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Updated 9/7/2011
 
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/31/2011
  NEC Casio set sights on international release of "MEDIAS" brand
Monday, October 31, 2011
  Summary NEC Casio Mobile Communications formally announced its fall line on October 31st. Among the more interesting revelations is that NEC will continue to expand its MEDIAS smartphone line and also expand the line to inlcude international markets beginning with its MEDIAS WP line, the ultra-thin waterproof smartphone. NEC was clear that they intend to take into account the lessons of their past failures in entering overseas markets and feels that they need to concentrate on growing awareness of the brand. (Keitai Watch)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/13/2011
  ARROWS Tab LTE F-01D Function Review in Pictures
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
  Summary IT Media +D Mobile provides an in depth review in pictures of DoCoMo’s newest tablet the ARROWS Tab LTE F-01D. Featuring detailed pics of the networking functionality, form factor, and application functionality such as Hulu and one-seg TV. Also check out the included YouTube video to get a good idea of the speed and usability of the device. (IT Media +D Mobile )  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/29/2011
  e-mobile hold’s Galapagos (A01SH) launch event in Akihabara and Yurakucho
Monday, August 29, 2011
  Summary e-mobile held a special launch event for the Galapagos (A01SH) by Sharp at the Bic Camera stores in Akihabara and Yurakucho in Tokyo. The Galapagos is a 9-inch tablet sporting Android 3.2 and a dual core CPU (NVIDIA Tegra 2). The device will retail for 44,800 yen per device while users that sign a 2-year contract can purchase for 4,800 yen and those who get fiber-optic internet connections from Fletz Hikari or Hikari Portable can purchase the device for only 100 yen. (Keitai Watch)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/2/2011
  NYT: Japanese Handsets Go Global With Android?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
  Summary We love to see Japan in the spotlight, even if the story is a little contrived like this one. True, Japanese phone makers deliver some of the worlds most enticing devices, ahead of the global curve, and every year they treat the local market to several jaw-dropping, Japan-only releases sporting new features, colors, and form factors. So its intriguing to suggest that now these sexy gadgets will become more available overseas...but there is no reason Android inside would give Japanese manufacturers any kind of edge. They wont have any of the punch they have inside Japan, where they enjoy tight integration with mobile operators rolling out new functionality and applications tailored closely to satisfy the latest customer demand. None of that focus is possible with Android, where fragmentation and DRM issues have already made J-droids a major dud for local content providers. And they will be lost in a sea of other Android devices. But lets hope Sharp or somebody makes some inroads. They have done it before...does anybody remember the GX-10, the iconic Sharp handset that launched Vodafone Live across Europe? (NY Times)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/13/2006
  Nokia resolves patent dispute with Japan’s Kyocera
Friday, January 13, 2006
  Summary Mobile handset giant, Nokia, announced on Tuesday that it has resolved all patent related disputes with Japan’s Kyocera (KYR). Under the terms of the deal Nokia issued a license to Kyocera for patents dealing with CDMA, PHS and PDC standards. Kyocera would pay royalties to Nokia for all its CDMA mobile phone and module products, both the companies announced on Tuesday. The agreement resolves all the disputes between the companies without any contingencies, the companies added. (EE Times)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/2/2005
  Podcasting getting popular in Japan among middle aged, elderly
Friday, December 2, 2005
  Summary Podcasting -- a system in which music and video can be downloaded from the Internet onto digital mobile players to be enjoyed anywhere, anytime -- is becoming popular in Japan, especially among middle-aged and elderly people. The content is wide-ranging, from amateur musicians’ performances to comic stories by young storytellers, English conversation lessons and news stories with commercials. With mobile players now able to play video movies and TV shows, the number of such programs being Podcast is increasing. (Kyodo)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/16/2005
  Mitsubishi Electric Expects 3 Bln Yen Profit at Cell-Phone Unit
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
  Summary Mitsubishi Electric Corp., which makes consumer electronics and industrial machinery, said it expects its mobile-phone business to post a 3 billion yen ($25 million) profit this fiscal year on new NTT DoCoMo Inc. models. The company plans to increase its dividend. Operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, for the Japanese company’s cell-phone business in the year ending March 2006 will recover from a 9 billion yen loss a year earlier, Chief Financial Officer Yukihiro Sato said in a Nov. 8 interview. "Reorganization and five new models for DoCoMo slated for release in the second half should help the business turn to profit this year,’’ Sato said. The company in April said it will stop selling and developing mobile phones in Europe because of falling sales in the market. (Bloomberg)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/9/2005
  Nintendo DS to Become WLAN Accessible at 17,500 Locations across Japan, US, UK
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
  Summary "Nintendo UK," a UK company of Nintendo Co., Ltd., has announced it will start a public wireless LAN (WLAN) service in the UK on November 25, 2005. The service intended for users of the company’s "Nintendo DS" portable game console will enable them to enjoy playing against someone through WLANs provided for free at locations including McDonald’s hamburger restaurants, major hotels and train stations. For the service launch, Nintendo will introduce more than 7,500 WLAN base stations across the UK. The company achieved this in collaboration with "The Cloud" and BT, leading public WLAN service providers of the UK. With about 4,000 in Japan and about 6,000 (mainly McDonald’s) in the US, which the company had announced in advance, a total of about 17,500 base stations will be implemented for the service. If a gamer wants to play against someone overseas, "It depends on the game’s settings, but technically, DS players can do that by connecting each other through WLANs," said a company spokesperson. (Nikkei)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/4/2005
  Video game with virtual dogs can help kids meet, says Nintendogs producer
Friday, November 4, 2005
  Summary Are boys using video games to meet girls, and vice versa? It seems Nintendo’s hit title about raising a puppy can offer more than innovative game play. Nintendogs, on Nintendo’s portable DS system, puts you in charge of a puppy. The machine’s touch screen allows you to pat and train the dog, which responds to touch. A built-in microphone also allows the dog to recognize the gamer’s voice. And the system’s wi-fi system allows you to connect with other nearby Nintendogs owners via so-called bark mode. The system allows dogs to visit each other and bring gifts. (Brandon Sun)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/27/2005
  Japan’s Panasonic, Sanyo to make digital broadcast-ready cell phones
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
  Summary Panasonic Mobile Communications Co and Sanyo Electric Co Ltd are set to commercialize cellular phone handsets capable of receiving terrestrial digital broadcast signals, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing sources close to these companies. The newspaper said these moves are in response to the planned start of such broadcasts by Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK) and private-sector broadcasters next spring. Panasonic Mobile, affiliated with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, will ship its handsets to NTT DoCoMo Inc, while Sanyo will ship its units to KDDI Corp, the Nikkei said. Shipments are expected to begin between the year-end and next spring. The Panasonic Mobile model will come with a tuner to receive analog broadcasts, making it useful for people living in areas where terrestrial digital broadcasts are unavailable. Sanyo’s model is also expected to feature a similar tuner, the report said. (Forbes)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/18/2005
  KDDI To Unveil Methanol-Powered Cell Phone
Sunday, September 18, 2005
  Summary KDDI, working with Toshiba and Hitachi, says that it has developed a working fuel-cell powered cell phone with a battery that delivers 2.5 times the capacity of regular phones running on just a squirt of methanol. The companies dont say what the standby time is only that its a long time, after which the phone is recharged with another squirt or two. One imagines theyre talking about a month or so of standby time. The trio, which has been working on the fuel-cell project since July 2004, didnt say exactly when they actually expect to have a commercial version of the widget ready for market, but hinted that it wont be long the target is the end of the current fiscal year. They called the gadget a fuel-cell handset of the near future. First public showing is set for Ceatec Japan, in Tokyos Makuhari Messe convention center next week. (Telecomweb.com)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/30/2005
  Sony promotes vision of mobile video
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
  Summary So is the PSP the future of mobile TV and video? "Previous devices haven’t sparked the public’s imagination but the fact it has [film] studio support could mean that it could be a successful format," says Paul Callaghan, an analyst with trade journal Screen Digest. A number of pocket computers, mobile phones and media players can already play video - but unlike the PSP, none has been given strong support by film and TV companies. Films for the PSP come on a new disc format, the Universal Media Disc (UMD). The small disc can hold three times as much data as a CD - enough for a DVD-quality movie. More than three million UMD movie discs have been sold in the US with two films - Resident Evil 2 and House of Flying Daggers - selling 100,000 copies each in the first month. Major studios Fox, Universal, Paramount, Buena Vista, Sony and MGM have all pledged films for the device, with Warner and Dreamworks still to embrace the format. But while the UMD has been a hit in the US, it is not doing so well in Japan. A recent survey of Japanese PSP users found that only 10% had used it to watch a UMD movie. (BBC)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/10/2005
  Nintendo DS Adds Wireless Connectivity
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
  Summary The popular Nintendo DS handheld device will now provide gamers with a wireless gaming experience, two people can play head to head with Mario Kart and Animal Crossing over Wi-Fi. The company made a formal announcement in this regard on Wednesday and the new Wi-Fi addition is meant to boost the sales of its flagship game device. The wireless emphasis is also being viewed as Nintendos attempt to stay ahead of competition in the $4.5 billion portable gaming market where Sony has recently emerged as a formidable challenger with its PlayStation Portable. Using the DS, gamers will be able play games online at home or at Nintendo-sponsored or independent hotpots for wireless access. (MobileMag)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/1/2005
  Motorola sees fresh opportunity in Japan
Friday, July 1, 2005
  Summary Motorola Inc.’s new phone for business users in Japan is just a start for the world’s second-largest mobile phone maker as it re-enters the demanding Japanese market, an executive said on Thursday. Michael Tatelman, Motorola vice president and general manager of mobile devices in North Asia, said it has the right combination of technology and design capability to meet Japanese users’ needs as they upgrade to a third-generation network based on a global standard. "We have a pretty good go-to-market capability now in Japan and a design center with engineering capability that we’re actually expanding," said Tatelman. "We’re committed to the market for a long time." (Yahoo )  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/14/2005
  Sony Ericsson unveils new phones
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
  Summary Mobile phone group Sony Ericsson, a venture of Sony Corp. and Ericsson , on Monday introduced five new phones that it hopes will boost its presence in the low and mid-segment market. The group, the world’s fifth largest mobile phone maker, unveiled the W600, a version of its Walkman brand music phone aimed at North American consumers; the S600, aimed at the youth market; and a clamshell-shaped phone, the Z520. It also presented the J210, for those who want mainly simple functions like making calls and writing messages; and a new third-generation (3G) high-speed data phone, the K608i."We are widening our range in the low cost and medium segment," Per Alksten, product market chief, told Reuters. The announcements were made on the same day that Sony Ericsson’s biggest rival, Nokia , launched seven new phones, including a 3G phone and three other high-end camera phones. Sony Ericsson, which used to focus on advanced, more expensive models, has said that it wants to expand its low-end range to become a top-three player. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/9/2005
  Sony May Deliver Digital Magazines to PSP
Thursday, June 9, 2005
  Summary According to CNET News Sony Computer Entertainment may be planning to bring print publications to the PSP. Sony has recently filed Japanese trademarks for "PSP Comics", "PSP Books", and "PSP Magazine". While this news does not confirm any future digital media content for the PSP it does suggest that Sony may be planning to deliver digital comics, magazines and books to the PSP console. These new trademarks may just be a move by Sony to protect from possible uses of the PSP name to sell products by merely by exploiting the brand. (nForcer)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/12/2005
  Sony PSP top-selling US gadget
Thursday, May 12, 2005
  Summary The Sony PSP is currently the top-selling gadget with over 500,000 units sold in the US during the first 48 hours of its launch last March 24. The owners of this handheld multimedia marvel are now desperately seeking games and movies to play on them. (Movieline)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/28/2005
  Wireless Nintendo DS Sets the Standard for Hand-Held Video Games
Monday, March 28, 2005
  Summary No story about hand-held video games is complete without Nintendo, the hand-held leader for more than 15 years. The new Nintendo DS(TM) system is igniting the imaginations of the video game community and taking portable video games in a whole new direction. Nintendo DS boasts two crystal-clear screens -- one a touch screen -- proving two are better than one. Its battery lasts an entire flight from Los Angeles to New York. And by the end of the year, Nintendo will offer free Wi-Fi connection service for Nintendo DS owners to link with other players across the country and around the world. Following subsequent launches in Japan, Europe and Australia, Nintendo is on track to ship 6 million systems worldwide by the end of March. At the same time, approximately 20 games in every genre will exist for Nintendo DS, with more than 100 more in development from major developers worldwide. Once again, Nintendo has set the standard against which all hand-held video game devices are judged. Wireless facts about Nintendo DS that make it a product of distinction: Nintendo DS uses two kinds of wireless communication. The first, Nintendos proprietary format, lets players chat or play wirelessly in a range of 30 to 100 feet, depending on circumstances. Nintendo DS also uses IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi protocols. (BusinessWire)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/23/2005
  Japan Mobile Phone Shipments Fell in 2004-Study
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
  Summary Mobile phone shipments in Japan in 2004 fell 10.5 percent from the previous year as the market matured and as fewer consumers upgraded their phones amid a dearth of compelling new features, an industry group said on Wednesday. Japanese mobile phone makers shipped about 43.6 million phones in 2004, as NEC Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., the nation’s top phone manufacturers, both lost share to smaller rivals, industry research group Gartner Japan said. It forecast industrywide mobile phone shipments of 42 million to 45 million in 2005. Mobile phone shipments had risen in 2003 after the introduction of camera phones caused a surge in phone upgrades, but 2004 results fell back in line with the overall declining trend. Nearly 70 percent of Japanese already own mobile phones, making it more difficult to add new customers and forcing manufacturers to rely mainly on sales from consumers who are upgrading their phones. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/17/2005
  Japan mobile-phone shipments increase
Thursday, March 17, 2005
  Summary Japanese mobile-phone shipments rose for the first time in more than a year as customers replaced older handsets with models that offer high-speed Internet connection, video conferencing and other functions, a report shows. Shipments rose 5.8 per cent from a year earlier to 3.1 million units in January, snapping 12 straight months of declines, the Japan Electronics & Information Technology Industries Association said yesterday in a statement. The gain marks a "turning point" as demand will now come mainly from users buying phones to upgrade to high-speed, or third-generation, services, the report said.NTT DoCoMo Inc and KDDI Corp, Japans top two mobile-phone operators, are trying to shift users to third-generation services by offering cheaper handsets. The models will probably account for 70 to 80 per cent of all shipments by the second half of 2005, according to an IDC Japan report released March 1. "Sales of third-generation handsets by DoCoMo and KDDI contributed to the January rise," said Kazuyo Katsuma, a telecommunications analyst at JPMorgan Securities Asia Pte in Tokyo. "But its not a sign of an upward trend as last January was particularly weak for sales of DoCoMo 3G handsets." (Xinhua Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/16/2005
  NTT DoCoMo, Adobe Agree on PDF File Browser for Mobile Phones
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc and Adobe Systems Inc have agreed on the deployment of Adobe Reader LE, PDF file browser software to be jointly developed by Adobe and ACCESS Co Ltd, onto handsets for DoCoMo’s FOMA 3G mobile phone service. "We intend to introduce the software from the next FOMA handset series," said a spokesperson from NTT DoCoMo. Adobe and ACCESS announced their joint development of PDF file browser software for equipment excluding PCs in April 2003. Adobe Reader LE is broadly named so for such software to browse PDF files through equipment other than PCs, and ACCESS has been offering the software incorporated with its NetFront browser to handset manufacturers. In the mobile phone market, the company has provided NetFront v3.2 for S60 incorporated with Adobe Reader LE for the Smartphone handsets of Nokia Corp of Finland. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/15/2005
  CEBIT-Vodafone Nets Toshiba Phone, Targets Japan
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
  Summary Mobile phone giant Vodafone Group Plc unveiled five new third-generation (3G) devices on Thursday, with one phone partly aimed at helping its struggling Japanese subsidiary shore up its portfolio. The German unit of the worlds largest mobile phone unit by revenue told a news conference at the annual CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, Germany, that it had struck an exclusive deal with Japans Toshiba Corp. for a 1.92 megapixel, high-resolution clamshell camera and video phone. A company spokesman for the London-based parent company said the tri-band phone -- the first 3G phone made by Toshiba for Europe -- would also be launched in Japan around April. It remains unclear how many of the other four 3G devices -- three mobile phone models and two PDAs (personal digital assistants) made by firms like Nokia and Motorola -- will also be sold in Japan after they hit European stores from spring. Vodafone K.K. lost 53,200 subscribers in February -- the second successive month of customer losses -- as the cell phone group struggled to provide compelling handsets and content in one of the worlds most sophisticated technology markets. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/12/2005
  Podcasting getting popular in Japan among middle aged, elderly
Saturday, March 12, 2005
  Summary Podcasting, a system in which music and video can be downloaded from the Internet onto digital mobile players to be enjoyed anywhere, anytime, is becoming popular in Japan, especially among middle-aged and elderly people. The content is wide-ranging, from amateur musicians’ performances to comic stories by young storytellers, English conversation lessons and news stories with commercials. With mobile players now able to play video movies and TV shows, the number of such programs being Podcast is increasing. (Kyodo)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/3/2005
  Mshita Tops in Japan Cellphone Market in Q4-IDC
Thursday, March 3, 2005
  Summary Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., maker of Panasonic brand products, held the top spot in Japans mobile phone market for the second straight quarter in October-December, research firm IDC said on Tuesday. Matsushita accounted for 15.5 percent of 10.86 million handsets shipped in the domestic market in the final quarter of 2004, surpassing NEC Corp.s 15.2 percent share on the back of its popular third-generation phones for NTT DoCoMo Inc. Sharp Corp. was the number three cellphone maker in the domestic market with a 13.5 percent share. For the whole of 2004, however, NEC held onto the top spot with a 17 percent share. Sharp notched up its ranking from third place to second, replacing Matsushita, as its high-resolution display panels lured customers, IDC said. Domestic shipments in 2004 fell 13.5 percent from a year earlier to 44.02 million units with delays in the launch of 3G phones denting replacement demand. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/28/2005
  Omron Produces Face Recognition for Mobile Phones
Monday, February 28, 2005
  Summary OMRON has announced face recognition technology which can be implemented in PDAs, mobile phones or other mobile devices with a camera function, dubbed the "OKAO Vision Face Recognition Sensor." According to Omron, mobile devices are carrying ever more personal information including address books, schedules and payment information, and the technology has been designed to protect this information even when the mobile phone is lost or stolen.The sensor tests successfully more than 99 times in 100, and is fully Symbian, BREW, embedded Linux, and ITRON OS compatible. Data registration measures 1.5 KB per photo, while memory usage measures just ROM 450 KB or RAM 370 KB. Full processing time is approximately one second with MSM 6500. (Japan Corpnet)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/18/2005
  Mobile Phones Drive Fuel Cell Development
Friday, February 18, 2005
  Summary If mobile phones start offering functions like digital broadcast reception and WLAN support, existing batteries will be too weak. Could fuel cells provide the answer? About two years ago, the industry predicted that fuel cells in portable gear would be commercialized in 2004, and achieve widespread market penetration in 2005, eventually powering all portable systems. Even though 2004 has been and gone, though, the promised fuel cell-powered products have not yet arrived. (Nikkei)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/11/2005
  NTT DoCoMo Develops Mobile Phone with Flat Panel Speaker
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
  Summary NTT DoCoMo has announced a new mobile phone, the 2G mova N506iS, which features a flat panel display that also functions as a speaker. The flat panel speaker emits sound by sending vibrations throughout the entire display panel. The user can hear the person on the other end by placing an ear anywhere on the panel. In addition, the speaker’s use of the entire display makes audiovisual content more vivid than conventional handsets, whose speakers are located on the side of the display. In addition, the handset offers TV hookup capability for viewing of photos and video. Other functions include an access reader that allows storage of information from business cards written in Japanese to the phone’s address book, as well as dictionary searches for unfamiliar words. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/29/2004
  NEC Electronics to Develop System LSI for 3G Mobile Phones
Monday, November 29, 2004
  Summary NEC will develop a W-CDMA compatible baseband LSI, a "dual-mode" baseband LSI which also supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE, to introduce the technology to mobile phones that NEC markets overseas. NEC will also start commercializing a system-on-chip LSI integrated with an application processor that NEC Electronics is currently developing. NEC decided to collaborate with NEC Electronics to develop this LSI after finding defects in a mobile phone it had developed for Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong. Because NEC could not sufficiently integrate its proprietary W-CDMA baseband control technologies and the GSM format licensed out from Agere Systems, the mobile phone turned out to have issues such as dysfunctional band-over between W-CDMA and GSM, and a larger power consumption compared with other companiesf products. The companies are planning to complete development in the second half of fiscal 2006. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/10/2004
  Fujitsu Introduces 128-Mbit Mobile FCRAM Complying with COSMORAM Rev.3
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
  Summary Fujitsu Microelectronics has developed a new 128-Mbit mobile fast cycle RAM device that adopts burst mode operations complying with Common Specifications for Mobile RAM Revision 3, for use in mobile phone applications. The device’s high-speed performance and large density make it suitable for 3G mobile phone vendors looking to provide advanced applications. The 128-Mbit devices "MB82DBS04314C" and "MB82DBS08164C" achieve maximum burst operation frequency of up to 108MHz with a single 1.8V supply voltage, which satisfies the memory requirement for next generation mobile phone applications. These sample devices will be available in a monolithic package, and chip or wafer form for embedded applications, including use in multi chip package memory solutions. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/26/2004
  Mitsubishi Releases 4-Megapixel Camera Module for Mobile Phones
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
  Summary Mitsubishi has released the CMO51, a 4 mega-pixel camera module designed for use in mobile phones. This is the industry’s first mobile phone camera module, which is capable of 4 mega-pixel recording. The module is also equipped with auto-focus and color tuning functions. This product is embedded with Super CCD. Although the sensor’s effective resolution is 2 mega-pixel, the image processor boosts it to a maximum of 4 mega-pixel when recording. What is distinctive about this CCD sensor is its picture elements, each of which contains two photodiodes to broaden the dynamic range. By synthesizing respective images gained from these photodiodes, so-called "image noise" caused by over-exposure and underexposure can be reduced. Mass production with a volume of 700,000 units a month is slated to start in March 2005. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/12/2004
  Mitsumi Exhibits 180mW Terrestrial Digital Broadcasting Tuner Module
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
  Summary Mitsumi Electric has exhibited a tuner device that enables mobile handsets to receive terrestrial digital broadcasting. The power used by the tuner IC accounts for most of the total power consumption of the tuner device. The power consumption cannot be lowered without cutting the power used by the tuner IC. To meet this requirement, the company is currently developing its own tuner IC, with power consumption as low as 150mW, some time this year. A (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/3/2004
  Sharp Develops LCD Controller Based on MDDI Technology for 3G CDMA Devices
Friday, September 3, 2004
  Summary Sharp announced that it has developed an LCD controller using the high-speed serial interface MDDI for CDMA2000 and W-CDMA 3G cellular phones. With integrated MDDI technology, the number of signals across the device’s hinge is significantly reduced. Also, the development of sophisticated designs, such as rotation type displays, is promoted. The integration of MDDI allows reduced power consumption, enabling the adoption of advanced features, such as high definition and high-pixel cameras. Furthermore, global adoption of multimedia functions, such as video streaming, is increasing and technology that can transmit mass data at high speeds and low power consumption is required for further advancements. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/27/2004
  NEC Develops Unified Dual-Band Antenna for Cell Phones Using 800MHz/2GHz Radio Bands
Friday, August 27, 2004
  Summary The mobile phone market is stepping up demand for a single antenna with dual-band capabilities that can cover two or more frequency bands. This reflects the global shift of mobile communications from 2G to 3G, which is driving development and marketing of dual-band mobile phones. NEC has a new antenna that can operate across two frequency bands: 800MHz and 2GHz. The structure is unique in that a metal strip is applied to the 2GHz-receiving portion of the antenna. Moreover, the length of the stub is made variable to enable a frequency change within the 2GHz band according to receiving conditions. However, this technique does not apply to the 800MHz band, because its 2GHz range signals are susceptible to factors such as differences in structures of handsets. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/24/2004
  Japan Handset Makers Renew Overseas Campaigns
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
  Summary With growth in the Japanese cell phone market approaching its limits, manufacturers are refocusing their attention on overseas markets like China. Although Japanese companies actively expanded into overseas markets in the latter half of the 1990s, they were forced to scale down their local operations or withdraw from local markets because of the collapse of the IT boom in 2000. This time their expansion is underpinned by surging interest in 3G cellular phones. Japanese firms will be able to benefit from their expertise, obtained through the development and diffusion of 3G handsets in Japan ahead of other countries. NEC and other manufacturers have drawn up bullish plans to lift overseas sales to more than half of their total sales in two to three years from 20%-30% in fiscal 2003. (Nikkei Interactive)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/23/2004
  DoCoMo To Offer Motorola Cell Phone Handsets From Spring ’05
Monday, August 23, 2004
  Summary NTT DoCoMo plans to start procuring handsets from U.S. manufacturer Motorola in spring 2005 for its FOMA 3G cellular phone service. This would mark the first time for Japan’s largest cell phone service company to sell handsets made by the world’s second-largest manufacturer of cell phones. Motorola has annual sales of some 75 million units worldwide. DoCoMo has procured units from the company in the past to rent to foreigners. DoCoMo is also preparing to start procuring handsets -- mainly low-priced units -- as early as next spring from Finland’s Nokia. The company currently procures some 27 million handsets annually for its 2G and 3G services combined, almost completely from domestic manufacturers such as NEC, Panasonic, and Sharp. (Nikkei Interactive)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/31/2004
  Hoya Reveals Two Giants Developing One-Inch HDDs for Mobile Phones
Saturday, July 31, 2004
  Summary Hoya Corp announced that two major hard disc drive manufacturers are developing one-inch HDDs for mobile phones. The two companies, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Seagate Technology, are seriously thinking of using HDDs in mobile phones. Hoya is an exclusive supplier of glass disc substrates for one-inch HDDs, and the announcement appears to be an indication of the development progress among the companies concerned. HDD in mobile phones will probably be used as audio players capable of storing a large number of music titles. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/14/2004
  Sharp Adopts Symbian OS for Mobile Phones, Hopes to Expand Share Worldwide
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
  Summary Sharp will adopt the Symbian OS as the operating system for its mobile phones. Sharps approach is to improve development efficiency in order to expand into overseas markets and to respond to the increasing sophistication of mobile phones. Matsumoto believes that since Symbian is an operating system developed for mobile devices from the start, it is easier to use for mobile phones. The first model to implement the Symbian OS will be a high-end model targeted at the Japanese market, scheduled for 2005. For other models, Sharp will continue to use uITRON, but it plans to gradually increase the number of models using Symbian. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/28/2004
  Net-2Com, Fujitsu Lab Develop Wireless IP Phone Handset for Public Wireless Networks
Monday, June 28, 2004
  Summary Net-2Com Corp and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd jointly developed a wireless IP mobile phone handset capable of automatic switching the wireless networks depending on the electric wave conditions. This new handset is characterized by its built-in wireless LAN communication function that corresponds to WLAN standard IEEE802.11b and by a CompactFlash slot. By inserting a data communication card for PHS networks or mobile phone networks into the CF slot, both WLAN and public wireless networks can be used. The new product will connect by WLAN in and out of the office and by public wireless networks in other areas. The new handset features not only a VoIP function, but also a Web browser and e-mail software, so it can be used as a data communications device as well. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/23/2004
  Vodafone Japan Introduces Handset with Touch Pad Control
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
  Summary Vodafone will offer a 2G handset, produced by Mitsubishi Electric Corp, which features a control pad that can operate a handset. The V401Dfs side touch pad makes it easy to operate functions like screen scrolling and camera zoom by finger tracing. The touch pad also comes with a "jump touch" feature that lets the user register often-used functions via different tracing patterns so they can be called up instantly. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/21/2004
  Korea challenges Japan’s high-end cell-phone makers
Monday, June 21, 2004
  Summary Korean handset makers are set to challenge Japan’s current lead in the camera-phone market by strategically increasing shipments. Korean companies now account for about 14 percent of the world’s camera-phone market. In comparision, Japanese companies accounted for nearly 60 percent of the market last year. However, the Koreans’ combined market share is expected to reach as high as 40 percent as they plan to ramp up production focusing on high-end phones. Companies plan to add camera features to about half of their models destined for shipment as part of a strategy to strengthen their upscale brand image and capitalize on the fast-growing demand for camera phones. (Korea Herald)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/12/2004
  to Use Qualcomm Chipsets in its 3G Mobile Phones
Saturday, June 12, 2004
  Summary NEC has decided to use chipsets supplied by Qualcomm and Ericsson Mobile Platforms in its W-CDMA and GSM dual mode mobile phones for overseas markets. The company is planning to start shipments of mobile phones using these chipsets in early 2005. NEC is currently shipping a chipset and software, which combine its existing W-CDMA baseband control technology and the GSM baseband LSI design technology licensed by Agere Systems. NEC will therefore start purchasing ICs and software for communication control from other companies. In line with this move, NEC will also consign PWB designs to design houses outside, like STEP Technologies, an NEC joint venture, and others. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/24/2004
  Alps Electric Develops Low-Energy Consumption, Tiny Wireless LAN Module for Cell Phones
Monday, May 24, 2004
  Summary Alps Electric announced that it has begun to mass-produce a compact-size wireless LAN module for mobile phones, called the "UGGZ" series, which is compliant with the 11Mbps IEEE802.11b standard. Alps Electric expects this product to be incorporated in small devices such as cell phones and PDAs. The company also foresees it to be applied for the "Mobile Centrex" service starting this summer, which uses cell phones as VoIP terminals connecting to a wireless LAN. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/28/2004
  NTT DoCoMo Unveils New mova 506i i-mode Phone Series
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
  Summary NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries today unveiled the new mova 506i series of three PDC (2G) i-mode mobile phones. The handsets feature cameras with effective resolutions of more than one million pixels. They also come with infrared ports for exchanging data and photos with compatible handsets and performing infrared-based functions such as remote-control operation of appliances, authentication and cashless payments. (NTT DoCoMo)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/23/2004
  Handset with Japanese design
Friday, April 23, 2004
  Summary If you are fed up with the high-tech design of cell phones now, you may want to try one that fuses elements of traditional Japanese and modern designs. This KOTO V303T from Vodafone comes preloaded with 10 modern jazz 40-voice ringtones. In addition to incorporating elements of the koto form, the dial keys have been delicately constructed like koto strings. (Japan Today)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/22/2004
  Japanese phone shipments seen down in 04/05-study
Thursday, April 22, 2004
  Summary Domestic shipments of mobile phones by Japanese manufacturers are expected to decline slightly in the fiscal year ending March 2005 as demand shrinks and operators reduce subsidies, a study said on Wednesday. Multimedia Research, which based its report on company data and vendor interviews, said NEC Corp increased market share in the last fiscal year, to 23.2 percent from 20.8 percent, helped by the popularity of its phones made for NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan’s dominant mobile phone operator. The market share of rival Panasonic Mobile Communications Co Ltd, the number two manufacturer, slipped to 15.6 percent from 17.8 percent a year ago as it was slow to meet demand. Panasonic is a unit of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd. Sharp Corp maintained its third place rank on the strength of demand for its camera phones. Yokota said market share may shift slightly between NEC and Panasonic next year as the latter sees strong demand for high-speed 3G phones made for DoCoMo. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/21/2004
  NTT DoCoMo P252iS Mobile Camera Phone
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
  Summary New Panasonic P252iS Mobile Camera phone. The phone comes in 5 colors, one for each day of the work week. NTT DoCoMo has a new flip phone that is very small which measures only 87mmx46mmx26mm and weighs 95g. The phone use a miniSD card slot for data storage. The P252iS is available in five colors and seems to be very cute. (Smartfone.net)  
 
