December 19, 2014

Android Going to Japan

For those not watching too closely, NTT DocoMo is a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). The Japanese carrier has announced plans to sell Android based handsets in Japan by 2009. Rumors indicate that the chosen model is the HTC Dream / G1.

This good news for the Japanese Android’s Fans was brought by Ryuji Yamada, DoCoMo’s president.

NTT DoCoMo will also be carrying some other high profile handsets, like RIM’s latest handset, the BlackBerry Bold.  The Bold will be available in Japan in the first quarter 2009.

Via 3GWeek Asia



  • http://www.intomobile.com Simon
  • Randy Fesse

    I find it hard to believe that NTT Docomo would release the G1 in Japan. Have you seen current Docomo phones?

    http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/foma/906i/index.html

    They are years ahead of western phones with features like VGA screens, one-seg tv, high quality cameras and the G1 form factor is not popular in Japan. If the G1 is released it will be just as a curiosity for Google fan boys. I’m hoping for a 907 series Android phone from a quality Japanese manufacturer like Toshiba, Sharp, NEC maybe even Sony.

  • Randy Fesse

    I find it hard to believe that NTT Docomo would release the G1 in Japan. Have you seen current Docomo phones?

    http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/foma/906i/index.html

    They are years ahead of western phones with features like VGA screens, one-seg tv, high quality cameras and the G1 form factor is not popular in Japan. If the G1 is released it will be just as a curiosity for Google fan boys. I’m hoping for a 907 series Android phone from a quality Japanese manufacturer like Toshiba, Sharp, NEC maybe even Sony.

  • fh

    @Randy Fesse
    All four national carriers in Japan are already (or will soon be) carrying HTC devices, and are showing positive sales growth. Even the iPhone 3G enjoyed a good start, though the lack of emoji/MMS has effectively killed its momentum.

    WVGA displays, 1seg, keitai-saifu, and so on are definitely high-tech features, but they are not the core must-haves that make up the majority of cellphone use in Japan. And therein the G1 has the potential to sell.

    In reality, if DoCoMo releases the G1, it might not be able to sell very many units (owing to the G1’s aesthetics and lack of specific hardware features). But more important is for it to be the first carrier to offer Android, since Softbank and KDDI have been growing rapidly, and (more relevant to Android) since e-Mobile has some extremely competitive data plans.

  • Chris Ainsley

    Having lived in Japan for several years and had experience of many Docomo phones and I can state that the ergonomics of Docomo phones are a huge detriment to their feature list. As functions have been added to successive generations of Docomo phones, the average responsiveness, menu navigation speed and predictive kanji recognition have been either stagnent (and slow) or getting slower.

    Last weekend I tried all the phones in the 907 range for ergonomics and speed of use and all phones tested were light years ahead of the speed of KDDI phones. I’m not sure why Docomo phones are so universally terrible but an Andoid model may just be what the doctor orders but it all comes down to the localisation.

    Writing mails should be a single button press and predictive kanji should take milliseconds, not tens of milliseconds. KDDI phones (Sanyo is a very good example) are light years ahead. Most predictive kanji libraries charge a fee to handset vendors and Docomo certainly has the short end of the stick with their vendor. Android requires an open vendor to keep the platform open. I’m concerned this may be a sub-par implementation that will be offputting to the Japanese. It is very important to get the localisation just right and for the localisation to be entirely standard.

  • Chris Ainsley

    A typo:

    “Last weekend I tried all the phones in the 907 range for ergonomics and speed of use and all phones tested were light years ahead of the speed of KDDI phones”

    What I meant to say was

    “Last weekend I tried all the phones in the Docomo 907 range for ergonomics and speed of use and all phones tested were light years behind the speed of equivilent KDDI phones “

  • Ken

    I use a HTC 1100 in Japan right now. If the G1 comes out I will get it for sure. Just removes another level of making sure all of my contact info and scheduling is right. When you schedule is busy and full… those 900 series phones of Docomo just don’t cut it… especially if you lose your phone and all your appointments with it.

  • http://www.mobile.ie Mark @ Mobile Phones

    I for one will be happy to the Android rollout to different markets in the next year. I wasn’t to sure about the Japanese market until I had a look at the post from Chris.

  • http://syabac.student.ipb.ac.id syabac

    Android expand the market..