had capabilities that many other phones in the U.S. and other countries have only just started using full scale. ?For example, Japanese phones had email capabilities in 1999, cameras in 2000, 3G networks in 2001, full music downloads in 2002, electronic payments in 2004 and digital TV in 2005. ?Other features on a basic Japanese cell phone include doubling as a personal computer will full web browser capabilities, as well as pdf and word files; a gaming machine with games such as Final Fantasy and other RPGs; ground wave television; digital cash service; use as a Reward Card/membership card at stores with such programs; face recognition and fingerprint function as a security measure; and more!
According?to Zaikei News Paper, 36milion cell phones were sold in 2010. The biggest seller of cell phone was Sharp. Sharp archived 24.5% market share in 2010, 2nd place is Fujitu/Toshiba had 17.1%, 3rd place was NEC/Casio, 4th place was Panasonic.
http://www.losttechnology.jp/k-tai/?(accessed June 26, 2011)
http://www.zaikei.co.jp/article/20110311/68717.html?(accessed June 26, 2011)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/technology/20cell.html?(accessed June 28, 2011)