   
  Sanyo’s New 3G Handset Has Spatializer
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
  Summary Rolling out its penetration of the global cellular telephone market, Spatializer Audio Laboratories announced that its Spatializer technology is a key feature in Sanyo’s new A5505SA handset for KDDI’s au 3G service in Japan. With this design win, Spatializer technology is now available in cellular telephones for two of Japan’s three leading 3G (third generation) systems. The A5505SA is expected to begin shipping in commercial quantities in early May. (3g.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/19/2004
  Use of MOS Image Sensors Accelerates over CCD as Difference Declines in Picture Quality
Monday, April 19, 2004
  Summary In cell phone cameras, the mainstream is quickly shifting from CCD to MOS image sensors. When camera-equipped phones were first commercialized in 2000, MOS sensors were adopted due to their lower power consumption. Next, in 2002, achieving a higher pixel resolution was made easy, thus paving the way for higher picture quality. Then, the focus on picture quality resulted in the increasing dominance of CCD sensors. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/8/2004
  NTT East to Offer Tool with Electronic Watermarks for Cell Phones
Thursday, April 8, 2004
  Summary Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp and 10 other companies will start a market trial with a new marketing tool, called "Pasya WARP," based on electronic watermarking technology. "Pasya" imitates sounds of clicking and shooting in Japanese. The Pasya WARP provides a consumer with practical information related to relevant data included in an electronic watermark. As such a watermark can be embedded in an image, a user needs to simply take a picture of an image with a camera attached to a cell phone. The tool allows for easy delivery of related information as well as online coupon tickets to consumers, after they recognize conventional advertising media and become interested. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/6/2004
  Hard Disk Drives to be Used in Mobile Phones
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
  Summary One-inch hard disk drives (HDDs) have been used mainly as storage media for digital cameras, but with the success of HDD makers’ bold price-reduction strategies, they are now increasingly being used in MP3 players. HDD manufacturers and their products. These include products that are not mass produced and those under development. "CES" in the comment row indicates that the product was exhibited at the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (Jan 8-11, 2004). It will not be too long before these HDDs are used in digital camcorders and PDAs -- and eventually in mobile phones. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/22/2004
  NTT DoCoMo releases SH900i 2MP Camera Phone
Monday, March 22, 2004
  Summary NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced that the SH900i, the fourth handset in the new 3G FOMA 900i series, will be released on March 20, 2004. The Sharp SH900i features a 2 mega-pixel Camera with 20x zoom and miniSD slot. The Phone sports a 2.4" color main screen. The SH900i phone can be held like a normal digital camera. (I4U News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/15/2004
  Sony Ericsson meets pocket of resistance
Monday, March 15, 2004
  Summary Matsumi Ihara slides his chair away from the table and rummages in his jacket pockets. He pulls out a sleek mobile phone and carefully places it on the table. Ihara reaches into another pocket and produces another phone. Delving in his bag he reveals yet another top-of-the-range mobile - and another, until four phones are lined up neatly on the table in front of him. (Independent)  
 
   
  Expect 150 Million Camera Phone Sales Worldwide in 2004, Says InfoTrends Research Group
Monday, March 15, 2004
  Summary InfoTrends Research Group projects that camera phones will account for just over one quarter of all mobile phone sales and an additional 29 billion digital images in 2004. Japan was the leading region for camera phone sales in 2003, with a market share of more than 50%. There will be a major shift in shipments this year as camera phone adoption increases in other areas of the world. China is already the largest mobile phone market worldwide, and its developing camera phone market will boost the Rest of World region to become the leading region for camera phone unit sales by a slight majority in 2004. By 2008, the Rest of World region is expected to have a 56% share of worldwide camera phone shipments. (Tekrati)  
 
   
  Japan’s Mobile Phone Shipments in January Fall Below 3 Mln Units for First Time in 23 Months
Monday, March 15, 2004
  Summary The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) recently revealed shipment results of mobile phones in Japan, including mobile or in-car phones and PHS phones, for January 2004. The total number of shipments was 2,983,000, decreasing for the first time in 15 months. Also, it has been 23 months since the total unit shipments fell below 3 million in February 2002. The breakdown of the shipment results shows 2,935,000 units for mobile or in-car phones, drastically decreasing by 1,740,000 units from the December 2003 result of 4,675,000 units. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/11/2004
  Japan phone shipments nosedive
Thursday, March 11, 2004
  Summary Japan’s mobile phone shipments dropped to 2.98 million units in January, a 36.8 percent plunge from December, reported Reuters. The figure, a 23-month low, was also a 22.3 percent decrease from a year ago, according to data released by Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Following a sales push over the year-end holiday period, demand for new handsets sagged partly as customers considered upgrading to third-generation handsets. (CNET Asia)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/8/2004
  Demand for Color Screens Boosts Mobile Phone Output to Record High in 2003
Monday, March 8, 2004
  Summary Worldwide production of mobile phones*1 reached a record high in 2003, surpassing the mobile phone "bubble" of 2000 by around 80 million units. The number of mobile phones produced in the full year of 2003 topped 518,150,000 units, for a year-on-year increase of more than 24.4%, according to research by Nikkei Market Access. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/4/2004
  Atrua Targets Asia with Fingerprint Sensor to Control Cell Phones: Marketing Director
Thursday, March 4, 2004
  Summary Atrua Technologies, Inc of the United States, a venture business, is developing "Atrua Wings," a fingerprint recognition system for mobile phones. Venture capital units of Nokia Corp of Finland, LM Ericsson of Sweden, Intel Corp of the United States and other firms have provided funding for the company. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Panasonic Mobile Unveils Company’s First Symbian Mobile Phone
Thursday, March 4, 2004
  Summary Panasonic Mobile Communications Co, Ltd unveiled the "X700," its first mobile phone employing Symbian Ltd’s operating system, "Symbian OS." The company demonstrated the handset at the 3GSM World Congress 2004, which was held in Cannes, France, from Feb 23 through Feb 26, 2004. It has used its own operating system for mobile phones, but switched to the Symbian OS aiming to improve software development efficiency. Panasonic Mobile is a stakeholder of Symbian. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/2/2004
  Toppan Forms to Sell Worldwide-Use IC Tag Chips
Tuesday, March 2, 2004
  Summary Toppan Forms Co Ltd will this autumn begin selling IC tag chips compatible with all frequencies, as the top business form vendor has gained exclusive rights to sell the chips in Japan from FEC, a start-up firm in Ishikawa Prefecture, company sources said today. Called MM chips, the product is usable anywhere in the world, making it easier to manage the international distribution of goods. The chips will cost 10 yen each, roughly half the price of existing IC tag chips, when mass production comes on stream. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/26/2004
  NEC Releases First LCD Driver ICs with Fast Serial Interface for 3G Mobile Handsets
Thursday, February 26, 2004
  Summary NEC Electronics Corp announced that it started sampling two liquid crystal display (LCD) driver products, called u(myu)PD161833M and uPD161605M, which facilitate the design of mobile devices such as 3G cellular phones featuring rotating high-quality thin film transistor (TFT) displays. The two products are the industry’s first LCD driver ICs to have such high-speed serial interfaces. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  FeliCa: Trashing the Leather Wallet
Thursday, February 26, 2004
  Summary An exclusive interview with Shusaku Muruko, senior manager of Sony’s Mobile FeliCa Business Division, providing insight on how the FeliCa contactless IC chip (now being trialed on NTT DoCoMo handsets) will soon consign traditional leather wallets to the gomibako of history. In a speech last week, DoCoMo’s "Mr. i-mode," Takeshi Natsuno, officially confirmed that FeliCa chips will be embedded in this summer’s 506i second-generation handsets -- and likely in the next round of FOMA 900i-series 3G handsets as well. With FeliCa mandatory on all new DoCoMo cellies from this summer on, and with crucial partners including KDDI and JCB already on board, FeliCa m-payment technology has a very good chance, we think, of reaching the company’s 60-million-user target for Japan by 2008. If you’re hoping to sell anything via mobile anywhere on planet Earth, this program is a must-see. (Wireless Watch Japan)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/25/2004
  Olympus System Lets Camera Cell Phones Read Printed Codes
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
  Summary Olympus Corp said on Feb 24 that it has developed a new bar code system that enables camera cellular phones to read codes printed on newspapers and magazines. A service will be launched March 4 in which a cell phone that reads the code printed on a newspaper, for example, will automatically connect to a specific Web site that will then transmit an audio format of the selected article. The two-dimensional code, called STCode, consists of tiny dots placed within a square measuring 7mm per side. The new code takes up less space than other codes that can be read by camera cell phones and is easier to read even if the print is smudged or bent (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/24/2004
  Sharp to Commence Shipment of New GSM/GPRS Mobile Phone to Vodafone
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
  Summary Sharp Corp announced that it will commence shipment of its new GX30 mobile phone with built-in megapixel CCD camera and color LCD to the world’s largest mobile community, the Vodafone Group. The GX30 is claimed to be the first mobile phone in the European market to be equipped with a megapixel CCD camera. The new model will be released by Vodafone operators around the world starting March 2004. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/19/2004
  NTT DoCoMo to Release Stylish FOMA N900i Handset
Thursday, February 19, 2004
  Summary NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that the N900i, the second handset in the new 3G FOMA 900i series and distinguished by its stylish, arc-shaped side profile, will be released on February 22nd, 2004. The 900i series, the most advanced series of FOMA i-mode mobile phones ever to be released, features Macromedia Flash-equipped browser, HTML e-mail and avatar-capable videophone. Compared with the original series of FOMA phones, 900i models offer three times longer standby and weigh 20 percent less. (NTT DoCoMo)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/18/2004
  Samsung to Release Mobile Phones Enabled for Satellite TV Broadcasting
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
  Summary Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd developed a receiver chipset that enables mobile phones to receive digital television broadcasts via satellite. Both Japan and Korea are planning to start commercial satellite digital TV broadcasting for mobile terminals around September. In Korea, Samsung will release a mobile phone equipped with the new chipset in time for the start of commercial services. In Japan, venture company Mobile Broadcasting Corp is preparing to launch a commercial satellite digital TV broadcasting service for mobile terminals. Dedicated terminals or in-vehicle devices will likely be released for the service ahead of compatible mobile handsets. In contrast, Samsung has aimed at mobile phone reception from the outset, and has been developing a highly integrated chipset with low power consumption for that purpose. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/17/2004
  Mobile Phone Shipments in Japan Reach 52.2 Million Units in 2003, Up 27%
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
  Summary Mobile phone shipments in Japan from January through December 2003 reached 52,198,000 units, for an increase of 27% over the previous year, according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Mobile phones include cellular phones, in-car phones and PHS products. For the first time in three years, the annual result turned to positive growth over the previous year. The total comprised 50,784,000 units of cellular phones and car phones, and 1,414,000 units of PHS handsets. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/12/2004
  About 40% of Mobile Phone Users in Japan Want TV Function: Survey
Thursday, February 12, 2004
  Summary Nepro Japan Co, Ltd published on Feb 6 results of a survey of mobile phone users about services and functions. According to the survey, the most wanted function is a TV, as about 40% of the respondents pointed to it. In response to a question regarding "functions desirable for future mobile phones" (multiple answers allowed), "TV" (43%), "dictionaries" (35%) and "keys" (29%) were the top three. Functions such as "electronic wallet" (25%) and "TV phone" (24%), which are expected to be integrated in the next-generation mobile phones, did not attract many supporters. In addition, 16% responded "nothing in particular" and did not request any additional functions. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/7/2004
  New DoCoMo 3G Handset Hits the Street: Fujitsu F900i
Saturday, February 7, 2004
  Summary Last December, DoCoMo unveiled its latest 900i series 3G FOMA phones in a splashy press conference at Tokyo’s Imperial hotel, and today, Friday Feb. 6, the first of that series, the Fujitsu F900i, hit the shops. The 900is, which Takeshi Natsuno calls "The best 3G phones in the world," are the first new FOMA models since last July’s 2102v series. Compared with the original FOMA phones, the 900is have 3X standby time (480 hours) and weigh 20% less. In other words, they are as good as DoCoMo’s 2G PDC terminals! The new Fujitsu distinguishes itself with a finger print sensor and, like the other 900i models, a huge (100k) flash bucket. (Wireless Watch Japan)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/4/2004
  First Phone of 3G FOMA 900i Series
Wednesday, February 4, 2004
  Summary NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that the F900i, the first of five models in the all-new FOMA 900i series, will be released on February 6, 2004. The 900i series, the most advanced series of 3G FOMA i-mode mobile phones ever to be released, features a Macromedia Flash-equipped browser, HTML e-mail and avatar-capable videophone. Compared with the original series of FOMA phones, 900i models offer three times longer standby and weigh 20 percent less. (3g.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/3/2004
  NEC shows credit card handset
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
  Summary NEC Corporation today announced that it has succeeded in creating a card-shaped, camera-equipped mobile phone, which it will launch on the China market in February, 2004. (PMN)  
 
   
  Cellphone Sales Boom in 2003, More Are on the Way
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
  Summary Cellphone producers are now benefiting from booming emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, where they sell relatively cheap handsets to first-time buyers, as well as from existing customers in the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea, who are replacing old models. Japan is leading this trend. Two years after the world’s first third-generation mobile networks were launched there, consumers are now embracing services such as video conferencing on models with built-in cameras and large color screens. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/29/2004
  NEC Says It Swings Into Profit
Thursday, January 29, 2004
  Summary Japanese electronics conglomerate NEC Corp. said on Thursday it swung into a third-quarter profit, boosted by brisk sales of its cellphone handsets and a strong performance by its chip-making subsidiary. NEC, Japan’s largest telecoms equipment maker, posted a net profit of 11.17 billion yen ($105.2 million) for October-December compared with a net loss of 4.56 billion yen in the same period a year earlier. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/26/2004
  New Sharp Sha-mail Wireless Phone
Monday, January 26, 2004
  Summary Vodafone K.K. announced it will offer a new Sha-mail picture messaging handsets for sale after mid-February, the V301SH by Sharp. (3g.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/23/2004
  JCB Offica Solution Goes Moblie
Friday, January 23, 2004
  Summary JCB Co., Ltd., the international payment brand, is offering a trial service for Mobile OfficaTM, a contactless chip and mobile solution that offers corporations cashless payment and office access control functions through ’NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode(R) FeliCa Preview Service’ for mobile phones. The trial service, available until July 2004, marks the first time that a credit card payment service has been made available for mobile phones with a contactless chip in Japan. JCB’s Offica solution is designed to meet the increasing security needs of corporations and the increasing demands for employee convenience and usability. Built around Sony’s widely-used FeliCa contactless IC chip technology, Offica offers a diverse menu of functions including office access control, employee attendance tracking and network authentication as well as a cashless purchasing function that is more advanced than older prepaid card systems. (TelephonyWorld)  
 
   
  Sony SO505iS:High end model for NTT DoCoMo
Friday, January 23, 2004
  Summary You may have seen this cellphone in other sites. I am really impressed by this model and wonder why it is only built for NTT DoCoMo in Japan. Although it is only available in Japan, I decided to make a small introduction of this cellphone. Maybe in the future Sony will release a GSM model. (Note: Nice pics of handsets) (MTekk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/22/2004
  Sony Develops System-on-Glass LCD for Mobile Phones
Thursday, January 22, 2004
  Summary Sony Corp announced on January 21 that it has developed a low-temperature p-Si TFT-LCD integrating on its glass substrate peripheral circuitry based on system-on-glass (SOG) technology. This is the first time that the company applied the SOG LCD for use in mobile phones. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/20/2004
  Camera Phone Sales Boost Sony Ericsson Results
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
  Summary Defying analysts’ expectations, cell phone maker Sony Ericsson posted a solid fourth-quarter profit, buoyed in part by sales of its new line of camera phones and a strong showing in Asia. The London-based company earned 43 million euros ($52.3 million) in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, in contrast to a loss of 69 million euros a year earlier. Analysts had expected a profit of 32 million euros ($38.9 million). It was the second consecutive quarter that Sony Ericsson, which had steadily lost money since it was founded in 2001, posted a profit. (eweek.com)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/14/2004
  New Mitsubishi i-mode GPRS Wireless Phone
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
  Summary Europe : The new Mitsubishi M341i i-mode wireless handset. The M341i is more lightweight with a large 262,000-colour screen and a a camera to instantly capture those special moments and direct access to all i-mode services. (3g.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/9/2004
  NEC develops handy translator for Japanese tourists
Friday, January 9, 2004
  Summary Japanese high-tech giant NEC Corp. has developed a handy, high-speed computerised translator to help Japanese tourists communicate in English. Equipped with a microphone and a speaker, the English/Japanese translator can recognize and translate Japanese and voice an English version in seconds. The machine looks like a small electronic dictionary. "Many Japanese people travel abroad but lots have difficulties in communicating ... We want to help them communicate at hotels, stations and airports," a spokesman for NEC Susumu Sakamoto told AFP. (AFP)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/8/2004
  Cell Phone Makers Revisit Foreign Markets on High-End Demand
Thursday, January 8, 2004
  Summary Japanese cellular phone producers are increasingly bolstering their overseas operations to meet the rising global demand for advanced, Internet-ready handsets with features such as built-in cameras. Japanese manufacturers scaled back or suspended their overseas operations when cell phone demand in industrial countries cooled after growing rapidly in the late 1990s. Demand fell sharply in the second half of 2000, and 2001 marked the first time that sales declined on a year-on-year basis. As a result, cell phone makers were left with large inventories and most suffered losses. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Fujitsu eyes overseas mobile phone markets
Thursday, January 8, 2004
  Summary Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd said on Thursday it may re-enter overseas markets for advanced mobile phones, as operators of next-generation services in Europe and parts of Asia face a handset shortage. Fujitsu said it has been co-developing mobile phones with French telecoms equipment maker Sagem since February 2002. The phones are compatible with existing and next-generation advanced networks. Fujitsu, Japan’s fifth-largest mobile phone maker, used to sell mobile phones in the United States but retreated from the market in the late 1990s after it missed the transition to digital technology from analogue. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/7/2004
  Look and Feel: NEC’s Card-Sized Mobile Phone
Wednesday, January 7, 2004
  Summary NEC Corp, in an interview with Nikkei BP’s Beijing Bureau, has revealed the details of its credit card-sized, ultra-small mobile phone now being developed. Initially, the prototype of this small mobile phone, the "N900," was introduced on Oct 28, 2003 in an announcement in Shanghai of new products for the Chinese market. The "N900" will measure 85mm in width, 54mm in depth, 8.6mm in thickness and weigh 70g. It was to be 10mm thick when unveiled at the end of October, but the company has managed to make it thinner. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/6/2004
  Mobile Camera Breeds Digital Shoplifting?
Tuesday, January 6, 2004
  Summary Armed with a camera-equipped cellphone, a new brand of `shoplifter’ is putting pressure on bookstores and others who handle copyrighted material. Handy for taking and sharing informal snaps of friends and everyday events, camera-equipped cellphones also have a negative side that is rapidly coming into focus. Distant cousins of the industrial spy, an increasing number of people are using their cellphones to commit ``digital shoplifting.’’ (Asahi)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/5/2004
  Vodafone’s 2-Megapixel Camera Phone
Monday, January 5, 2004
  Summary Sharp’s V601SH handset hit the Tokyo streets in late December with a rollout price under $200 (19,800 yen). It features an embedded 2-megapixel CCD camera capable of capturing 2.02 million effective pixels and comes with autofocus and 20x zoom capability. The 2.4-inch QVGA CG silicon screen provides a bright and clear image display and is compatible with Bitflash’s vector imaging technology that allows documents (such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat) to be scaled with very little loss of quality, so users can easily zoom into a specific area on a large spreadsheet document. The unit can also record 320 x 240-size MPEG video clips at 15 frames per second as well as display still images, games, and video clips on a TV using the video output function. (Wireless Watch Japan)  
 
   
  Handsets Drive Semiconductors
Monday, January 5, 2004
  Summary As 2003 closes, growth expectations for the semiconductor market are on the rise, particularly after a very strong recovery in the second half of the year. Mobile phone shipments (including PHS/PAS) surpass 530 million units this year, while PC shipments grow by 11% surpassing 152 million units. IDC expects double digit growth in units for both markets in 2004. IDC forecasts a healthy growth rate of 18% in 2004. In 2003, Japan surpasses The Americas as the second largest consuming region in the world. Japan’s growth is led by export growth, while domestic demand remains muted. (Unstrung)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/31/2003
  Japanese School Girls Prefer Cell Phone with Camera
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
  Summary Nikkei BP Consulting Inc recently revealed the results of a survey on cell phone usage among Japanese primary and junior high school children. It shows that among Japanese girls using cellular phones or personal handyphone systems (PHSs), 72.7% of their phones had cameras. Out of junior high school students, 30% took their cellular phone or PHS to school, and spent 3,000 yen average a month for data transmission. The survey covers some 200 Japanese mothers and their daughters, from grade 5 of primary school to grade 3 of junior high school, or from 11 to 15 years old. All the girls live in or around Tokyo or Osaka urban areas, and have a mobile phone or a PHS for their own use. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/22/2003
  Novel uses boost picture mobiles
Monday, December 22, 2003
  Summary Their popularity has been boosted by more users to send images to and people finding novel uses for them. Between June and September in Japan alone, 90% of mobiles sold have had cameras, said mobile phone company Sony Ericsson. Global camera phone sales only reached 18 million in 2002 mainly because Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), allowing pictures to be sent from one phone to another, were only rolled out towards the end of that year. (BBC)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/18/2003
  Toshiba’s ’Postage Stamp-Sized’ HDD to be Embedded in Mobile Devices
Thursday, December 18, 2003
  Summary Toshiba Corp has completed the development of a new HDD for media with a diameter of 0.85 inches (2.16cm). It plans to exhibit a prototype at the "2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)" to be held in the US in January 2004. According to Toshiba, this drive has a size, both vertically and horizontally, "almost equal to a postage stamp." However, the company is yet to decide on details of its product version, including outside dimensions and the transfer rate. But its capacity is expected to be between 2GB and 3GB. And its recording density is to be about the same as a current HDD. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/15/2003
  World’s First Bone Conduction Cellular Phone to Debut
Monday, December 15, 2003
  Summary Three TU-KA group companies will launch the "TS41," a cellular phone that has a sonic speaker using bone conduction, at the end of December 2003. Bone conduction is a method to transmit sound to the auditory apparatus using bone vibration in the skull. This method features greater loudness sensitivity so that phone users can hear the speaker’s sound more easily in noisy surroundings. According to the company, it is the world’s first cellular phone using bone conduction. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/9/2003
  Sharp allows users to view business docs on their mobile phones
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp. and Canadian software developer BitFlash have developed a brand new type of electronic display system for viewing business documents on mobile phones. The new technology allows word processing files, spreadsheets and presentations to be displayed on a mobile phone, complete with a zoom function. It takes advantage of the scalable vector graphics-tiny (SVG-T) format, which allows users to adjust the width and length of characters on the display of mobile phones without distorting their shape. However, the documents must be converted into the SVG-T format by a special server beforehand. The technology will be incorporated into Sharp’s V601SH two-megapixel camera phone for Vodafone Group Plc’s Japanese wireless unit. (PDAlive)  
 
   
  Mega-Pixel Camera Phone Users to Spend More Money: MRI Survey
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
  Summary Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc (MRI) and Infoseek, a business unit of Rakuten Inc, announced the results of their user survey on mega-pixel camera phones with more than 1M pixel. They learned that nearly half of the users have purchased or plan to purchase peripherals or software to store and print photos. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  NEC has top spot in Japan Q3 cellphone shipments
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
  Summary Electronics conglomerate NEC Corp held top position in Japans cellphone market in July-September, taking 21.3 percent of shipments, a research firm said on Tuesday. IDC Japan said domestic cellphone shipments in the three-month period rose nine percent from the previous quarter to 13.3 million units as photo-phones spurred upgrade demand. The research firm said more than 90 percent of the phones shipped in the period were camera-equipped. "Photo-phones are likely to account for 20 to 30 percent of total shipments in the United States and Europe in this Christmas season. Japans penetration is by far the highest, followed possibly by South Korea," IDC analyst Michito Kimura said. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/1/2003
  Sharp Tuner to Enable Jamming-Free TV Reception for Cell Phones
Monday, December 1, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp has developed a tuner that can prevent cell-phone handset displays showing TV programs from being disrupted/jammed by transmissions from other cell phones, a company official said on Nov. 27. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/28/2003
  NEC’s V601N: Japan’s First TV Cell-Phone
Friday, November 28, 2003
  Summary It’s sassy, not clunky - but analog only. If this sounds like an ode to Japan’s first Tellycelly, please make your call swift: The TV will only run about an hour before the batteries poop, but the sales potential is, we think, killer. Vodafone’s V601N from NEC, on sale in December, follows Japan’s long consumer electronics tradition; namely, a cool, high-tech gadget that will sell at a premium by the truckload. Watch the tube (no pesky packet fees), grab screen shots and capture live video from broadcast programs, access TV guides via browser, and use it as a remote to control your karaoke machine. Watch our exclusive WWJ video clip of the ’next big thing’ in action at Vodafone’s October press conference when the unit was introduced (Wireless Watch Japan)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/21/2003
  Nokia faces 3G challenge to mobile supremacy
Friday, November 21, 2003
  Summary Developing closer ties with Samsung provides a valuable counterweight to the might of Nokia and gives Vodafone greater bargaining power. Vodafone, which has 10 per cent of the world’s 1.25 billion mobile phone customers, wants to have more say in how handsets are designed and how they work. It wants to make sure the kit is as effective as possible to ensure customers will use their phones at every conceivable opportunity, boosting Vodafone’s bottom line. But at the moment the only markets where the network operators tend to dictate to the handset manufacturers are Japan and Korea, elsewhere Nokia is in the driving seat. "The design of Nokia’s handset for the Vodafone Live! platform had no more than a few per cent of input from Vodafone," Mr Mawston said. "But the Vodafone input into the Sharp device for Vodafone Live!, in terms of the specifications made, was more like 30 per cent. Certainly network operators want to take more control of the market." (3GNewsroom)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/20/2003
  Casio, Hitachi to Merge Cell Phone Development Ops
Thursday, November 20, 2003
  Summary Casio Computer Co, Ltd and Hitachi Ltd announced on November 18 that they have agreed to merge their cellular phone design and development activities, and establish a joint venture company in April 2004. The joint venture, to be owned 51% by Casio and 49% by Hitachi, will take over development, design, procurement and other functions. The new firm will begin operations with capital of 3 billion yen and a workforce of 350, including a president assigned from Casio and a vice president from Hitachi. By joining forces in this manner, Casio and Hitachi can reduce their development costs and accelerate the pace of new-product development. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/19/2003
  Sharp to Debut IC for Terrestrial Digital Broadcasting Tuner for Mobile Products
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp will announce the release of a tuner IC for receiving the digital terrestrial television broadcasting for mobile products. The announcement will be made at the ISSCC (IEEE Solid-State Circuit Conference) 2004 conference. Sharp has not yet officially disclosed anything about its development of the IC. On the other hand, Matsushita Electric Components Co, Ltd and Sony Corp have already announced similar tuner IC chips, and Sanyo Electric Co, Ltd has released a prototype product. Also, Murata Manufacturing Co, Ltd and Alps Electric Co, Ltd said that they are developing such tuner IC chips. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/11/2003
  Mobile phone subscriptions grow 9.0% on year in Oct.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
  Summary Subscriptions to mobile phone services in Japan totaled 78,947,800 in October, up 9.0% from a year earlier and 0.4% from the previous month, the Telecommunications Carriers Association said Monday. NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile phone operator, saw subscriptions to its service rise 146,000 during October to 45,188,000 while KDDI Corp.’s "au" service posted growth of 185,900 to 15,448,400, the association said. Vodafone K.K., renamed from J-Phone Co. on Oct. 1, followed with 14,624,300 with an increase of 33,200. Subscriptions to Internet-capable mobile phone services increased 15.6% from a year earlier and 0.8% from September to 66,794,500. The combined number of subscribers to mobile phones and personal handy-phone systems totaled 84,232,133, up 7.9% from the same month last year and 0.4% from September. (Kyodo News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/7/2003
  Casio doubles profit as digital camera sales soar
Friday, November 7, 2003
  Summary Japan’s Casio Computer Co Ltd said on Thursday its net profit more than doubled in the first half of the business year, propelled by brisk sales of digital cameras, electronic dictionaries and small LCDs. Casio’s improving fortunes mirror strong quarterly results announced late last month by tech sector counterparts Canon Inc and Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, which also have been able to ride the digital camera boom to score big profit gains. Tokyo-based Casio, also Japan’s top maker of digital watches and electronic dictionaries, notched up a group net profit of 5.03 billion yen ($45.8 million) between April and September, compared to the 2.33 billion yen in the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 14.7 percent to 240.58 billion yen. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/6/2003
  NTT DoCoMo, Renesas Technology and Fujifilm Discuss Evolution of Mobile Phones
Thursday, November 6, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc, Renesas Technology Corp and Fuji Photo Film Co, Ltd delivered lectures on the future direction of the next-generation, camera-equipped mobile phones at FPD International 2003. The conference was held by Nikkei Business Publications Inc at Pacifico Yokohama from October 29-31, 2003. The three companies delivered lectures in a seminar entitled "Cameras on cell phones offer pictures of more than 2 million pixels -- Image resolution continues to improve." (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/5/2003
  Sony details gaming-music player, iPod rival
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
  Summary Japan’s Sony Corp. on Tuesday detailed plans for a much-anticipated all-in-one handheld gaming device that includes a digital music and video player and could even act as mobile telephone. Officials of the world’s largest consumer electronics maker also said Sony would launch a rival to Apple Computer Inc’s iPod digital music player next year for as little as $60. Sony described a prototype for its PSP gaming device -- due out before the end of 2004 -- during a presentation to U.S. investors that reiterated plans to restore profitability at the company. "PSP will be the Walkman of the future," declared Ken Kutaragi, Sony’s executive deputy president and head of its gaming business, comparing a PSP prototype to Sony’s highly successful earlier generation of music players. PSP is designed to rival Nintendo Co. Ltd’s Game Boy handheld game player, mobile phone maker Nokia Oyj’s N-Gage wireless gaming device and Apple’s iPod and iTunes music download service. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/4/2003
  NEC to Release 10mm-thick, Card-Sized Mobile Phone Handset
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
  Summary NEC Corp announced on October 28 that it will soon release a 10mm-thick, credit card-sized mobile phone called the N900. NEC plans to release the N900 GSM handset, initially in China, and later in Southeast Asia and Europe. Nakamura said the new product will be released "soon." He has not yet disclosed details of the product. The product was planned and proposed by NEC’s development team led by Yamazaki in China, and developed in Japan. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/3/2003
  Fuji Photo Film Sells Palmtop Printer for Camera Phones
Monday, November 3, 2003
  Summary Fuji Photo Film has announced a palmtop printer for camera phones. Slated to hit the market December 14, the Cheki Printer NP-1 is a palmtop-sized printer designed for camera phone handsets. It receives photo images taken with a camera phone wirelessly via infrared light, and produces 62x46mm color photo prints at 480x640 dpi resolution. The printer uses two CR2 lithium batteries, on which the system can print up to 100 pictures. The open-priced product measures 120.5x45x108mm, weighs 250g, and uses high sensitivity film (ISO800). (JapanCorp.Net)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/29/2003
  Renesas of Japan and MCR of China Join for Next-Generation Mobile Phone Technology
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
  Summary Renesas Technology Corp of Tokyo announced that it is cooperating with Mobile Communication Research (MCR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences of Shanghai in next-generation mobile phone technology development. Renesas and MCR agreed upon the joint development of next-generation (3G/4G) mobile phones using Renesas’ SH-Mobile CPU core, aiming at an optimum of baseband free mobile phone applications and solutions in the Chinese market. According to both companies, they will develop mainly three items, which are: (1) standard specification proposal of 3G/4G application for Chinese mobile phones, (2) scaleable hardware and software platform and reference design for 3G/4G Smartphone based on SH-Mobile, and (3) demonstration tool and software development tool for Smartphone. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Camera phones changing the definition of picture-worthy
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
  Summary Unlike the traditional camera, the camera phone is an intimate and ubiquitous presence that invites a new kind of personal awareness, a persistent alertness to the visually newsworthy that makes amateur photojournalists out of its users. (Japan Media Review)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/25/2003
  NEC Posts Strong Quarter, Raises Outlook
Saturday, October 25, 2003
  Summary Japanese chips-to-computers conglomerate NEC Corp said on Thursday it swung back to a quarterly profit, boosted by a hefty contribution from its chip affiliate and brisk sales of mobile phones. It boosted its domestic cellphone shipments by 60 percent from a year earlier to 6.08 million units in April-September, thanks to the popularity of photo phones made for NTT DoCoMo Inc , a research firm said on Wednesday. NEC and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, maker of the Panasonic brand, are core handset manufacturers for DoCoMo, Japans dominant wireless operator. As the camera phone boom spreads from Japan to the rest of the world, Matsushita and NEC, the worlds seventh- and eighth-largest cellphone makers, are also expanding overseas sales. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/24/2003
  Output of Color-LCD Mobile Phones to Reach 211 Mln. Units in 2003
Friday, October 24, 2003
  Summary The popularity of color-screen mobile phones that started in Japan has been rapidly spreading in the world. According to a survey by Nikkei Market Access, world production of mobile phones*1 equipped with color liquid-crystal displays in 2003 is expected to increase by 134% from 2002 to 209.51 million units, exceeding the 200-million-units level all at once. As the trend has been accelerating, however, it is highly likely that manufacturers are producing handsets more than the actual demand in the hopes of grabbing a large share in the color-screen mobile phone market. They seem to have ordered color LC panels excessively from panel makers. If the overseas sales of color-screen mobile phones do not grow as expected, both handset and LC panel makers will be required to adjust their production. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/22/2003
  NEC’s H1 Japan mobile phone shipments up 60 pct
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
  Summary NEC Corp, Japan’s biggest mobile phone maker, boosted domestic shipments of its mobile phones by 60 percent in the first half from a year earlier, taking market share from rivals Matsushita and Sharp, a research firm said on Wednesday. The huge success of its N504iS and N505i camera phones, sold for top Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc’s network, helped lift NEC’s mobile phone shipments to 6.08 million units in April-September from 3.8 million a year earlier, Multimedia Research Institute said. NEC expanded its domestic market share to 23.7 percent during the six months, up from 20.8 percent in the 2002/03 business year, at the expense of second-ranked Matsushita Electric Industrial Co and third-ranked Sharp Corp. "Despite technical glitches (that cooled demand early this year), the N504iS model proved to be a record-breaking hit, thanks to its user-friendliness," the research company said. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Handset Makers Ring in The Changes
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
  Summary Panasonic Mobile Communications Co Ltd (formerly Matsushita Communication Industrial) has sold 2 million units of its GD55 cellular phone exclusively for overseas markets, including 700,000 in China, since the release of the 58 gram handset in autumn of 2002. "The ultra-compactness and lightness has been favorably accepted in the world market," said Shinichi Okamoto, managing director of Mobile Communication Co of China, a Beijing-based firm responsible for the Chinese business of Panasonic Mobile. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/16/2003
  Two New KDDI Wireless Camera Phones
Thursday, October 16, 2003
  Summary KDDI has recently started taking delivery of a camera phone that could take pictures better than some digital cameras. The Casio A5403CA has a 2 Mega Pixel camera on-board. (3G)  
 
   
  Mitsubishi Vodafone KK Wireless Phone
Thursday, October 16, 2003
  Summary Vodafone K.K. announced it will offer a new Sha-mail picture messaging handsets for sale after early November, the V301D by Mitsubishi Electric. (3G)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/14/2003
  Japan cellphone shipments up 24.5% on year in Aug
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
  Summary Shipments of cellphones in Japan soared 25 percent in August from a year earlier as demand for third-generation services and a prolonged photo-phone boom prompted user upgrades, an industry body said on Tuesday. Handset shipments increased 24.5 percent to 4.148 million units, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) said. (Forbes)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/13/2003
  Phone Module Shrunk to Add More Functions
Monday, October 13, 2003
  Summary The mounting area available for communication modules continues to shrink as mobile phones add cameras or mount more memory. By 2005, modules will have to fit into an area only 10mm square. Remove the camera module from a camera-equipped mobile phone, disconnect the LCD panel, and snap out the rechargeable batteries. Then remove the audio components, like the speaker and microphone, and finally take out the keypad and case. Whats left is the communication module, which handles the data transmit and receive tasks. The mounting area is only 100mm2. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Omron Develops Technology for Brighter, Clearer Displays for Mobile Phones
Monday, October 13, 2003
  Summary Omron Corp of Kyoto, Japan has developed the frontlight manufacturing technology for making brighter, clearer liquid-crystal display screens while reducing power consumption for mobile phones, PDAs and other mobile information terminals. The frontlight manufacturing technology, which applies nanotechnology, is claimed to achieve a three-fold improvement in the contrast ratio compared to frontlights manufactured by other companies, and screen brightness rivaling that of a notebook computer (100cd/m2) through highly efficient light control. By combining its two proprietary technologies, which are the nano prism array and the micro prism array, the company claims to provide low power consumption and a bright, clear liquid-crystal display screen. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/6/2003
  NEC Develops First LCD Driver IC with On-Chip Graphics Engine for 2.5G Cell Phones
Monday, October 6, 2003
  Summary NEC Electronics Corp of Japan announced its newly developed TFT-LCD controller driver IC that integrates a graphics engine on chip for mobile handsets at a press conference in Tokyo. The product is the industry’s first TFT-LCD controller driver IC for mobile handsets, which has an on-chip graphics engine, according to the company. Engineering samples of the product are available now at US$19 each and volume production is slated to start in December 2003. The volume is expected to reach 500,000 pieces per month in March 2004. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/3/2003
  Sony Develops Low Power Tuner to Receive Digital Terrestrial Broadcasts in Mobile Devices
Friday, October 3, 2003
  Summary Sony Corp has developed a low power consumption tuner module to receive digital terrestrial broadcasting signals in mobile devices. The leading electronics maker integrates an RF tuner circuit on a 20mm by 16mm by 2mm module, realizing power consumption of less than 150mW, the industry’s lowest level. The new module is expected to be used to receive digital terrestrial broadcasting and digital terrestrial radio broadcasting signals in mobile phones, personal digital assistants and other mobile devices. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/22/2003
  Competition Between Camera Mobile Phones, Digital Cameras Becomes More Fierce
Monday, September 22, 2003
  Summary Mobile phones with a built-in digital camera are enjoying more-than-expected popularity. The market already has five megapixel models, and a record number of units are selling. A survey conducted by Nikkei BP Consulting Inc found that many users expect camera mobile phones to have performances and capabilities as high as those of digital cameras. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/10/2003
  Japan’s July cellphone shipments surge 40% on year
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
  Summary Domestic shipments of mobile phones in Japan surged 40 percent in July from a year ago as users continued to replace their handsets with camera-phones and third-generation (3G) phones, an industry group said on Wednesday. Handset shipments in July jumped 40.3 percent on year to 5.254 million units, topping five million for just the third time since April 1999, when the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) began compiling the data. It was the ninth straight month of gains. Shipments climbed 19.4 percent in June. As of the end of August, KDDI Corp’s "au" unit had 9.73 million 3G users, more than 10 times the number for Japan’s biggest mobile provider NTT DoCoMo Inc. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/1/2003
  Canon Printer Adds Wireless Printing Via Infrared Communication from a Camera Phone
Monday, September 1, 2003
  Summary Canon Inc in July added the capability to its "PIXUS 50i" printer of printing out pictures sent via infrared transmission from a mobile phone with a built-in camera. PIXUS 50i is a notebook-sized, ink-jet printer that was launched in March 2003. To use the wireless printing function Canon calls "print beam," users need to download firmware from a Web site. Utilizing infrared transmission of a camera-equipped mobile phone, the PIXUS 50i does not need a cable and only requires a user to place a mobile phone close to the IrDA port on itself, display pictures to print, and select "infrared transmission" from the menu. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/27/2003
  Digital cameras boost profit scene for Casio
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
  Summary Early last year Casio Computer Co Ltd 6952.T was in dire straits, seeing its stock hit a 20-year low, posting its worst-ever annual loss and suffering a debt downgrade -- with the ratings agency citing a lack of attractive new products. But a tiny camera is changing things for the Japanese consumer electronics firm. The Exilim, a digital camera the size of a credit card, has become one of Casios hottest products, with sales expected to more than double to 2.4 million units in the year to March 2004. Casio president Kazuo Kashio said the camera is part of a slew of new products that are raising profit expectations. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/22/2003
  Japan’s Monthly Mobile Phone Shipments Top 4 Mln. Units for Four Straight Months: JEITA
Friday, August 22, 2003
  Summary The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) announced that the number of mobile phones (cellular phones, in-car phones, and PHS products) shipped in Japan in June was 4,878,000 units, a 19.4% increase over the same month the previous year. It has registered another year-on-year increase for eight straight months. The monthly shipment has exceeded 4 million for four consecutive months. The sum of cellular phones and in-car phones was 4,744,000 units, up 19.6% from the previous year, recording a year-on-year increase for nine consecutive months. The number of PHS terminals shipped in June was 134,000 units, a 12.8% increase from the previous year, recording a consecutive increase for four months. JEITA observes that the increase is due to continuing high demand for PHS terminals specifically used for data communications. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/14/2003
  SMK Ships Bluetooth Serial Port Adapter
Thursday, August 14, 2003
  Summary SMK Corp of Japan announced the development and start of production in August of a Bluetooth serial port adapter VRB2211-XXXX for barcode readers, mobile printers, PDAs, measuring instruments, meters, and automotive equipment. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/13/2003
  Cell Phone Firms to Offer Payment System for Online Shopping
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc, KDDI Corp and J-Phone Co Ltd, are poised to set up a common system that will allow cellular phone users to pay for Internet purchases quickly and easily at convenience stores. The payments system -- based on one that NTT DoCoMo introduced in May 2002 enabling subscribers to pay their bills at designated convenience stores -- hinges on the use of cell phone handsets. The firms are counting on demand from consumers who do not have a credit card -- still not that unusual in Japan -- as well as those who do not want to pay for online purchases by credit card. Online retailers, for their part, will not have to send deposit transfer slips and other documents through the mail. The cell phone companies, meanwhile, will benefit from transaction commissions and fees charged for transmitting the purchase data bar codes. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/12/2003
  Cell phone firms eye common payment system for online shopping
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
  Summary Three major cell phone service providers led by NTT DoCoMo Inc plan to introduce a common system allowing cell phone users to pay at convenience stores for items bought shopping online, a business daily reported Tuesday. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun said that the system will be based on an NTT DoCoMo system launched at some convenience stores in May last year, and that KDDI Corp and J-Phone Co are to adopt it. (Kyodo News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/11/2003
  Sanyo Mobile Phone Can Receive and Record Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasts
Monday, August 11, 2003
  Summary Mobile phone handset manufacturers are competing to develop the successors to the camera phone, one of which is a mobile phone that can view TV broadcasts. Sanyos prototype cell phone, which has a digital terrestrial TV receiver As of December this year, Japan plans to roll out terrestrial digital TV broadcasts in the three major metropolitan areas -- Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Mobile phone handset manufacturers are expecting that mobile phones with a digital TV receiving function would be the big hit after the camera phone. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/6/2003
  Zeon Uses Leftover Material for Cell Phone Camera Lenses
Wednesday, August 6, 2003
  Summary Cameras are increasingly becoming a standard component of cellular phones, with cumulative shipments of camera-equipped handsets totaling over 27 million units. And Zeon Corp, the country’s top maker of specialized rubber, is now virtually the sole domestic supplier of plastic cycloolefin polymer (COP), a material resembling glass that is used to make cell phone camera lenses. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/5/2003
  SD Memory Card Holds Top Market Share at 31%, BCN Says
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
  Summary Sales of SD Memory Cards have been increasing strongly in the Japanese market for memory cards equipped with NAND-type flash memory chips. Unit-based sales of SD Memory Cards for the second quarter of 2003 increased 230.8% from the same quarter a year earlier at the country’s 690 main computer retail outlets of 12 major companies. It ranks the top, accounting for 31.5% of the market in volume. CompactFlash ranked second, accounting for 26.6% of the market, and Memory Stick ranked third, accounting for 13.8%. Smart Media and xD picture cards follow, accounting for 13.8% and 12.5%, respectively. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/4/2003
  Barcode Scanning Opens New Territory for Mobile Phones
Monday, August 4, 2003
  Summary Camera phones equipped with barcode-reading functionality are likely to open up some new business opportunities. Just by pointing their "camphone" at a printed barcode, users will be able to directly access a web site or send an e-mail message without needing to key in the address. And when Java applets based on scanning capabilities have been developed, the possibilities will be even greater. However, at the moment scanning speeds and other technical issues have hampered development. As a result, the application of barcode scanning for mail-order shopping or better business efficiency has so far taken the form of a barcode reader attached as an add-on device to a mobile phone. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  NTT Comm to Let Mobile Phones Function as Credit Cards
Monday, August 4, 2003
  Summary NTT Communications Corp plans next spring to begin operating a payment and settlement system that will allow customers to use their mobile phones in place of credit cards. The company will set up computer systems that can be accessed from mobile phones, retail stores and vending machines to conduct transactions. It will also set up a customer service desk that can be contacted to cancel the service in the event a mobile phone is lost. The company aims for 1.2 billion yen in revenues from the new service the first year. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Cell Phone Firms to Boost High-Resolution Camera Handset Lineups
Monday, August 4, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc and two other major cellular phone companies are set to expand their lineups of cell phones with a built-in charge-coupled device (CCD) camera featuring 1 million or more pixels. Sharp Corp is expected to supply them with cell phone digital cameras with 2 million pixels, almost the same as the pixel count in low-end digital cameras. Domestic sales of camera-equipped cell phones totaled 14.33 million units in 2002, accounting for 36% of total cell phone sales, with the percentage surging to 74% in January-March 2003. The popularity of such cell phones helped cause domestic shipments of low-end digital cameras with less than 2 million pixels to plunge 69% year on year to 110,000 units in the first six months of 2003. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/31/2003
  Beckham Phones, LCD TVs Boost Sharp Earnings
Thursday, July 31, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp, the world’s largest maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions, said on Tuesday that earnings rose in the latest quarter on strong demand for the flat TVs and camera-equipped mobile phones. Launched in 2000 for J-Phone, a Japanese unit of British mobile phone giant Vodafone Group Plc, Sharp’s camera phones took Japan by storm, prompting existing users to upgrade their handsets in a saturated market. Seeking to take its domestic success overseas, Sharp started shipping Vodafone its foldaway handsets equipped with digital cameras and a color screens in the second half of the business year that ended in March. Vodafone-brand handsets made by Sharp, nicknamed the "Beckham phone" because British soccer star David Beckham appears in its ads, are "flying off the shelves," the British mobile operator’s outgoing chief executive, Christopher Gent, told a Finnish daily last week. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Matsushita Q1 seen showing recovery on track
Thursday, July 31, 2003
  Summary Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, the world’s second-largest consumer electronics maker and owner of the Panasonic brand, is expected to post healthy first-quarter earnings this week, showing its recovery from recent record losses is on track. Strong demand for mobile phones and an export-boosting drop in the yen against the euro have more than offset sluggish U.S. sales, helping the firm to put its worst-ever loss in 2001/02 firmly behind it, analysts said. (Reuters)  
 
   
  NEC outsources overseas 3G handsets to Solectron
Thursday, July 31, 2003
  Summary Japan’s top mobile phone maker NEC Corp said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with contract manufacturer Solectron Corp to outsource all production of third-generation (3G) handsets for overseas markets. NEC said it plans to immediately shift production of 3G mobile phones for markets outside of Japan to Solectron’s manufacturing facilities in Suzhou, China. Until now, those phones were manufactured in NEC’s factories in Japan. Solectron would also offer supply-chain services to NEC in overseas markets under the agreement. NEC plans to boost overseas sales of 3G and 2.5G phones to five times last year’s levels (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/25/2003
  Japan Q1 handset sales up 33.7 pct yr/yr-Gartner
Friday, July 25, 2003
  Summary Japan’s domestic sales of mobile phone handsets rose 33.7 percent in the January-March period from a year earlier to 11.9 million units as customers upgraded to camera phones, research firm Gartner Japan said on Wednesday. NEC Corp, which has a strong line-up of cellphone models for NTT DoCoMo Inc, held top spot in the Japanese market for the ninth straight quarter, with sales of 2.66 million units. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd and Sharp Corp came in second and third, with sales of 2.08 million and 1.21 million units respectively. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/23/2003
  World’s First Mobile Phone For Terrestrial Digital TV
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
  Summary NEC Corporation announced today that it has developed the working prototype of mobile phone which is equipped with the receiver of terrestrial digital TV broadcasting. In Japan, terrestrial digital TV broadcasting service will commence from December 2003 in major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka districts. After few years, it is scheduled to offer the programmes specifically targeted for portable terminals including mobile phones as part of the terrestrial digital TV programmes. (3G.co.uk)  
 
   
  Image Quality Comparison of Cell Phones with Megapixel Cameras
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
  Summary Cellular phones equipped with megapixel (one million picture-element) cameras have been introduced in quick succession from late May. The pixel counts of such cameras have reached almost those of a standard digital camera, but can they really match the performance of the latter? Nikkei Personal Computing (NPC) took photos with the latest four camera-phone models as well as regular digital cameras for comparison, and checked the actual performance in terms of camera functions. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/19/2003
  Fujitsu Introduces 90nm CMOS, Cell-Based ICs for Consumer, Mobile Applications
Saturday, July 19, 2003
  Summary Fujitsu Ltd of Japan held a press conference to announce its latest 90nm-rule CMOS semiconductor process technology, "CS101 Series. The name, CS101 Series, is also used for cell-based IC products based on the process technology. "With CS101, we accomplished very high density and ultra low power devices, while we provide very high-speed," stated Toshihiko Ono, corporate senior vice president and group president of Fujitsu’s Electronic Devices Business Group. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Fujitsu Introduces 90nm CMOS, Cell-Based ICs for Consumer, Mobile Applications
Saturday, July 19, 2003
  Summary Fujitsu Ltd of Japan held a press conference to announce its latest 90nm-rule CMOS semiconductor process technology, "CS101 Series. The name, CS101 Series, is also used for cell-based IC products based on the process technology. "With CS101, we accomplished very high density and ultra low power devices, while we provide very high-speed," stated Toshihiko Ono, corporate senior vice president and group president of Fujitsu’s Electronic Devices Business Group (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/17/2003
  Fuji Photo Develops Small Printer for Mobile Phone Cameras
Thursday, July 17, 2003
  Summary Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd announced on July 9 that it has developed a compact printer for making hard copies of image data taken with a mobile phone camera and transmitted wirelessly. With the appearance on the market of mobile phones equipped with high-image-quality 1-megapixel cameras, the company expects demand for printers that offer easy output to rise. The company plans to place the printer on the market in December, selling it for around 20,000 yen. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/10/2003
  Sharp develops high-resolution LCD for mobiles
Thursday, July 10, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp has developed an LCD panel with a resolution so high that a cellular phone can display the same kinds of screens shown on a personal computer monitor. The new LCD panel has 300% higher resolution than today's panels, allowing for a pixel density comparable to that of a PC display. The result is a panel for cell phones that can display spreadsheets and Web sites with the same detail as PCs, showing text and images with high clarity. Because of the limits of conventional LCD panels, Web pages and other content are now simplified for display on cell phones. Sharpfs new panel eliminates the need for this and enables phones to display the same screens that PCs can. The advent of such screens could take cell phones to new levels of functionality. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/8/2003
  NEC Unit Develops Flat Panel Speaker for Mobile Phones
Tuesday, July 8, 2003
  Summary Authentic Ltd, a subsidiary of NEC Corp that develops audio products, announced July 3 that it has developed a new SoundVu flat-panel-type speaker system that can be embedded in mobile phones and other mobile devices. The panel itself on the LCD generates sound. The size of the new SoundVu module is smaller than its current SoundVu product for use in desktop PCs. The new product aims to replace conventional dynamic speakers, which require holes on the case. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Cellular Phone LCDs to Gain High Resolution QVGA Image Quality
Tuesday, July 8, 2003
  Summary Of the 400 million or more new mobile phones that make up the global market each year, in excess of 10% are sold in Japan. And ever since last autumn, monthly sales figures for phone handsets in Japan have been growing at rates of around 130% on a year-on-year basis. Most of the worlds mobile phones, 80% to 90% of them, have super twisted nematic (STN)-type LCD screens, and most are black and white only. The most important point, from the standpoint of image quality, is the resolution of a phones display screen. The standard display formats used at present are QCIF (144 x 176 pixels) and QCIF+ (176 x 220 pixels), but makers of megapixel camera phones have begun planning to use QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) screens. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Sharp, TI tie up on camera-phone components
Tuesday, July 8, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp, Japans biggest liquid crystal display (LCD) maker, and U.S. chip maker Texas Instruments Inc (TI) said on Monday they had agreed to jointly develop components and software for camera-phones. The two firms will start selling software-loaded chips to handset makers at the end of this year and this is expected to shorten the time required to design and manufacture new handsets. The first product will combine Sharps high-resolution charged-coupled devices (CCD), with one million pixels, flash memory and LCDs, and the U.S. makers software and chip sets. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/2/2003
  Seiko Epson Develops Processor for Camera Phones
Wednesday, July 2, 2003
  Summary Seiko Epson Corp announced that it has developed the S1C33L11, a 32-bit RISC-based processor that incorporates image-processing functionality, or a "mobile graphics engine." Seiko Epson intends to market this processor for camera-equipped mobile phones, especially for GSM phones in the Chinese market. The new chip not only offers JPEG processing speeds that are 15 times faster than the firm’s earlier products, it also consumes 80% less power and occupies 60% less board real estate. This product reduces the number of discrete LSI chips needed on a camera-equipped mobile device. It also lightens the load on the base-band engine and reduces product size, weight, power consumption, and cost. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/27/2003
  Renesas to Enter High-Capacity Flash Memory Market
Friday, June 27, 2003
  Summary Renesas Technology Corp, a semiconductor maker jointly owned by Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric Corp, will fully enter the high-capacity flash memory chip market as demand for the products increases with the spread of digital cameras and cellular phones with built-in cameras. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/25/2003
  Sony Ericsson Increases Focus On GSM/UMTS/EDGE
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
  Summary Sony Ericsson’s application focused business strategy has started to drive market share growth in both the Japanese and GSM markets. Sony Ericsson’s recent GSM-products have made a strong impact on the market and the recently introduced imaging phones for the Japanese market have broken new ground in mobile imaging. Sony Ericsson’s global R&D operations, GSM/UMTS R&D activities will be reduced to fewer sites. R&D activities in Munich Germany will be phased out. Approximately 500 employees will be affected in Munich, Germany and at Sony Ericsson’s CDMA R&D center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. "Today’s announcement ensures the continued growth and development of Sony Ericsson. The actions reflect our strong forward momentum as we intensify our business focus and work to achieve profitability," says Katsumi Ihara, President of Sony Ericsson. (3G.co.uk)  
 
   
  Sony Ericsson to Close U.S., German Sites, Cut Jobs
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
  Summary Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd., a mobile-telephone joint venture between Sony Corp. and Ericsson AB, said it will stop making some U.S. phones and will close two research facilities in the U.S. and Europe. London-based Sony Ericsson will close sites in Munich and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, eliminating 500, the company said in a statement. The venture will halt the production of handsets for CDMA, or code-division multiple access, technology in the U.S., where sales were less lucrative, one analyst said. Sony Ericsson, formed in October 2001, has racked up four quarters of losses and is losing ground to rivals including Nokia Oyj. (Bloomberg)  
 
   
  High end handsets leading growth in Japan
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
  Summary A new Yankee Group report, "Slowdown in Japanese Wireless Handset Market Prompts Changes in Vendor Strategies," has concluded that product demand has migrated away from base-end handsets to high-priced, multifunction handsets equipped with Internet connectivity, digital cameras, and high-resolution colour LCDs. Japan’s cellular and PHS handset sales for 2002 reached 39.3 million and 1.24 million units, respectively, for a total market of 40.54 million units. Factors contributing to the market contraction include that the market penetration is approaching 60% while demand for replacement handsets has not offset the fall in new subscriber growth. (Yankee Group)  
 
   
  Mitsubishi Electric to Sell Printer Terminal for Image Data Shot by Camera Phone
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
  Summary Mitsubishi Electric Corp introduced a new network printer terminal called "MS8000DSP-NT" for printing image data shot by a digital camera. Mitsubishi’s printer terminal for images shot by a camera phone and digital camera, nicknamed ’merutte pri’. Made to run on a network, it can print images sent from any of the same terminals in Japan as soon as it receives images emailed from a cell phone through an exclusive server. For example, one can send some images shot by a camera phone or digital camera to a friend using the new terminal. The company plans to sell the terminal to photo-copy service shops, convenience stores and game centers. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Epson, Fuetrek Co-Develop Display Control IC for Mobile Phones with Megapixel Cameras
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
  Summary Seiko Epson Corp of Nagano, Japan and Fuetrek Co, Ltd of Osaka, Japan have co-developed the S1D13721, a display control IC with a high-performance, 3-D graphics engine. It succeeds the S1D13715, a controller with megapixel camera interface functionality. The 3-D graphics engine, which is based on a hardwired 3-D engine developed by Fuetrek, puts a much lighter load on the CPU than the conventional software-based method. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/24/2003
  Next-Generation Technology Takes Off in Camera Phones
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
  Summary The technology competition in mobile telephony is intensifying, with the US and European manufacturers working furiously to catch up with Japanese manufacturers after their success with the i-mode and camera-equipped mobile phones. Some of the latest developments with mobile phones were on display at CeBIT 2003 held in Hannover, Germany in March 2003. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/18/2003
  N-Gage boss slams Nintendo GBA, reveals business model details
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
  Summary Nokias head of entertainment and media, Ilkka Raiskinen, has attacked Nintendos GBA in todays Dow Jones, accusing the system of failing to appeal to adult demographics, and has revealed some details of the development business model for the N-Gage wireless gaming console. "GameBoy is for 10-year-olds," Raiskinen is quoted as saying. "If youre 20 or 25 years old, its probably not a good idea to draw a GameBoy out of your pocket on a Friday night in a public place." Nokia would have us believe, of course, that the N-Gage will be a far more socially acceptable piece of kit. The cost of developing N-Gage titles runs at between $100,000 and $500,000, according to Raiskinen - significantly higher than the cost of developing most GBA titles. (Datamonitor)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/17/2003
  Fujitsu, Advanced Media Collaborate to Develop Speech Recognition System Chips
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
  Summary Fujitsu Ltd and Advanced Media Inc announced that they have embedded Advanced Media’s AmiVoice distributed speech recognition (AmiVoice DSR) software technology for the Japanese language in a system-on-a-chip solution using Fujitsu’s FAITH chip-design methodology.The new system chip reduces power consumption and processor burdens at both the client and server end, opening up new possibilities in sectors that were previously constrained by software applications of speech recognition technology. With the new chip, customers in a variety of fields, such as mobile phones, automotive systems, and digital home-entertainment equipment, can use AmiVoice DSR for advanced voice-activated applications. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Handheld Printers Ready to Take Off
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
  Summary Small, palm-sized printers that can print digital images on photo paper that is postcard or business card sized have come under the spotlight. The reasons for this are that the ownership rate of digital cameras has reached more than 30% domestically, and that a mobile phone with a built-in digital camera of 1,000,000-pixel picture quality has appeared in the market. It is considered that the market for printing digital photos taken by these devices will continue to expand, and is expected to reach 300 billion yen by 2006. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/13/2003
  Kodak to Enter Japan Digital Camera Market
Friday, June 13, 2003
  Summary Eastman Kodak Co, the world’s top maker of photographic film, said on Thursday it plans to re-enter Japan’s digital camera market within a year. "Japan’s digital camera market accounts for about 25 percent of global demand and while the top manufacturers are here, we cannot avoid this market," said Yusuke Kojima, general manager of Kodak’s consumer digital camera business, at a company briefing for suppliers and clients. Kodak is one of the world’s top five digital camera makers, but currently has no presence in Japan, a market that is dominated by Sony Corp, Olympus Optical Co Ltd, Canon Inc and Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd The company suspended sales of its digital cameras in Japan in 2002 after failing to woo enough customers. (CNET)  
 
   
  Sony to invest $76.5 mln in new display panels for mobile products
Friday, June 13, 2003
  Summary Sony said it will invest about nine billion yen (76.5 million dollars) to make a next generation display panel, which should facilitate smaller, lighter digital cameras and mobile phones. The Japanese technology giant will start mass production of a new type of Organic Light Emitting Diode (ELED) display panels from next spring, under its new Super Top Emission trademark. "The initial production will aim to supply panels with high picture quality for Sony mobile products and production capacity will start from 300,000 (at two inches, five centimetres) for the first stage," Sony Corp. said in a statement Thursday. (AFP)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/11/2003
  Global Sales of Mobile Phones Post Higher-Than-Expected Yearly Increase of 18% in Q1
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
  Summary Global sales of mobile phones in the first quarter (January through March) of 2003 were brisk, surging by 18% from the same quarter the previous year to 112.7 million units, according to Gartner Japan Ltd. Global sales of mobile phones in the first quarter (January through March) of 2003 were brisk, surging by 18% from the same quarter the previous year to 112.7 million units, according to Gartner Japan Ltd. Among the Japanese makers, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co, Ltd ranked seventh, and NEC Corp, eighth. Although Gartner has not made public the share of each company, it said the difference between the shares of the two Japanese makers was less than 1%. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/9/2003
  New Mobile Phones to Boast Mega-Pixel Digital Cameras
Monday, June 9, 2003
  Summary Sales of mobile phones with built-in digital cameras are rising, with demand growing as the picture quality of the cameras, decided by the number of pixels, improves. Many new phone models of so-called camera phones, which boast mega-pixel cameras are set to appear in the next several months. From the end of May, these new phone handsets, equipped with million-pixel camera modules, began going on sale in stores. With their greater pixel-power, the new camera phones will start to be seen more as value-added mobile devices, like PDAs, and are even likely to start eating into the market for conventional digital still cameras. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/6/2003
  Seiko Epson Develops Display Control LSI for Cell Phones with Megapixel Cameras
Friday, June 6, 2003
  Summary Seiko Epson Corp has developed the S1D13715 display control LSI for cellular phones and PDAs with built-in megapixel cameras. Samples of the device will soon be available at a sample price of 1,500 yen per piece, and volume production is expected to begin in December, the company said. The S1D13715 is a faster version of the S1D13710 and S1D13712, which are already in production (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/5/2003
  ’Revolving’ Cell Phone to Give Momentum to New Designs
Thursday, June 5, 2003
  Summary Newly designed cell phones are being launched one after another, following straight-bar and folding-type models that have been dominant for a long period. New designd in recent cell phones include a model from Seiko Instruments Inc and from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Ltd, both of which were launched by NTT DoCoMo Inc. Another example is the "REVOLVER A5305K," which is made by Kyocera Corp and was launched by KDDI Corp in late May. It has an LCD that rotates by 180 degrees transversely, and its design seems to be promising as the standard for future cell phones. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Kyocera Develops Very Small Antenna Switch Modules for GSM Mobile Phones
Thursday, June 5, 2003
  Summary Kyocera Corp of Kyoto, Japan announced the development of new antenna switch modules, which switch transmission and reception signals in the front end of GSM mobile phones. Kyocera claims the products are smaller, thinner and lighter than conventional products with reduced loss and lower current consumption. The three models are the LX-Q615S2 for Quad Band, LM-T615S3 for Triple Band, and LM-D615S3 for Dual Band. Mass production will start in July at a volume of 500,000 units per month. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/4/2003
  Camera phone excitement helps spark wireless Internet use
Wednesday, June 4, 2003
  Summary A new customer survey shows that the wireless data industry may have turned the corner, a change that seems to be due to the advent of camera phones. The number of people using their phones to access Internet information increased for the first time since June 2001, according to the latest wireless Internet survey from global management consulting firm A. T. Kearney and the Judge Institute of Management at Cambridge University’s business school. The survey found more than one-third of users said they have accessed the Internet on their mobile phones at least once in the last month, a 25-percent increase since the last study in June 2002. The survey, which has been regularly conducted since 2000, included about 5,600 interviews across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom. (RCR News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/3/2003
  NTT DoCoMo to Market Pixel-Intense Mobile Phone by Sony Ericsson
Tuesday, June 3, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc said June 2 that its mega-pixel camera mobile phone, model "SO505i," made by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will be available at stores from June 4 onwards. The new handset features a 1.3 mega-pixel CCD camera, and a Macromedia Flash browser and a remote control function by infrared communication. It has a card slot for Memory Stick Duo to store shot images. When the phone is folded, it looks like a camera with the 2.2-in. screen. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Fujitsu to Double Output of Cell Phone Camera Sensor Modules
Tuesday, June 3, 2003
  Summary Fujitsu Ltd plans to increase production of camera sensor modules for cellular phones from the current 500,000 units a month to 1.0-1.5 million units, to meet growing demand, company sources said. The increase will focus on CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors, whose output will be raised partly by farming out more production to outside affiliates. The CMOS sensor modules to be produced will include those featuring at least 1 million pixels, compared with those with 100,000 to 300,000 pixels currently being produced. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/29/2003
  Samsung, LG, Kyocera Among Word’s Top CDMA Handset Suppliers
Thursday, May 29, 2003
  Summary Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd and LG Electronics Inc maintained their positions as the world’s two biggest CDMA wireless handset providers for 2002. Strategy Analytics , a US-based market research company, released reports revealing that Samsung Electronics took 29% of the world CDMA handset market, followed by LG Electronics with 20%. Motorola Inc held a 19% market share to take third place, followed by Kyocera with 11%. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/28/2003
  Touch Panels Developed for Mobile Phones
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
  Summary Firms such as Matsushita Electronic Components Co, Ltd, Gunze Ltd and Fujitsu Component Ltd, all of Japan, are already sample-shipping touch panels only 0.5 to 0.6mm thick and about 4g in weigh. Volume production of these products is expected to start before the end of 2003. Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd of Japan and Fujitsu Component will probably productize a touch panel for mobile phones, offering a 98% transparency, in the second half of 2003. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Megapixel Camera Cell Phones to Make Market Debuts in Rapid Succession, Led by J-Phone
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
  Summary Mobile phones with camera functions exceeding one million in both effective pixels and maximum recording pixels, or the so-called megapixel camera cell phones, are making their debut in quick succession. Megapixel camera cell phones of the J-Phone, NTT DoCoMo and KDDI brands will appear in retail stores between May 22 and 30, 2003. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  TMC’s MPEG 4 Technology Adopted in Casio’s Camera Phone
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
  Summary Techno Mathematical Co, Ltd announced that Casio Computer Co, Ltd has adopted TMC’s MPEG 4-image encoding/decoding software using its "Digital Media New Algorithm (DMNA)" for Casio’s cell phone handsets with a 1.24-million pixel CCD camera. Cell phone manufacturers have started to mount a camera function capable of handling still images as well as moving picture on their new handset products. Handsets need embedded software for that purpose without putting a heavy load on the handset’s microprocessor. By adopting TMC’s embedded software, Casio realized a shooting/playing function of moving images without proprietary hardware. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/26/2003
  Sharp’s Mobile Phone Production Tops 10 Million
Monday, May 26, 2003
  Summary In October 2000, Sharp Corporation took initiative in the industry by supplying J-Phone with the J-SH04 mobile phone, which featured a built-in digital camera that enabled users to take photos and send/receive images via email. By using its proprietary strengths to develop products that anticipate customer needs, Sharp has achieved a popularity that has seen its camera-equipped mobile phone production reach 10 million units in just two and a half years. (JapanCorp.Net)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/22/2003
  Philips Introduces Display Module for Camera-Phone Market
Thursday, May 22, 2003
  Summary Philips Electronics unveiled the Compact Clam Color Camera (C4) module that includes two color displays and a VGA camera. It is designed to satisfy OEM demand for highly integrated display modules that can be quickly and easily added to new mobile phones to create feature-rich products. The C4 features a thin-film transistor (TFT) color main display, a color super-twisted nematic (CSTN) sub-display and a VGA camera. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/21/2003
  NEC’s Cell Phones Move Toy Car by Infrared Communications
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
  Summary Konami Corp and NEC Corp announced a technical cooperation by which Konami’s "MICROiR" series mini cars can be remotely controlled by cell phones made by NEC through infrared communications. "MCROiR" series toy cars were controlled only by special controllers. Now customers can use their cell phones to move their cars by downloading data for remote control from dedicated Web sites for the mobile phones, including one for i-mode. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/20/2003
  Japan 3G users to increase eightfold by 2007-IDC
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
  Summary The number of subscribers to a fledgeling third-generation (3G) mobile phone service in Japan is likely to grow more than eightfold in the next five years on the back of aggressive expansion by carriers, a research firm said on Monday. Users of the 3G service, which offers video conferencing and speedy access to the Web, are likely to reach 69 million in 2007, IDC Japan said in a research note. That would be up from about eight million at the end of April, or over 700 percent. Market share for the 3G service is expected to grow to 77.6 percent of the total cellphone market, compared with 10 percent at the end of April. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/19/2003
  Sony Computer to Debut New Portable Game Machine in 2004
Monday, May 19, 2003
  Summary Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) announced that it is developing a portable entertainment game console called the "PSP." SCE will put the PSP on the market for the year-end, gift-giving season of 2004. PSP will have an optical disc of 1.8GB memory as a media called "Universal Media Disc (UMD)" that the Sony group has developed. In addition, the PSP will include 3D graphics drawing functions. USB2.0 is available for the external interface. There will be a slot-supporting Memory Stick. Wireless network connections will be included, too. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/15/2003
  NTT DoCoMo licenses Picsel Browser for sigmarionIII
Thursday, May 15, 2003
  Summary Picsel Technologies, a provider of embedded software, announced that NTT DoCoMo, Inc. has licensed Picsel Browser(TM) for their self branded sigmarionIII handheld device, manufactured by NEC. The Picsel enabled sigmarionIII device, which utilises the Windows(R) CE.NET Operating System and is powered by an Intel(R) PXA255 400MHz processor, will debut in Japan by June 2003. Picsel Browser on sigmarionIII will enable revolutionary mobile Internet Browsing and seamless File Viewing capabilities, delivered through an exceptionally rich highly interactive mobile user environment. (BusinessWire)  
 
   
  Personal Authentication Tech Using Facial Shots Captured on a Camera Phone
Thursday, May 15, 2003
  Summary Earth Beat Inc has developed embedded software called "GeneLock-Light" for authenticating users from a facial image or object image captured on a mobile phone equipped with a digital camera. Earth Beat is a Japanese venture company engaged in image recognition technology. Today’s mobile phones commonly use four-digit PIN numbers for user authentication. But a new authentication method offering a higher level of security is now required because mobile phones could be used in place of credit cards for authentication purposes in the future. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/14/2003
  NEC predicts fivefold rise in overseas sales
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
  Summary NEC, Japan’s largest mobile-phone maker, is on the offensive in the global handset market and will this year grow its overseas sales fivefold, according to a senior executive. Ben Nakamura, senior vice-president in charge of NEC’s mobile phone business, said yesterday he expected NEC to double its share of the global mobile phone handset market from 5 per cent to 10 per cent, helped by the popularity of camera phones. The bullish outlook comes as NEC faces a saturated market at home and a decline in domestic market share - from about 28 per cent to about 20 per cent recently. (Financial Times (subscription))  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/13/2003
  Camera parts key for Japan’s handset makers-NEC
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
  Summary A steady supply of lens modules for wildly popular camera phones could determine the winners and losers among Japan’s handset manufacturers, NEC Corp said on Monday. Japan’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones said a new wave of camera phones for both home and abroad is forcing a shortage of lens modules, the vital ingredient for the handsets. "We are all competing for camera modules and that competition will determine market share," Ben Nakamura, NEC’s mobile business head, told reporters at an informal gathering. The limited production capabilities of lens module suppliers is currently not enough to supply manufacturer demand, Nakamura said. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Kyocera aims to differentiate with Opera browser
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
  Summary Japan’s mobile-phone maker Kyocera said it will use wireless Internet browser technology from Opera Software ASA in its upcoming phones, a move the companies said will give users access to full HTML Web pages. The Opera browser uses Small-Screen Rendering technology, which Opera said eliminates the need for horizontal scrolling on small mobile-phone screens. Opera recently began selling its browser for some high-end Nokia Corp. phones. (RCR Wireless News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/8/2003
  SD Memory Card Holds Top Market Share at 31%, BCN Says
Thursday, May 8, 2003
  Summary Sales of SD Memory Cards have been increasing strongly in the Japanese market for memory cards equipped with NAND-type flash memory chips. Unit-based sales of SD Memory Cards for the second quarter of 2003 increased 230.8% from the same quarter a year earlier at the country’s 690 main computer retail outlets of 12 major companies. It ranks the top, accounting for 31.5% of the market in volume. CompactFlash ranked second, accounting for 26.6% of the market, and Memory Stick ranked third, accounting for 13.8%. Smart Media and xD picture cards follow, accounting for 13.8% and 12.5%, respectively. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Cell Phone Sales Decline for Two Consecutive Years in Japan: Gartner
Thursday, May 8, 2003
  Summary Japan’s domestic cell phone sales in 2002 declined 3.0% from the previous year to 39,390,000 units, recording a year-on-year decrease for two consecutive years, according to Dataquest, a unit of Gartner Japan Ltd. Sales in the fourth quarter of 2002 increased 34.0% to 10,700,000 units, achieving a quarter-on-quarter increase for the first time in the past eight quarters. But they were not enough to make up for the sales decline recorded between the first quarter and the third quarter. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/7/2003
  Sharp packs new GX20 phone with high-spec features
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
  Summary Comparing GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) handsets made by Japanese manufacturers, which are on sale in many regions of the world, to the PDC (Personal Digital Communications) phones that are for sale only in Japan used to be like comparing chalk and cheese. They both performed basic telephony but where GSM handsets had a small, monochrome and often text-only LCD (liquid crystal display) and limited e-mail or wireless Internet functions, Japanese PDC handsets were packed with functions such as large, color screens, multimedia e-mail, cameras, packet-based wireless Internet and most recently additional functions such as support for Java. (IDG)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/25/2003
  Sony Ericsson faces further questions
Friday, April 25, 2003
  Summary Sony Ericsson, the world’s fifth-largest mobile phone maker, faced fresh questions about its future on Thursday after seeing its market share fall and losses come in above expectations in the first quarter. But the group, jointly owned by Sony of Japan and Ericsson of Sweden, said it was sticking to a forecast of a profit for the full year, even though analysts are increasingly sceptical about the target being met. "All the figures that the company presented in the first quarter were disappointing. Unless there is a dramatic improvement in the second quarter, it is increasingly likely that Ericsson will want to withdraw from the joint venture," said Jussi Uskola, analyst at Nordea Securities. (Financial Times)  
 
   
  KDDI Adds Movie Mail-compatible A5305K with Innovative Swivel Design to 3G Mobile Lineup
Friday, April 25, 2003
  Summary KDDI Corp. and Okinawa Cellular recently announced their plans to launch sales of the new Movie Mail-compatible handset A5305K in mid-May of this year. Manufactured by Kyocera Corp., the handset allows users to shoot and send seamless movies and is part of a new lineup of third-generation mobile phones (CDMA 2000 1x), a format that enables high-speed data transmission of up to 144 kbps. (JapanCorp.Nert)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/24/2003
  Sharp, Datang in deal to sell photo-phones in China
Thursday, April 24, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp, a pioneer of Japan’s ubiquitous camera-equipped cellphones, said on Wednesday it will start selling camera-phones in China this month, expanding beyond established markets in Japan and Europe. Sharp will initially supply 100,000 camera-phones to Beijing-based Datang Telecom Technology Co Ltd 600198.SS , a major Chinese telecoms equipment supplier. "This is a high-end product, so we’ll want to see how well it sells before setting any long-term targets for the market," Noboru Hanioka, head of Sharp’s overseas cellphone marketing division, told a news conference. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/22/2003
  Sony Ericsson: Sublime Japan Handset Design
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
  Summary This week, WWJ sits down with Sony Ericsson to look into the design process that animates Japan’s ubercool handset industry. We ask about product planning, design peculiarities of the Japanese market, development for overseas, and about new technologies - like removable memory and swivel cameras. Sony Ericsson is one of Japan’s top handset factories and their new-last-week 505i handset for DoCoMo is the only one with a 1.3-megapixel camera. If there’s something these folks don’t know about creating handsets, it’s not worth knowing. (WWJ)  
 
   
  Samsung to Enter Cell Phone Memory Market
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
  Summary Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd of Korea announced it will enter the market of memory cards for mobile devices by launching volume production of a MultiMediaCard (MMC). The major Korean electronics maker will produce standard products for general mobile devices and smaller-size products for mobile phones (RS-MMC). It plans to ship 16/32/64/128MB products for both types with the 2GB NAND Flash EEPROM production technology using 90-micron process technology it developed in September 2002. MMC and RS-MMC will consist of NAND Flash EEPROM memory chips and its proprietary controller. For example, a 128MB memory card can record 2,500 50KB images taken by regular digital cameras, 32 4MB titles of MP3 music, each of which lasts about four minutes, and about 20 minutes of VGA animation. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Color Camera Phones: A Boon to the Device Market
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
  Summary Mobile phones equipped with a built-in camera are already the de facto standard in the Japanese domestic market. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated, too, progressing from still photography to video capability. The scene is now set for camera phones from Japan to penetrate markets in the United States, Europe, and the wider Asian region. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/18/2003
  Furukawa Electric Develops World’s Thinnest Heat Sink for Heat Dissipation in Mobile Equipment
Friday, April 18, 2003
  Summary Furukawa Electric has developed an innovative sheet-type heat sink, a vapor chamber claimed the thinnest in the world, which enables cooling of semiconductor chips in mobile electronic equipment such as notebook PCs, cellular phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) and CCDs (Charge-Coupled Device, an imaging device used in digital cameras). The heat sink can also be used for equalizing the heat distribution within the casings. (JapanCorp.Net)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/17/2003
  Sanyo Adds Low-Power, Low-Cost Version of 1/7-In. VGA CCD Camera Module
Thursday, April 17, 2003
  Summary Sanyo Electric Co, Ltd added two compact types of new 1/7-in. CCD camera modules to its "HyperEye" line, supporting VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels) for cell phones with built-in cameras. Sanyo claimed the new modules achieve the industry’s lowest power consumption at 95mW when they process 15 frames per second (fps). (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  NTT Data to Tie Up with Korean Venture on Infrared Mobile Phone Payment System
Thursday, April 17, 2003
  Summary NTT Data Corp announced that it has agreed with Seoul-based Harex InfoTech Inc to collaborate on infrared mobile phone payment technology. Harex will provide technology and know-how for the establishment of a mobile phone payment trial service system using infrared communication based on the Visa Proximity Payment Messaging Specification to NTT Data. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/16/2003
  NEC 3G Handset Comes To Australia
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
  Summary Australia : NEC unveiled the NEC e606, one of Australia’s first 3G mobile handsets and the first and only model to offer mobile video calling. From today, the e606 is being marketed by Hutchison Telecoms, under the first global 3G service, branded 3. (3G)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/9/2003
  Digital Camera, Cell Phone Demand Creating Lens Shortage
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
  Summary Surging global demand for digital cameras and camera-equipped cellular phones has created a lens shortage. Lenses are now one of the most difficult digital camera parts to procure, along with charge-coupled devices and liquid crystal displays. Global digital camera shipments surged 66% to 24.55 million units in 2002, surpassing the Camera & Imaging Products Association’s initial estimate by about 5 million. "If it weren’t for a lens shortage, shipments would have been higher," said an official at a lens manufacturer. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/8/2003
  Cell Phone Firms to Boost High-Resolution Camera Handset Lineups
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc and two other major cellular phone companies are set to expand their lineups of cell phones with a built-in charge-coupled device (CCD) camera featuring 1 million or more pixels. Sharp Corp is expected to supply them with cell phone digital cameras with 2 million pixels, almost the same as the pixel count in low-end digital cameras. Domestic sales of camera-equipped cell phones totaled 14.33 million units in 2002, accounting for 36% of total cell phone sales, with the percentage surging to 74% in January-March 2003. The popularity of such cell phones helped cause domestic shipments of low-end digital cameras with less than 2 million pixels to plunge 69% year on year to 110,000 units in the first six months of 2003. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  Barcode Scanning Opens New Territory for Mobile Phones
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
  Summary Camera phones equipped with barcode-reading functionality are likely to open up some new business opportunities. Just by pointing their "camphone" at a printed barcode, users will be able to directly access a web site or send an e-mail message without needing to key in the address. And when Java applets based on scanning capabilities have been developed, the possibilities will be even greater. However, at the moment scanning speeds and other technical issues have hampered development. As a result, the application of barcode scanning for mail-order shopping or better business efficiency has so far taken the form of a barcode reader attached as an add-on device to a mobile phone. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  NTT DoCoMo, Rivals to Debut New Camera Phones
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. and rival Japanese cellular phone companies will later this year sell handsets with built-in digital still cameras that have resolution of more than 1 megapixel, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information. Among handset makers, Sharp Corp., which supplies 1-megapixel camera phones to NTT DoCoMo and J-Phone, plans to release handsets incorporating 2-megapixel cameras, the Nikkei report said. After October, NTT DoCoMo will start offering camera phones of greater than 1-megapixel quality supplied by NEC Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the paper said. NTT DoCoMo, J-Phone and Japan’s Telecom’s au service started selling 1-megapixel camera phones in late May. NTT DoCoMo sold about 1.27 million megapixel handsets by the end of July, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/2/2003
  J-Phone, DoCoMo to launch megapixel camera-phones
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
  Summary J-Phone Co Ltd, a unit of Vodafone Group Plc , and NTT DoCoMo Inc , Japans biggest mobile carrier, will launch high-resolution million-pixel camera-phones in May, company sources said on Wednesday. The new handsets, with resolution four times sharper than existing models and suitable for making standard-sized prints, would push cellphones into competition with low-end digital cameras, although some analysts harbour doubts about likely consumer interest. (Reuters)  
 
   
  DoCoMo, J-Phone to Sell Advanced Camera Handsets
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc and other domestic cell phone service companies will from May debut a number of advanced camera-equipped handsets featuring charge coupled devices boasting more than 1 million pixels, industry sources said. DoCoMo will in mid-May debut a phone with a 1.23-million-pixel camera under its 505 series, which is made by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. The company plans to market four such models by autumn, including a 1.31-million-pixel model made by Sony Corp and a 1.28-million-pixel version manufactured by Fujitsu Ltd. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
  AMD, Fujitsu challenge Intel with flash memory joint venture
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
  Summary With a view to baiting Intel Corp., two chip companies, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Fujitsu Ltd., have agreed to turn their joint venture on flash memory into a company for wireless devices like mobile phones and personal digital assistants. (RCR News)  
 
   
  Sharp Unveils 4.6mm-Thick CCD Module Supporting VGA for Cell Phones
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
  Summary Sharp Corp announced the "LZOP371K," a new compact CCD camera module for cell phones. The module measures 13mm x 10mm x 4.6mm, and has a volume of 0.6cc. According to Sharp, its new module will make folding-type cell phones thinner than existing models. It has 350,000 pixels and employs the flame interline transfer (FIT) method. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 4/1/2003
  Docomo to test-market Seiko’s wristwatch phone
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
  Summary NTT Docomo Inc. is close to launching a test-marketing effort in Japan for a wristwatch phone developed by Seiko Instruments Inc. Recognizing the limits of the Wristomo phone, Docomo will offer a limited number, roughly 5,000, via the Internet for about $420 each to gauge customer interest. The prototypes required users to talk openly and loudly into the phone or to use an earphone and microphone. Seiko solved the problem with a proprietary, three-piece design that folds closed to form a bangle. (CommsDesign)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/26/2003
  Matsushita to launch i-mode phone in Europe
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
  Summary The cellphone unit of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd said on Tuesday it planned to launch an Internet-enabled "i-mode" handset in Europe by the end of calendar 2003, giving a boost to the struggling service overseas. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/19/2003
  FOMA 3G Handset Sold Out
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
  Summary The new FOMA 3G mobile phone P2102V released last week by NTT DoCoMo has nearly sold out a Japanese paper has claimed. The sales are beleived to have reached approx. 9000 handsets. This 3G handset is manufactured by Matsuita (Panasonic) and has a swivel feature, takes photos and allows video conferencing. The cost is $295 (34,500 yen ). (3G.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/18/2003
  Mitsubishi Electric Exhibits Cell Phone with 100-Mln. Pixel Digital Camera
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
  Summary Mitsubishi Electric Corp. exhibited a prototype mobile phone handset with a digital camera having a resolution of about 100 million pixels and wireless LAN capability at CeBIT 2003. The new mobile phone model comes with a small digital camera attachable to the hinge of the folding handset. The digital camera has a MPEG-4 encoding capability to take photos of animation. It is also capable of transmitting images taken to any access points nearby via wireless LAN. The model will have a compatibility with UMTS, the third-generation mobile communications protocol adopted in Europe. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/13/2003
  New i-mode Phone for KPN Mobile
Thursday, March 13, 2003
  Summary NEC announced its latest i-mode handset, the n31i. The device is being supplied to KPN Mobile in the Netherlands, Germany (E-Plus) and Belgium (BASE). The n31i marks a landmark in NECs European i-mode devices, offering a raft of new features and functionality including an integrated camera with digital zoom, JAVA technology and MMS capabilities. The n31i also features support for advanced security functionality based on the international standards SSL and TLS. This opens the door to advanced mobile financial and transaction service provision. (3G)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/12/2003
  NEC Opts for Mezoe Bluetooth
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
  Summary Mezoe, the Bluetooth software business developed by Cambridge Consultants Ltd, today announced that NEC’s e606 3G videophone handsets, delivered to the mobile multimedia and communications service "3" developed by Hutchison 3G, are to be Bluetooth enabled by its protocol software BlueStack. This latest announcement adds further strength to the Mezoe brand, whose software is the basis of that already used in more than 60% of all Bluetooth qualified devices worldwide. (Unstrung)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/11/2003
  Japan Jan handset shipments up 17.2 pct yr/yr
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
  Summary Japan’s domestic cellphone shipments grew at double-digit rates in January for a third month in a row, an industry body said on Tuesday, riding a protracted boom in camera-equipped phones. Handset shipments rose 17.2 percent from the same month a year earlier to 3.84 million units, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) said. (Reuters)  
 
   
  HDDs for Mobile Phones, Cars, and Everything Else
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
  Summary Demand for hard disk drives (HDDs) for consumer electronics devices has been growing rapidly since 1999. Despite the fact that HDD development is expected to start hitting technical barriers some time around 2005, they are likely to continue to find more uses in consumer goods. It seems possible that in the near future HDDs will begin appearing even in mobile phones and PDA devices. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/10/2003
  NEC, Hitachi Aim to Commercialize Fuel Cell for Mobile Devices by 2004-2005
Monday, March 10, 2003
  Summary Two electric giants are scrambling for a top seat to commercialize a fuel cell using nano materials for mobile equipment, the likes of cellular phones and PCs, with an eye on the launch of practical production by 2004 to 2005. NEC Corp has recently disclosed its plan to quicken the launch of commercial production of fuel cells for mobile devices to 2004, one year ahead of the initial plan. Hitachi Ltd is to introduce fuel cells for mobile products by 2005. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/7/2003
  Japan’s megapixel phones eye digital cameras’ turf
Friday, March 7, 2003
  Summary Japan’s cellphone makers, pioneers of the camera-equipped handset, look set to intrude into digital camera makers’ turf as a fierce battle for market share draws them towards photo-phones with million-pixel resolution. No one is yet consigning digital cameras to the high-tech scrapheap, but some of the dozen or so handset makers that crowd the Japanese market are preparing to launch "megapixel" photo phones this year with picture quality good enough to make prints. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/5/2003
  Sony Ericsson announces A1301S mobile phone with camera
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
  Summary Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications today announced the shipment of the A1301S to KDDI and Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company. This is the Industry's first mobile phone with 290 degree rotating "MOTION EYE" integrated camera with photo light. The A1301S is the first Sony Ericsson phone with integrated 310K-pixel camera enabling still or moving image capture and editing functionality. The dual changeable front and back panels offer users the ultimate in personalization and a total visual entertainment experience. (Huginonline)  
 
   
  Manufacturers team up on 3D display standards
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
  Summary Several high-tech companies including Sony and Sanyo have officially unveiled a consortium to create technical and safety standards for bringing three-dimensional displays to desktops, laptops and mobile phones. The aptly named 3D Consortium was founded by a group of five Japanese manufacturers -- Itochu, NTT Data and Sharp are the remaining three -- which have begun to develop technology for screens where two-dimensional images stand out like holograms. The consortium had been discussed in the past but until now had not been formally fleshed out. (ZDNet)  
 
   
  Sony Ericsson Unveils Five New Mobile Phones
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
  Summary Mobile-phone maker Sony Ericsson Tuesday unveiled five new color-screen models, ramping up efforts to boost its market share and stem its losses. The phone manufacturer, a joint venture of Telefon AB LM Ericsson and Sony Corp., said all of the phones will be available by midyear. Sony Ericsson, which is the world's fifth-largest phone maker, has vowed to be profitable this year. Sony Ericsson said it had begun shipping its A1301S model to KDDI and Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co. in Japan. The clamshell model, developed for the Japanese market, includes a 290-degree rotating camera and supports CDMA2000 1x technology. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 3/4/2003
  Sanyo begins shipping new displays
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
  Summary Sanyo Electric Co. said Monday it has begun commercial shipments of next-generation, flat-panel organic electroluminescence (EL) displays manufactured by SK Display Corp., a joint venture between Sanyo and Eastman Kodak Co. of the United States. The venture is aiming for monthly production of 100,000 units of 2-inch displays for use in digital cameras that will be released in April by Kodak. Sanyo said cell phones it plans to make for KDDI Corp. this year will feature the new displays. (Japan Times)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/26/2003
  Vodafone leads camera phone deployments
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
  Summary The latest Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies report, "Vodafone’s J-Phone of Japan Leads 18 Million Unit Camera Phone Market," concludes that 18 million embedded-camera phones were sold worldwide in 2002, of which 13 million were sold in Japan. (PMN)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/24/2003
  Mitsubishi Elec Develops Next-Generation IP Cell Phone
Monday, February 24, 2003
  Summary Mitsubishi Electric Corp of Japan made public its current development state of a new mobile IP phone handset called "Mobile IP Talk" at a private event on Feb. 13, 2003 to showcase the fruits of its R&D development. The handset, for providing mobile voice-over IP telephony, has a slot for a Compact Flash card in which a wireless LAN or PHS card can be set. It first announced its development of the handset in September 2002. Since then, it has been striving for further miniaturization of its case and reduction of power consumption. In the summer of 2003, according to its roadmap, it will roll out the handsets with a standby time of up to 30 hours or so, that is, almost 20 times longer than previously announced. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 2/8/2003
  Japan Aviation Electronics Debuts Portable Reader/Writer for MiniSD Memory Card
Saturday, February 8, 2003
  Summary Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Ltd will launch on Aug. 5 a reader/writer "PC-RNS1" that has a USB interface for the "miniSD" small-sized SD Memory Card. The PC-RNS1 has a surface area about a third the size of a business card because the company hopes that users will carry it around in their daily routines. The company said it is the first product of its kind based on such a concept. "It has a hole to put through a mobile phone strap in order to make it easy to carry," a company official said. The new product is for two types of usages. One is to store images shot by a camera-loaded mobile phone in a miniSD and retrieve them on a PC. MiniSD is built into four models of NTT DoCoMo Inc’s "Mova 505i" series as standard equipment. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/20/2003
  Omron Unveils Print Service for Cell Phones With Cameras
Monday, January 20, 2003
  Summary Omron Corp will launch a print service called "Sassoku Print" (for mobile phones) to enable customers to print images taken by camera-equipped cellular phones with a special print terminal. The print terminal will look like a "Print Club" vending machine, which takes a photo and prints it into a sheet of stickers on the spot. Companies that plan to join the service include Ito-Yokado Co Ltd, Duskin Co Ltd, Best Denki Co Ltd, and a mini-lab chain operator 55 Station, Inc. Also, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has started a similar service called "Melutte Pri" (which means ’e-mail for printing’) at ten locations around Shibuya ward in Tokyo in December 2002. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/17/2003
  Mobile firms find growth in camera phones
Friday, January 17, 2003
  Summary The market for mobile phones is nearly saturated, but there is still one niche for which consumer demand continues to grow: cell phones equipped with cameras. With three-fifths of the Japanese population, or 73 million subscribers, carrying a cell phone, companies can no longer expect rapid growth of the overall market. Competition will only get more intense with the full-scale introduction this year of third-generation (3G) technology. The three companies sold a combined total of about 15 million camera phones by the end of 2002. (Asahi)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/15/2003
  Japan Nov handset shipments up 1st time in 18 mths
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
  Summary Japan’s domestic shipments of mobile phones posted their first year-on-year growth in 18 months in November, an industry body said on Wednesday, with camera-phones stirring demand in a saturating market. Handset shipments rose 17.0 percent from the same month a year earlier to 3.78 million units, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) said. NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s dominant mobile phone operator, said on Tuesday it had reeled in more than five million users for its photo-taking handsets in just over seven months since the launch of its camera-phones in June. J-Phone Corp, which started camera-phone service in late 2000, had 7.91 million users for its photo-taking cellphones by the end of December, and KDDI Corp had 2.47 million, bringing the number of camera-phone users in Japan to over 15 million. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/14/2003
  Samsung to sell mobile phones for i-mode service in Europe
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
  Summary South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. will begin supplying mobile phone handsets designed to receive i-mode Internet services operated by NTT DoCoMo Inc. in Europe. The South Korean electronics manufacturer will initially ship 100,000 to 200,000 units this year, intending to later boost the amount after monitoring sales trends, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Sunday. The company is due to supply a clam-shell model equipped with a small digital camera to Bouygues Telecom, France’s third-largest mobile phone service provider, the business daily said. Samsung also intends supplying its i-mode handsets to other mobile phone operators in Europe, the newspaper said. (AFP)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/10/2003
  Sanyo SCP-5300 Wins Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering
Friday, January 10, 2003
  Summary Sanyofs SCP-5300, Americafs first wireless phone with a built-in digital camera, has been selected as an Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering Showcase honoree in the Wireless Communications category. The prestigious yearly showcase honors the yearfs most innovative products sold in the U.S. (Sprint)  
 
   
  Slick Japanese cell phones return to U.S. after long hiatus
Friday, January 10, 2003
  Summary For American cell phone users, the past few years have been ones of deprivation. While folks in Japan and Europe chatted on slick cell phones made by Sony, Panasonic, NEC and others, Americans had to make do with models that sported fewer features. Japanese makers had largely fled the American market because it was cluttered with competing networks. But now, the Japanese handset makers are coming back -- a trend that figures to help keep prices down and speed the rollout of new cell phone applications. (SF Gate)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/9/2003
  Sanyo SCP-5300 Wins Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering
Thursday, January 9, 2003
  Summary Sanyo’s SCP-5300, America’s first wireless phone with a built-in digital camera, has been selected as an Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering Showcase honoree in the Wireless Communications category. The prestigious yearly showcase honors the year’s most innovative products sold in the U.S. (Sprint)  
 
   
  Slick Japanese cell phones return to U.S. after long hiatus
Thursday, January 9, 2003
  Summary For American cell phone users, the past few years have been ones of deprivation. While folks in Japan and Europe chatted on slick cell phones made by Sony, Panasonic, NEC and others, Americans had to make do with models that sported fewer features. Japanese makers had largely fled the American market because it was cluttered with competing networks. But now, the Japanese handset makers are coming back -- a trend that figures to help keep prices down and speed the rollout of new cell phone applications. (SF Gate)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/8/2003
  NEC’s Mova N504iS Mobile Phone Enjoying Brisk Sales
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
  Summary NEC Corp.’s latest cellular phone with a camera, called "Mova N504iS," has been in brisk demand since NTT DoCoMo Inc. began selling the phone on Nov. 22. Most discount stores unexpectedly saw the phone being sold out on the first day it was available. However, no serious stock shortfalls are seen for Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.’s "Mova P504iS" and Sharp Corp.’s "Mova SH251iS," which were both released at the same time as the N504iS. NTT DoCoMo is set to sell 100,000 units of the N504iS, 900,000 units of the P504iS, and 300,000 units of the SH251iS, in a month. This indicates that the N504iS is the best-selling cell phone on the market. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 1/7/2003
  J-Phone’s New NEC 3G Mobile
Tuesday, January 7, 2003
  Summary The NEC V-N701 3G Mobile is the first VGS 3G Mobile Phone to be made available by J-Phone in Japan. An explanation of the VGS service and the specification of the new 3G mobile follow. Vodafone Global Standard is a W-CDMA 3G service based on international 3GPP standards and features global roaming services. By using a stamp-sized smart card called a USIM, users can enjoy the benefits of international roaming. This is also the first line of phones in Japan offering global roaming and sporting the new Vodafone logo rather than the J-Phone brand mark, (note the Vodafone logo in 3G.co.uk’s photo insert). (3G.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/31/2002
  Matsushita on the Mend
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
  Summary Years from now, Kunio Nakamura may well be remembered as the CEO who turned around one of Japanfs biggest and most troubled conglomerates -- in the middle of a recession, no less. Nakamura has revamped almost every corner of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the consumer-electronics giant he took over two years ago. He has ruthlessly cut costs by eliminating product lines, merging operations, and centralizing research and development. Nothing has been sacred -- not the corporate structure, nor the lifetime employment system set up by esteemed founder, Konosuke Matsushita. (BusinessWeek)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/26/2002
  Asian Handset Makers Poised for Success over European Vendor
Thursday, December 26, 2002
  Summary Japanese handset manufacturers are in a position to claim a much larger market share with their camera phones and other terminals designed for image display, according to a report from telecom analyst firm Probe Research, Inc. The unexpected success of text messaging has naturally led companies to seek ways to expand the market and continue sales growth with new services such as multimedia messaging service (MMS) to deliver images to handsets. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/23/2002
  Sharp announce research into 3D displays
Monday, December 23, 2002
  Summary Electronics giant Sharp has big plans for 2003, hoping that the end of the year will see the release of both notebooks and LCD displays that display 3D images without the need for glasses or special software. 3D imaging has been a long-time goal of the computing business, and the formation of an industry consortium that includes Microsoft, Kodak, Olympus, Sony and Toshiba indicates serious efforts and progress toward solving the problem. The technology is already available in Japan, where Sharp has been supplying NTT DoCoMo with cell-phones containing a miniature version, complete with a 3D camera too. (Europemedia.net)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/18/2002
  Sony, Matsushita, Fujitsu Take Stakes In Bluetooth JV
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
  Summary Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Fujitsu Ltd. have each taken a 2.5% stake in BTQ Corp., a joint venture to provide official qualifications for the use of the Bluetooth short-range wireless communications standard, a BTQ official said Wednesday. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/16/2002
  More Than 40 Pct. of Camera-Phone Users Want Pixel Quality
Monday, December 16, 2002
  Summary The pre-installed camera is playing an increasingly important role in cell phones, according to 322 users of cell phones with a built-in camera in Japan who were surveyed by Nikkei Business Publications Inc. The survey found that the need is high for a camera that assures a good picture even when shooting in a dark environment, and to maintain image equality even if shooting distant scenery in zoom mode. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/13/2002
  DoCoMo, Apple MPEG-4 Phones Coming
Friday, December 13, 2002
  Summary Wireless giant NTT DoCoMo Wednesday said it is working with Apple Computer to put improved audio/video technology in its new handsets. The technology, also known as Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), is a standard based on the MPEG-4 file format, which is heavily steeped in Apple’s QuickTime technology. (Internet.com)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/12/2002
  Matsushita, NEC, Coding Technologies Partner on MPEG-4
Thursday, December 12, 2002
  Summary Matsushita Electric Industrial, NEC and Coding Technologies announced in a joint release today that the three companies have introduced a new low-power decoder version for the upcoming MPEG-4 AAC-plus-SBR(aacPlus) standard, which achieves CD-quality audio at low bitrates. Requiring 40% less processing power, this low-power SBR decoding method is officially recognized by MPEG and is bitstream compliant with the MPEG-4 aacPlus standard. Such a range is critical in the adoption of MPEG-4 aacPlus in 2.5G and 3G audio distribution markets.Technology and intellectual property for low-power SBR was contributed by all three companies. (Japan Corp.net)  
 
   
  Gartner Japan - Japan’s Cellphone Sales Down 3.1% in 3Q
Thursday, December 12, 2002
  Summary IT market researcher Gartner Japan’s Dataquest division announced December 10 that Japan’s cellular phone sales in the third quarter of 2002 declined 3.1% year-on-year to 9,834,000 units. By vendor, NEC ranked first with sales of 1,864,600 units and a market share of 19.0%, both down from 3,315,000 units and 32.7% a year ago. Matsushita Communication Industrial came in second with sales of 1,722,400 units and a share of 17.5%, followed by Sharp (1,415,500 units, 14.4%), Mitsubishi Electric (909,300 units, 9.2%), and Toshiba (845,500 units, and 8.6%). (Japan Corp.net)  
 
   
  Symbian phone on way
Thursday, December 12, 2002
  Summary The first next-generation phone to use computer firm Psion’s Symbian platform is to be launched in Japan. Technology giant Fujitsu developed the mobile phone for Japanese telecoms group NTT DoCoMo’s 3G network. Psion said this is the first Symbian-based smartphone to be launched in Japan and the first 3G version anywhere. It called the Fujitsu phone an "impressive step forward". Features on the phone include a movie camera and e-mail capability. Fujitsu will start shipping the phone shortly. (Edinburgh News.com)  
 
   
  Global Cellphone Demand Seen Up 9.7 Pct in 2003
Thursday, December 12, 2002
  Summary Global cellphone demand will climb 9.7 percent in 2003, improving on this yearfs 2.1 percent rise, while Japan will eke out a 2.0 percent gain after two years of double-digit declines, an industry group said on Wednesday. Japanfs return to growth, after a 16.7 percent drop last year and this yearfs 12.7 percent fall, would be aided by wider coverage and longer handset battery life for third-generation networks, which offer speedy downloading from the Internet and video phone calling. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/10/2002
  Accessing a whole new world via multimedia phones
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
  Summary At the International Telecommunications Union’s Telecom Asia 2002 conference and exhibition, I heard relatively few people talking about what customers could do for themselves with this wireless gear. That’s not ``content’’ in a Hollywood sense. The rise of technology has changed old equations. Phones are one-to-one devices. Broadcasting is one-to-many. The Internet and mobile devices are both of those, and more. Add pictures to voice and text, and then take it on the road, and you’re moving into some fascinating territory. (The Mercury News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/5/2002
  Cell Phone Makers Look Overseas to Make Up for Heavy R&D
Thursday, December 5, 2002
  Summary Domestic cellular phone makers are trying to expand sales overseas to make up for heavy R&D spending on 3G (third-generation) cell phone handsets and sluggish domestic sales. Each firm had invested between several tens of billions of yen and a hundred billion yen in R&D to make new handsets for NTT DocoMo Inc.’s 3G FOMA service. But domestic sales of such handsets have fallen below expectations and cell phone makers’ earnings started deteriorating last fiscal year. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 12/4/2002
  Vodafone confirms Panasonic phone bug
Wednesday, December 4, 2002
  Summary The Panasonic GD87 mobile phone has a bug that can allow it to load Internet pages without the consent of the user, which could lead to fraud or unwanted charges. Top-line mobile phones supplied by Japans Panasonic have a software bug that could make the phones access billable services without their users asking, according to mobile operator Vodafone. A new technology that makes it possible to "push" messages to mobiles can cause the Panasonic GD87 mobile phone to load Internet pages using the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) without a confirmation by the phones owner, a spokeswoman for Vodafone Germany confirmed. (ZDNet)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/28/2002
  Small CCD, Signal Processing Chip Keys to Thinner Cell Phone
Thursday, November 28, 2002
  Summary The new Matsushita "P504iS" mobile phone model equipped with two built-in cameras features a thickness of only 18.8mm, just 2mm thicker than the previous "P504i" model. When Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.’s Mobile Communications Company developed the previous model, which was released in June, the company had no intention to introduce CCD-camera modules in this series of cellular phones. The camera modules are made by Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Sanyo uses a thin 3.4mm lens barrel connecting the CCD to the lens. (Asia Biztech)  
 
   
  Sumitomo developed wireless software for secure transmission
Thursday, November 28, 2002
  Summary Proliferation of cell phones with built-in camera brings news challenges to wireless software, and new innovation possibilities. Built-in camera means usually OS integrated camera API what spawns big numbers of third party applications. Sumimoto Heavy Industries from Japan developed the software in Java. The software encrypts images, that are captured by camera built-in into cell phones (over 10 millions such phones sold in Japan), before transmission so that they can be safely transmitted over intranets or Internet without worry about breach in confidentiality. Sumitomo Heavy Industries is going to market the software through IBM Japan and NTT DoCoMo in December this year. (Wireless Software Info)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/25/2002
  Play Game Boy games on the big screen
Monday, November 25, 2002
  Summary Nintendo is to introduce the GameCube Game Boy Player next year, allowing a library of more than 1,000 games designed for the original Game Boy, Game Boy Color and the current Game Boy Advance to be displayed on home televisions through the Nintendo GameCube console. With the Game Boy or Game Boy Advance game cartridge inserted in the Game Boy Player, a regular Nintendo GameCube controller or WaveBird wireless controller can direct the action. The Game Boy Player will launch in Japan in March 2003 and in the US in May 2003, with a European launch shortly afterwards. (CodeJunkies)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/21/2002
  JATE Approves Many New Mobile Phone Handset Models
Thursday, November 21, 2002
  Summary The Japan Approvals Institute for Telecommunications Equipment (JATE) unveiled the list of communications devices it approved in the period from Oct. 16-31. The list includes mobile phones due to be marketed around the end of 2002 and early 2003 and yet to be officially announced by their own makers. Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd. (MCI) received JATE approval for its "P251iS." The 251 series comprises mobile phones with a built-in camera launched by NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/17/2002
  Matsushita, Nokia Team Up
Sunday, November 17, 2002
  Summary Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Nokia today announced their agreement of cooperation for exchanging data and content between mobile terminals and home electronics devices. The collaboration intends to bridge various technologies and provide interconnectivity that will enable new services. These services will include, for example, remote viewing via a mobile terminal, connecting AV (Audio Visual) equipment with mobile phones and the use of a mobile device for remote control of home electronics devices. (Unstrung)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/15/2002
  Matsushita aims high in China
Friday, November 15, 2002
  Summary Managing Director Shinichi Okamoto of Matsushita’s mobile-phone department in China told the China Daily Business Weekly his company is aiming for a 25-percent share of China’s handset market by 2005 by focusing on high-end phones. He estimated high-end phones account for approximately 14 percent of handsets sold in China.Matsushita markets handsets under the Panasonic brand name. The company is targeting the handset replacement market in China with high-end, camera-equipped phones. Matsushita will also develop games for China Mobile’s General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) service. (Global Wireless News)  
 
   
  Sharp to Release Zaurus PDA with VGA Display
Friday, November 15, 2002
  Summary Sharp Corp. announced that it will launch sales of a new model, the SL-C700, in its Zaurus line of personal digital assistant (PDA) devices on Dec. 14. The main features of the Zaurus SL-C700 are that it is equipped with a 3.7-inch LCD panel capable of displaying in VGA (640 x 480 pixel) format, and that it has a 10.75mm-pitch keyboard. The new LCD panel -- which employs continuous grain (CG) silicon technology -- was jointly developed by Sharp and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. (SEL). With a high resolution of around 220ppi, the new panel has four times as many pixels as most of the current range of PDA models with QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) screens. (Asia Biztech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/14/2002
  Japan’s Mobile Phone Shipments in Sept. Down 40% over 2001
Thursday, November 14, 2002
  Summary The Japan Electronic and Information Industries Association (JEITA) on Nov. 12 announced that Japan’s mobile phone shipments in September 2002 decreased 38.8 percent compared to the same month last year to 2,857,000 units. The downward trend has continued for 16 straight months. JEITA also announced that shipments in the first half of fiscal 2002 (April-September) reached 20,332,000 units, showing a 23.2 percent decrease from the same period of the previous term. The shipment of cellular phones and in-car phones declined 36.2 percent to 2,783,000 units year-on-year. The PHS shipments declined significantly by 76.1 percent to 74,000 units. (Asia Biztech/JEITA)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/11/2002
  NEC Mobiling to Launch Print Service for Mobile Camera Phone
Monday, November 11, 2002
  Summary NEC Mobiling Ltd. said it will begin offering a new service, PRIMODE, in which a picture taken by and stored via mobile camera phone with a camera can be printed on sticker paper. The company is planning to install terminals for printing an image shot by a cellular phone with camera functions at convenience stores, hamburger shops and other places from mid-January 2003, following a test run at 100 DoCoMo satellite retail shops in mid-December 2002. The service fee will be set at 100 yen per print, it said. During the year to March 2004, it plans to install a total of 10,000 terminals at a range of retailing shops, targeting sales of 5 billion yen a year. (Asia Biztech) (Asia Biztech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/8/2002
  NEC to Release Latest Mobile Handset in China
Friday, November 8, 2002
  Summary NEC Corp. disclosed the latest cell phone handset, "N8," aiming to establish its base in the Chinese market. The handset is expected to go on sale in Japan either at the end of 2002 or the beginning of 2003. It is equipped with functions similar to those of "N504iS," the handset it manufactures for NTT DoCoMo Inc. It means that the model, which has not been released yet in Japan, has gone into the Chinese market first. Kazuo Iwama, the general manager of the strategic marketing department and the manager of the public relations department of NEC Networks, says, "many people in China tend to buy the latest handsets with a built-in camera, even though they cost about 5,000 yuan to 7,000 yuan. It seems like the number of people who earn high incomes is greater in China than in Japan." (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/6/2002
  Sanyo Selects Qualcomm's MSM Chipset for Dual-Mode 3G Handsets
Wednesday, November 6, 2002
  Summary Nov. 6, 2002. Qualcomm Inc and Sanyo Electric Co Ltd announced the selection of the MSM6200 mobile station modem (MSM) chipset and system software for Sanyo's dual-mode third-generation (3G) handsets. A single-chip multimode solution, the MSM6200 chipset supports the frequency division duplex (FDD) mode of WCDMA -- also known as UMTS -- as well as GSM and GPRS. "Sanyo was the first company in the world to adopt our single-mode WCDMA solution, and we're pleased that they are now adopting our dual-mode MSM6200 solution," said Don Schrock, president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies." (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/4/2002
  Nokia Takes on Nintendo with Game Console Phone
Monday, November 4, 2002
  Summary Nov. 4, 2002. Mobile phone maker Nokia entered a new market on Monday as it unveiled seven new devices, including one that doubles as a game console and takes aim at Nintendo’s teenage hit product Gameboy Advance. At its annual mobile Internet conference, this time in Munich, Nokia showed the N-Gage -- its first mobile phone that also allows consumers to play quality games, which are stored and distributed on memory cards, on a color screen. The device, which will be introduced in February of 2003, is a direct challenge to Japan’s Nintendo, which is expected to sell 12 million units of its Gameboy Advance across the globe this year, according to market research firm ScreenDigest. Like Nintendo, Nokia said it would also become a games publisher. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Survey: Camera phone market booms, but Nokia lags
Monday, November 4, 2002
  Summary Nov. 4, 2002. The fast-growing market for camera phones in the otherwise stagnant mobile phone industry is being dominated by Asian handset makers, with Finland’s Nokia still far behind, a survey showed on Monday. Some 9.5 million mobile camera phones were sold around the world in the first nine months of 2002, of which 7.9 million in Japan alone and 97 percent of that total in the Asia Pacific region, U.S. market research group Strategy Analytics found. (Siliconvalley.com)  
 
   
  CEATEC Japan: Cell Phones Like No Others on Earth
Monday, November 4, 2002
  Summary Nov. 4, 2002. October’s CEATEC is one of Asia’s coolest (and largest) electronics showcase events, and Japan’s cell-phone makers rolled out their very best gear. We speak with Sharp about camera keitai (What’s the cost to add a camera-thingy to a phone?), Hitachi about cell phones morphing into computers (cellys now have 133-MHz CPUs - same as PCs used to), and take a look at J-Phone’s first 3G handset from Sanyo. (Wireless Watch Japan)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 11/1/2002
  Sharp expands market share riding on Sha-mail boom
Friday, November 1, 2002
  Summary The top two Japanese mobile handset manufacturers NEC and Matsushita Communications Industrial have lost market share, while Sharp, which is the leading maker for picture phone handsets, has expanded its market share, according to a survey compiled by Multimedia Research Institute. According to the marketing firm, the market share of NEC during the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2002 from April to September dropped by 10.6 percent to 18.8 percent, and Matsushita Communications share also dropped by 7 percent to 18.6 percent. On the other hand, the market share of Sharp expanded by 6.9 percent to 14.7 percent. Sharp is the leading manufacturer for picture-phone handsets. Sharp has provided terminals for J-Phone’s Sha-mail service, which created the current picture phone boom in Japan. (Global Wireless News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/30/2002
  Sharp to Ship GSM / GPRS Mobile Phones to Vodafone
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
  Summary Sharp Corporation will commence shipment of its GX10 color LCD mobile phone with built-in camera to the Vodafone Group, the largest mobile operator in Europe. The GX10 is to be released by each Vodafone European operator within this month. The GX10 is a mobile phone incorporating a digital camera and a large high-resolution LCD of 65,536 colors, and enables users to take, view, send and enjoy high-quality images using MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). A Java download service is also available. (3G.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/29/2002
  Phone Users Exchange Old Handsets: China, Korea, Japan
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
  Summary Market research firm Nikkei BP Consulting Inc. conducted a survey of phone users in Korea, China and Japan, three principal Asian markets, to investigate how the market for mobile Internet services is developing. Korea, where high-speed broadband services have become popular and where mobile phones are commonplace on the streets; China, now the world’s largest market for mobile phones, with most users concentrated in coastal cities like Shanghai; and Japan, where Internet-capable mobile phones are now the norm -- these three countries were investigated in the survey. (NEAsia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/28/2002
  Kenwood To Halt Mobile Phone Production
Monday, October 28, 2002
  Summary 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. The Yamagata subsidiary is a midsize manufacturer of mobile phones for J-Phone Co., with an output of about 700,000 units in fiscal 2001. Although the firm posted about Y1 billion in operating profit on an estimated Y40 billion in sales that year, the firm believes expanding earnings in the future will be difficult. The move will mark the first exit of a leading brand from the mobile phone market. (Nikkei)  
 
   
  Sharp to ship Vodafone 400,000 camera phones by Dec
Monday, October 28, 2002
  Summary Japan’s Sharp Corp said on Friday it planned to ship 400,000 camera phones to British mobile phone giant Vodafone Group Plc 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 U.S. market, but this would be Sharp’s first cellphone shipment to Europe, a company spokesman said. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/25/2002
  Camera-phone sales top 10 mln in Japan, paper says
Friday, October 25, 2002
  Summary Total camera-phone sales in Japan have topped 10 million units, with industry pioneer J-Phone leading the trend with accumulated sales of 7 million units as of Wednesday, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. When J-Phone launched the world’s first camera-equipped cellphones, which could take photos and send them via e-mail, in late 2000, it set off Japan’s hottest telecoms trend since the rise of the mobile Internet. Plans to beef up sales of the camera-phones in the run up to the Christmas season by J-Phone and its larger rival and Japan’s top wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo Inc., will likely help revive dwindling sales of mobile phones in Japan’s maturing cellphone market, the paper said in its online Friday edition. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/24/2002
  Intel sees one-chip processor in handsets early 2004
Thursday, October 24, 2002
  Summary Intel Corp., the world’s biggest chipmaker, said on Wednesday it expects handsets using its Manitoba microchip, which combines wireless processing and memory on one piece of silicon, to hit the market by early 2004. Intel’s Tony Sica said Intel was cooperating with NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s dominant wireless carrier and a pioneer of high-speed third-generation mobile networks, in areas such as network security and e-commerce. "We’re trying to collaborate with operators, specifically DoCoMo, to understand their needs. . .We believe that in the next-generation platform you will need a combination of hardware and software security in order to make them robust, and we’re using DoCoMo plus other partners to help us find that." (Reuters)  
 
   
  Hutchison increases NEC order to 2m
Thursday, October 24, 2002
  Summary Hutchison 3G has ordered a further 1m dual-mode 3G handsets from NEC, bringing the total order across the group to 2m units. This will include two clamshell handsets, one of which has a QWERTY keyboard and a palm-style device also featuring a QWERTY keyboard. All will have integrated digital cameras. According to Hutchison, the NEC handsets will feature ’advanced messaging capabilities for both business and personal communication’, including ’person-to-person video.’ (PMN)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/23/2002
  Sharp unveils ’computer-on-glass’ display
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
  Summary A screen with microprocessor circuitry built in can function as a computer, and has possibilities as a mobile data carrier Sharp, Japan’s largest maker of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), unveiled a screen on Tuesday with microprocessor circuitry applied directly onto the glass, enabling it to function like a computer. The company hopes to have products available by 2005 using the advanced circuitry, perhaps even a "display card" that could store data and be carried around for use with various gadgets from games machines to mobile phones to car navigation systems. "This could be something the size of a business card, perhaps with a wireless function and touch-screen input," said Mikio Katayama, head of Sharp’s mobile display division. Shumpei Yamazaki, president of unlisted Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Ltd, Sharp’s partner in the project, compared the challenge of putting processor circuitry on glass to "building a skyscraper on rubber." (ZDNet)  
 
   
  Matsushita Communication Ind. Displays Small GPS Receiver
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
  Summary Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd. displayed a one cubic centimeter global positioning system (GPS) receiver module at the 9th ITS World Congress. The existing module the company developed in 2000 was three cubic centimeters, and the newly unveiled module is the smallest in the world of this kind, according to the company. The new module can be incorporated in such appliances as personal digital assistants, watches, digital cameras, and videocassette recorders with a camera, not to mention in car navigation systems. It will be put on the market in November, in addition to exclusive use by the Matsushita Group. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
  Kyocera Wireless, U.S. Wildseed Exhibit Banana-Shaped Mobile
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
  Summary Kyocera Wireless Corp., formerly the terminal department of Qualcomm Inc., and Wildseed Ltd. agreed to jointly develop a cell phone for the young generation. KWC is a subsidiary of Kyocera Corp. and a cell phone maker, while the latter is a software development company. At the exhibition hall of "CTIA Wireless I.T. & Internet 2002," there was an exhibition and demonstration of KWC’s banana-shaped cell phone covered with the "Smart Skin" faceplate that was developed by Wildseed Corp. Smart Skin is not only a mere faceplate, but also incorporates in it an IC card that records such personal information as a ring melody to an incoming call and video clip. Therefore, customers can use the faceplate depending on the usage and mood. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/18/2002
  Sony hits out at mobile makers peddling poor handsets
Friday, October 18, 2002
  Summary Sony Entertainment has hit out at mobile phone makers, saying premature release of mobile phones is harming the wireless gaming industry Sony’s wireless-gaming division chief took a swipe at mobile phone makers on Wednesday, saying badly made phones rushed too quickly to market are hurting his industry. Bug-filled phones are not only turning off gamers, but also game developers that want to take part in what’s supposed to be an $8bn a year industry by 2007, said John Smedley, chief operating officer of Sony Entertainment. Buggy mobile phones are not a new problem. Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has had its share of bad phones. The carrier had to recall tens of thousands during the past two years. (ZDNet)  
 
   
  DoCoMo to offer fourth camera phone
Friday, October 18, 2002
  Summary Japan’s top wireless operator, NTT DoCoMo Inc, said on Thursday it would offer a new camera-mounted mobile phone to meet growing consumer appetite for handsets that take photos. The new model is made by NEC Corp, Japan’s largest cellphone maker, on an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) basis and is slated to hit stores on Saturday. The new model, barely bigger than a business-card case, is expected to sell for between 15,000 yen and 20,000 yen ($120-$160), an NTT DoCoMo spokesman said. The company said its total sales of camera phones exceeded two million units by October 13. Camera phone users totalled 6.7 million as of the end of September at photo phone pioneer J-Phone Corp, which is operated by Japan Telecom Holdings Co Ltd and Vodafone Group Plc. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/17/2002
  Toshiba to release 5GB wireless Bluetooth harddrive
Thursday, October 17, 2002
  Summary Japanese consumer electronics giant, Toshiba, will release a 5GB harddrive in this week’s Japanese electronics show that will connect to the host device, such as PDA, Symbian-based cell phone or a laptop using wireless Bluetooth connection. Device is based on the Toshiba’s 1.8 inch harddrive and is bundled with a Bluetooth device. The whole device weights around 180 grams (6.3 ounces for Americanos) which makes it pretty ideal PDA companion. With the latest Xscale-based PocketPC devices and device like this, PDA can actually work as a decent portable movie player. Device will be launched for Japanese consumers in November and Toshiba doesn’t have currently plans to sell the drive outside Japan. Retail price of the drive will be around $410. (Afterdawn)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/16/2002
  Japan’s Y-O-Y Mobile Phone Shipments Decline; 15 Cons. Mnths
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
  Summary The Japan Electronic and Information Industries Association (JEITA) announced the number of mobile phones (cellular phones, in-car phones and personal handyphones) shipped to the Japanese market in August 2002. According to JEITA’s report, total shipments in August showed a 20.5 percent decrease to 3,331,000 units compared to the same month in 2001. It marked the 15th straight month decrease on a year-on-year basis. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/11/2002
  NEC wins handset order from China Mobile-paper
Friday, October 11, 2002
  Summary Japan’s NEC Corp. secured an order from China Mobile Communications Corp. for 1 million camera phone handsets next year, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper said. NEC will eventually supply China’s largest mobile carrier with 3 million handsets a year by 2005, totaling orders worth 100 billion yen ($81 million) for that year, the paper’s online edition said. A spokesman said that NEC was one of three companies chosen to supply handsets for China Mobile. The phone, which the paper estimates will cost targeted Chinese business men a whopping 4,000 yuan (about $487), will enable data exchanges with other handsets using China Mobile’s data communication service launched earlier this year. NEC will start shipping the handsets next week. It expects to ship 500,000 units by the end of the business year in March, and plans to update models every four months. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/8/2002
  Camera-Phone Shipments to Rise to 18.89 Mln in Japan
Tuesday, October 8, 2002
  Summary Unit production of mobile phones with a built-in digital still camera has been increasing rapidly in Japan. According to a survey by Nikkei Market Access, unit-based production of camera-equipped mobile phones for the Japanese market will see a more than four-fold growth to a range of 18.89 million units from 4.41 million units in 2001. It is expected that the growth will continue in 2003 to 32.79 million units. Therefore, the ratio of mobile phones with a built-in camera to all mobile phone handsets produced for the Japanese market will show a steep increase: 9 percent in 2001 to 46 percent in 2002, and to 81 percent in 2003. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/7/2002
  Toshiba A5310T cell phone provides video messaging for KDDI
Monday, October 7, 2002
  Summary After J-Phone (that is using cell phone J-SH51), KDDI is another network operator in Japan that introduced video messaging: taking video recordings on cell phones and sending directly from them, through e-mail, to other users. The phone used by KDDI is Toshiba A5310T. (WirelessSoftware.Info)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/4/2002
  Microsoft Studying Japanese Mobile Opportunities
Friday, October 4, 2002
  Summary US software firm Microsoft is negotiating with cellular operators in Japan in attempt to open the way for the launch of Microsoft smartphones in the highly competitive Japanese mobile handset market. Hidenori Kuraishi, senior manager of the Japan Mobility Marketing Group at Microsoft, told Dow Jones, Were talking with J-Phone, KDDI and others. The US companys efforts to move into Japan will no doubt be a cause for concern for local handset manufacturers such as NEC. Meanwhile, it is being reported that UK mobile operator Orange is set to launch the worlds first device using Microsoft software later this month. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 10/1/2002
  Japanese Mobile Phone Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Tuesday, October 1, 2002
  Summary Mobile phone sales to end-users in Japan in the second quarter of 2002 rose 11.9 percent to 9.961 million units compared to the first quarter, boosted by an added camera function. Positive on a year-on-year basis also is expected in the next quarter, according to Gartner Japan Ltd. Sales of Java-capable mobile phones reached 5.271 million units, which marked more than a 50-percent share for the first time in the whole mobile phone market. Favorable sales of built-in camera mobile phones are expected to continue throughout the latter half of 2002, Gartner Japan said. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
  Seiko Epson to Enter Cell Phone Market with ’Movie Sha-Mail’
Tuesday, October 1, 2002
  Summary Seiko Epson Corp. will make a big push into the microcomputer market for mobile phones with a "Movie Sha-Mail" microcomputer.It developed compression/decompression middleware for its "S1C33 family" of microcomputers that supports "Nancy Codec," a real-time video image coding system. Nancy Codec already has been adopted in "Movie Sha-Mail," J-Phone Group’s video-mail service that was launched in March 2002. (NE Asia Online)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/30/2002
  Vodafone to offer own brand cell phones
Monday, September 30, 2002
  Summary Vodaphone, along with other European cell-phone operators, is thought to have become increasingly frustrated by the arrogant attitude demonstrated by the traditional European cell-phone manufacturers. Vodaphone is said to have turned to Far Eastern developers, possibly including Panasonic and Sharp, for a new range of color terminals. Vodafone has also insisted that, along with only its brand appearing on the device, it would have control of the user interfacesomething that its established suppliers have been reluctant to offer. If Vodafone is successful in this move, financial analysts claim that it could seriously damage the well-proven business models of the better-known handset makers and provide the impetus for other mobile operators to overthrow the constraints imposed upon them by their established suppliers. (Global Wireless News)  
 
   
  Sharp assumes number 3 mobile handset post in Japan
Monday, September 30, 2002
  Summary Sharp, a major consumer electronics maker, assumed the third position, after NEC and Matsushita Communications Industrial, in the Japanese mobile handset market in the second quarter, according to statistics compiled by Gartner Japan. Sharp is the pioneer of picture telephones. Targeting both J-Phone and NTT DoCoMo, Sharp has provided 1.48 million handsets in the period, beating Sony Ericsson and Sanyo Electric. In the Japanese market, NEC occupied the largest 16.5-percent market share, followed by Matsushita Communications 15.3-percent share. According to Gartner, the total sales units for quarter two dropped by 9.9 percent on the year to 9.96 million units. (Global Wireless News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/25/2002
  Matsushita’s Ultra-Thin Mobile Phone Just 16.8mm Thick
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
  Summary In June 2002, a flip phone far slimmer than its competitors appeared on the store shelves of NTT DoCoMo shops. Designed for NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode Internet service, model P504i is a mere 16.8mm thick when folded. The P504i is manufactured under the Panasonic brand name by Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd. It is actually more than 30 percent thinner, or about 10mm less thick, than the 27mm P503iS handset now on the market. All of the Matsushita group companies made efforts to help develop the thin phone. Their motivation was Matsushita’s collective determination to wrestle back the top spot in the mobile market from long-standing rival NEC Corp. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/23/2002
  DoCoMo Unveils New FOMA 3G Phone
Monday, September 23, 2002
  Summary NTT DoCoMo that it will begin marketing the FOMA(R) T2101V 3G mobile phone equipped both for the companys i-motion(TM) video-clip transmission service and videophone on September 27, 2002. The models continuous stand-by time is approximately 125 hours, the longest of any DoCoMo 3G phone, and the unit weighs just approximately 110 grams. The T2101V can be set to save up to four 15-second or two 30-second video messages from incoming calls, which are stored directly in the phone itself and do not require the user to access a server for playback. (3G.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/11/2002
  New Features Spur Japan Cell Phone Shipments in July
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
  Summary Combined domestic shipments of cellular phones rose 2.3 per cent on the year to 3.67 million units in July, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association said. Shipments had been declining now that cell phones have become extremely popular in Japan. But demand for camera-equipped handsets remains strong, and this contributed to the first rise in shipments in 14 months. NTT DoCoMo Inc. launched its 251i series camera-equipped cell phones in June, selling 810,000 units by the end of July. This prompted J-Phone Co. to counter by lopping 30 per cent off the prices of older models and offering new models with higher-resolution LCD screens in its Sha-mail series. Shipments are estimated to have fallen in August, when demand is normally weak. (Asia Pulse)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/9/2002
  TI: Single-Chip GSM Phone Possible By 2004
Monday, September 9, 2002
  Summary Texas Instruments executives said that they would be able to achieve a single-chip GSM cell phone by 2004. The wireless and embedded giant said the company has already managed to combine many of the digital and analog functions used by Bluetooth onto a single chip, the BRF6100, which it is sampling now. However, TI also claims that carriers have already settled on its OMAP architecture, including four of the next five handsets from Japanese supplier NTT DoCoMo. "Our largest customers are beating on us" to deliver a single-chip cell phone," Mike Yonker, the chief technologist for TI’s wireless technology group, said. (Extreme Tech)  
 
   
  Japan Monthly Growth in Cell Phone Sign-ups Below 400,000
Monday, September 9, 2002
  Summary Cellular phone operators said that the net increase in subscriptions was 385,300 in August, the first time the figure has been under 400,000 since the firms began tracking it in 1996. That data, coupled with the fact that 56.3 per cent of the total population use cell phones, according to the Ministry of Telecommunications, indicates that a plateau has been reached. Still, net growth stayed between 500,000 and 800,000 in August in the previous six years. Among cell phone operators, KDDI Corp. enjoys a large number of subscribers, with 2.14 million signing up over a five month period for its third-generation CDMA2000 1x service. NTT DoCoMo held the largest market share for mobile phones at 58.5 per cent, or 41.92 million subscriptions as of the end of August, followed by KDDI at 12.93 million and J-Phone at 12.9 million, both about 18 per cent shares. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/6/2002
  Motos Big Break in Japan
Friday, September 6, 2002
  Summary Vodafone Group plcs Japanese operator J-Phone Co. Ltd. is thinking of signing up Motorola Inc. to supply dual-mode WCDMA/GSM handsets for its 3G launch in December, a move that would give the vendor its first punt at the Japanese market. The operator wants to sell these phones even though GSM is not used in Japan: Its all part of Vodafones scheme to enable Japanese users to roam onto Vodafones GSM networks worldwide. "We are currently in discussion with Motorola for dual-mode terminals, states J-Phone spokesman Matthew Nicholson, who can only confirm NEC Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. as definite suppliers for 3G handsets at present. (Unstrung)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/5/2002
  Japan firm to launch smallest Web-access card
Thursday, September 5, 2002
  Summary Japanese electronics parts maker Seiko Instruments will launch the world’s smallest Web-access cards, capable of turning digital cameras and other devices into mobile terminals for accessing the Internet. The chewing gum stick-size wireless cards, half the size of the smallest cards currently available, would allow users of electronic devices with an SD Memory Card slot, such as hand-held game machines, to access the Internet. "You can put it in digital cameras and send pictures directly to your friends or print shops," said a spokeswoman for unlisted Seiko Instruments, which makes watches for Seiko Corp. The new cards will be offered to data communication service subscribers of DDI Pocket, a unit of KDDI Corp, by the end of the year. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Qualcomm Eyes More Mobile-Chip Sales In Japan
Thursday, September 5, 2002
  Summary Qualcomm Inc. hopes slow but steady growth in Japan’s high-speed mobile-data services will help it control more than half of Japan’s chip market for third-generation mobile handsets in the next few years. It also sells mobile-phone chips, called mobile stratem modem, or MSM, and related system software. Qualcomm expects to ship about 18 million to 19 million MSM chips in the fourth quarter, with customers including companies that make handsets and other mobile devices for telecom carriers such as Japan’s KDDI Corp. "We’ll be happy, with W-CDMA chips, if we can take more than half of that market in Japan." Qualcomm Chief Executive Irwin Jacobs told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview in Tokyo. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/4/2002
  NEC Wins I-Mode Order from Bouygues
Wednesday, September 4, 2002
  Summary Japanese chip and electronics maker NEC Corp has received an order from France’s Bouygues Telecom for equipment and software to offer NTT DoCoMo Inc’s popular mobile Internet service, "i-mode." DoCoMo, Japan’s top mobile carrier, and Bouygues Telecom, France’s number-three wireless firm, reached an agreement in April to launch i-mode, which delivers news and entertainment to cellphone screens, in France within a year. NEC said the order from Bouygues Telecom, a subsidiary of French construction, media and telecoms conglomerate Bouygues, includes a set of servers and integrated software. NEC earlier won a similar order from Taiwan’s KG Telecom, which launched an i-mode service in June. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 9/3/2002
  Ericsson may stop Sony venture
Tuesday, September 3, 2002
  Summary Ericsson, the loss-making Swedish telecom equipment maker, said it would stop making mobile phones and end its partnership with Sony if the business continues to disappoint. "The message is clear. We will not make the same mistake again,’’ Ase Lindskog told Reuters. "We will not put any more capital into the joint venture if it does not show results.’’ Lindskog said Ericsson would break up the joint venture with Japan’s Sony Corp., the world’s second-largest consumer electronics maker, if the business does not deliver satisfactory results in the next two or three quarters. (CNN)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/30/2002
  Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Expected to Reach 420 Mln. Unit
Friday, August 30, 2002
  Summary Worldwide mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2002 rose 0.8 percent from the same period in 2001, rebounding from the decline of 3.8 percent in the first quarter, to 98.7 million units, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc. Such sales will reach approximately 420 million units by the end of 2002, Dataquest also said. Nokia Corp. remained the sales leader in the first quarter of 2002 with 35,089,000 units, followed by Motorola Corp. with 15,496,000 units, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. with 9,342,000 units. In the line with this report, Gartner Japan Ltd. revealed that Matsushita Group. ranked eighth, and Kyocera Corp. ninth. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/26/2002
  Photo phones hold 22% of Japan handset market-poll
Monday, August 26, 2002
  Summary At least one out of every five mobile phones in Japan is capable of taking, sending and receiving photos, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting there’s room for growth in the country’ hottest telecom trend since the rise of mobile Internet. Users of camera-equipped phones represent 21.6 percent of mobile phone subscribers in Japan, according to the survey, carried out in April and May by the Communications and Information Network Association of Japan, an industry group. The survey, which gave no comparative figures, covered 607 mobile phone users. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Shipments of Mobile Phones, PDAs to Hit 151 Mln. in 2006
Monday, August 26, 2002
  Summary Worldwide shipments of mobile phones and personal digital assistants with digital imaging capabilities will grow to 151 million in 2006, according to new research by International Data Corp. (IDC). The report also said that devices that incorporate cameras, as well as attractive prices for consumers, are essential for success in the market. Subscribers for a wireless service in the world are expected to top 900 million by the end of 2002. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
  Sprint adds Sanyo handset to Vision range
Monday, August 26, 2002
  Summary Sprint has expanded the range of handsets supporting its CDMA2000 1x Vision service with the addition of the Sanyo 4900. The handset features a colour screen, J2ME compatibility, support for polyphonic ringtones, a WAP 2.0 browser, messaging and chat applications. (PMN.Co.UK)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/23/2002
  Imaging-Enabled Mobile/PDAs to Hit 151m in 2006
Friday, August 23, 2002
  Summary IDC says worldwide shipments of mobile phones and personal digital assistants with digital imaging capabilities will grow to 151 million in 2006. IDC’s research shows that improvements in high-speed wireless data networks will make imaging-enabled devices more appealing to the market. Multimedia transmission becomes possible when bandwidth is increased to 2.5G and 3G networks. The 2.5G wireless connectivity in Japan has brought revenue growth for imaging-enabled mobile phones of NTT DoCoMo Inc., KDDI Corp. and J-Phone Co., Ltd. Carriers in Asia and Europe also are following suit, with similar services planned throughout 2003. (Asia Biztech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/21/2002
  Nokia Extends Handset Share; Japan Suppliers Lag
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
  Summary When it comes to handset sales, there’s no stopping Nokia Corp., it seems. The Finnish behemoth has increased its global market share in terms of handsets shipped to 37.2 percent in the second quarter of 2002, according to Strategy Analytics Inc. "Sony Ericsson doesn’t need the same level of shipments to be profitable, as it has outsourced its handset production, and both Sony and Ericsson will benefit from combining operations for the Chinese market, which have been separate," says Christopher Ambrosio from Strategy Analytics Inc. Toshiba Corp. is also making a name for itself in handsets, and is showing strength in the PDA market too. (Unstrung)  
 
   
  Japan’s Mobile Phone Shipments Increase Again, Thanks to Camera-Mounted Models
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
  Summary The Japan Electronic and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) announced the number of mobile phones (cellular phones, in-car phones and personal handy phones) shipped in June 2002. According to the announcement, the number rebounded to the 4 million mark for the first time in nine months. It was 93.5 percent of the previous year’s level for the same month, though the shipments registered a year-on-year decline for the 13th consecutive month. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/20/2002
  Japan’s Mobile Phone Shipments Increase; Camera-Phones
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
  Summary The Japan Electronic and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) announced the number of mobile phones (cellular phones, in-car phones and personal handy phones) shipped in June 2002. According to the announcement, the number rebounded to the 4 million mark for the first time in nine months. It was 93.5 percent of the previous year’s level for the same month, though the shipments registered a year-on-year decline for the 13th consecutive month. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
  Mobile Phones with Built-In Camera Enter ’Pixel’ Competition
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
  Summary Changes in mobile phones with a built-in still picture camera are accelerating. Reaching the next stage, mobile carriers are now entering competition in the quality of pictures -- determined by the number of pixels implemented in a camera phone. They are in high gear to enhance the performance of the camera module, the key device of a fashionable cell phone. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
  Sony Ericsson hunts "killer applications"
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
  Summary Swedish-Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson invited outside software developers on Monday to come up with a "killer application" for its advanced new P800 phone to help it stand out in a competitive market. Loss-making Sony Ericsson, created last October, has an ambitious goal to challenge Finland’s Nokia Oyj’s world leadership in handsets in five years. "Sony Ericsson is offering developers an opportunity to have their applications featured as part of the P800 Smartphone launch activities and distributed to the marketplace at no cost," the company said in a statement. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/16/2002
  Asian Mobile Phone Makers Attack Europeans On Home Turf
Friday, August 16, 2002
  Summary After a decade of disappointment, can mobile phone makers from Japan and elsewhere in Asia finally be making a comeback in Europe? Thatfs their hope, as European operators turn to Japan and to a lesser extent Korea for upmarket phones with color screens, cameras and other features that will make customers spend more. Ben Wood, a senior analyst with Gartner Dataquest, says Asian makers have a "window of opportunity" because their phones support the kind of services European operators want to launch. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/13/2002
  NEC To Supply Mobile Handsets To AT&T Wireless
Tuesday, August 13, 2002
  Summary NEC Corp. plans to supply Internet-capable mobile handsets to AT&T Wireless Services Inc. of the U.S., starting possibly early next year, Kyodo News, NEC officials confirmed the Japanese high-tech firm is at the advanced stage of talks with AT&T Wireless over the mobile deal. If the deal is done, NEC is expected to supply up to several hundreds of thousand handsets to AT&T Wireless in the initial year, Kyodo said, citing industry sources. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/11/2002
  Toshiba Not Mulling Mitsubishi Phone Merger
Sunday, August 11, 2002
  Summary Despite industry talk of a broader tie-up, a Toshiba Corp. executive said his company isn’t looking now to completely merge its mobile phone handset operations with Mitsubishi Electric Corp. "We are not holding talks (with Mitsubishi) about a business merger," Toshiba Executive Vice President Tetsuya Mizoguchi said. The two Japanese electronics giants announced in March they would join forces on third-generation phones to alleviate the burden of hefty development costs and better rival the 3G alliance of domestic market leaders NEC Corp. and Matsushita Communication Industrial Co. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/7/2002
  Vodafone to source Sharp camera phones
Wednesday, August 7, 2002
  Summary Vodafone Ltd, Vodafone Group Plc’s UK network operator, is preparing a pre-Christmas marketing blitz based around the virtues of camera-enabled phones similar to those that have proved a roaring success for its parent’s Japanese subsidiary, J-Phone Ltd. Yesterday, Vodafone declined to comment on reports that it expects to ship a Japanese-style camera phone from Sharp in the run up to the Christmas buying season. (The Register)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 8/5/2002
  Has Sharp clinched global handset deal with Vodafone?
Monday, August 5, 2002
  Summary According to Japanese media sources, Sharp Corp. hasnt yet reached a deal with Vodafone Group PLC to supply the worlds largest mobile phone service provider with camera-equipped mobile phones from this autumn. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that the Japanese firm had won an order from the U.K. firm to supply it with 1 million mobile phones with built-in cameras. Sharp doesnt disclose annual handset data, but 1 million phones would likely account for about 25% of the estimated 4 million handsets it shipped in the fiscal year ended March 31. Those handsets were all sold domestically. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/24/2002
  Japan handset sales seen rising to 53 mln in ’06
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
  Summary Demand for new cellphones in Japan is expected to soar to 53 million units in 2006 from 40.6 million last year, boosted by camera phones and third-generation (3G) handsets, research firm Gartner Japan Ltd reported. Gartner said camera-equipped phones and handsets for KDDI Corp’s CDMA2000 1x, one of the two competing 3G standards in Japan, will be most in demand in 2002 and 2003. From 2005 onwards, however, demand for handsets for NTT DoCoMo Inc’s W-CDMA, the other 3G standard, would spur sales in Japan. (Reuters)  
 
   
  Japan camera phones hot item in June-research firm
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
  Summary Camera-equipped mobile phones were a big hit in Japan in June, when NTT DoCoMo Inc launched its first camera-phone along with new models for its Internet service, a research firm said on Wednesday. The slew of new models boosted the market share of DoCoMo, Japan’s dominant wireless carrier, and fuelled a surge in handset sales in June to 3.83 million units, up 24.1 percent from May, MultiMedia Research Institute Ltd said.  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/23/2002
  More Fuel Cells to be Mounted on Mobile Devices
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
  Summary  news report that circulated in early March -- Casio Computer Co., Ltd. developing fuel cells for mobile terminals to go into practical use in 2004 -- astonished electronics makers in and out of Japan. That news was a big surprise for since the launch of such a battery for practical use was forwarded to 2004, one or two years earlier than other makers offering a fuel cell lasting 20 hours. Manufacturers around the globe are accelerating development and commercialization of mobile devices with fuel cells. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/22/2002
  Study: Japan camera phones to reach 23 million
Monday, July 22, 2002
  Summary Shipments of mobile phones with cameras surged from 6 million units in 2001 to 23 million units in 2003 in Japan, according to a survey conducted by Yano Research Institute. Multimedia Research Institute, another Japanese research fimr, said the country overall mobile handset sales in June increased by 12 percent on the year to 3.82 million units. It was the first time the monthly sales figure exceeded the previous month since June 2001. Multimedia Research Institute attributed the surge in sales to NTT DoCoMo strong sales and the boom of mobile handsets with cameras. Multimedia Research Institute predicts monthly sales will reach 4 million units soon. (Global Wireless News)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/19/2002
  Japan’s FY2002 Mobile Phone Shipments to Decline
Friday, July 19, 2002
  Summary Domestic shipments of mobile phones, including PHS units, will fall 7.2 percent in the year through March 2003, to 41.95 million units, marking the second straight year of decline, Yano Research Institute Ltd. said. On the other hand, growing demand for mobile phones with cameras has been a driving force for the market. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/18/2002
  Vodafone to Order Most Camera-Phones from Japan
Thursday, July 18, 2002
  Summary J-Phone Corp, Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier, said its UK parent Vodafone Group Plc would order most handsets for its new camera-phone service from Japanese manufacturers. "The order would be historic in size," said J-Phone President Darryl Green, without giving specific order numbers or names of handset manufacturers. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/16/2002
  MmO2 to sell Sharp camera phones
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
  Summary Sharp, the company which first embedded a digital still camera into a mobile phone, is to start supplying camera phones to mmO2 from the third quarter of this year. The company, based in Japan, has received orders from mmO2 to supply camera-embedded GPRS mobile phones with colour LCDs in the third quarter. In Japan Sharp is the pioneer of camera-embedded handsets have released a handset for carrier J-Phone in November 2000. (CW360)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/12/2002
  Kenwood to Stop Cellphone Output Oct if No New Orders
Friday, July 12, 2002
  Summary Kenwood Corp. (J.KNW or 6765) slashed its earnings forecasts for the fiscal half to September and unveiled additional restructuring steps centering on further staff cuts. The struggling Japanese audio equipment maker said it now plans to trim its group-based employees by 3,000, or 35%. Kenwood now expects to break even on a group net basis, down from its May estimate of a Y1 billion net profit. The downgrade is due to foreign exchange losses on a stronger yen and sluggish sales of mobile phone handsets, Kenwood said. (Dow Jones)  
 
   
  Fujifilm to Enter Camera Market for Mobile Phones
Friday, July 12, 2002
  Summary Fujifilm said it is beginning to sell its "Super CCD Honeycomb" imaging device to be mounted onto a mobile phone with a tiny camera on the outer case. The company said that the 170,000-pixel Super CCD Honeycomb can produce 310,000 effective-pixel recorded images. Industry watchers are predicting the market for mobile phones with cameras will sharply rise to 10 million units in 2002, compared with the estimate for 6 million units in sales of digital cameras. (Asia Biztech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/5/2002
  Hitachi to Introduce Processor for Mobile Phone with Digital
Friday, July 5, 2002
  Summary Hitachi Ltd. in July will start sample shipments of the "SH7294," a processor featuring enhanced functions for mobile phones with a built-in digital camera. The SH7294 is connected to the baseband LSI of a mobile phone system, and performs dedicated processing of multimedia applications such as audio and videos. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 7/3/2002
  Fuji Photo, Konica To Offer Cell Phone Camera Parts
Wednesday, July 3, 2002
  Summary Fuji Photo Film and Konica will begin offering to phone makers key camera components for cell phones with built-in cameras. The moves come amid rising popularity of mobile phone photo exchanges. NTT DoCoMo Japan’s top cell phone operator, began offering the service last month, following domestic industry pioneer J-Phone Co Fuji, Japan’s largest photo film maker, will provide cell phone makers with CCDs, a key component on cameras, as well as image-processing software for DoCoMo’s photo i-shot photo e-mail service. (Dow Jones/Nikkei)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/28/2002
  Japan Handset Manufacturers add Chinese and Korean Input
Friday, June 28, 2002
  Summary Omron Software has released built-in Chinese and Korean language input software for mobile phones, "mobile cWnn" and "mobile kWnn." Six companies such as Matsushita Communication Industrial, and Sony have adopted Wnn for their mobile phones; 22 models have employed it so far. Omron is targeting Japanese companies which are planning to enter the Chinese and Korean markets. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/25/2002
  Au Group’s 3G Mobile Phones Top One Million Mark
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
  Summary The au group (KDD Corp. and Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co.) said that the number of users to its 3G mobile telephone service, "CDMA2000 1x," has passed the one-million mark. The group plans to sell seven million 1x-compatible terminals by the end of fiscal 2002. A simple calculation shows that if the present pace continues, the number of terminals sold by the end of this fiscal year will be four million. As for the breakdown of one million CDMA2000 1x handsets, Korea is estimated to account for more than 800,000 units, and about 100,000 for Japan (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/18/2002
  Sony Ericsson aims to make phone photos mainstream
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
  Summary The joint venture of Japan’s Sony Corp. and Sweden’s Ericsson unveiled a sleek set of new phones meant to excite users about new voice, data and picture-swapping features. The phones will address CDMA-based networks, the dominant standard for mobile phones in the United States. These CDMA phones will build on expertise from Japan, where Sony is a leading maker of CDMA-based phones. In the Japanese market, which is one to two years ahead of the European and American markets, Sony Ericsson added another model with a very high quality color screen. (Reuters)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/17/2002
  NTT DoCoMo’s N504i Handset Moves into Top-Five Ranking
Monday, June 17, 2002
  Summary NTT DoCoMo’s latest model handset, the "Digital Mova N504i," came in fourth in the ranking of mobile phone sales for the first week of June (May 27-June 2), according to a survey by Nikkei BP GfK SalesWeek3200. This new model is in a NTT DoCoMo series that features are high-speed communication at a rate of 28.8kbps, an expanded application size and data storage area (scratch pad), and the ability to handle infrared communication. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 6/13/2002
  Mobile Phone Shipments for April Total 3.11 Mln. Units
Thursday, June 13, 2002
  Summary The Japan Electrical Information Technology Association (JEITA) announced on June 11 that the shipments of mobile phones for April 2002 totaled 3,111,000 units in the Japanese market, a sharp 36.2-percent drop from the same month of the previous year. The mobile phones include cellular phones and PHS phones. The monthly shipments declined year-on-year for 11 consecutive months, and it is becoming more evident that the total number of new subscribers to the mobile-phone service already has peaked. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/31/2002
  NEC Receives Asia’s First I-Mode Handset Order
Friday, May 31, 2002
  Summary NEC Networks, an NEC Corp. unit, has received an order for i-mode mobile phone handsets from Taiwan’s KG Telecom. The company plans to start the first i-mode service in the Asian region in the second quarter of 2002, and NEC will be the sole supplier for the i-mode handsets for the company. NEC also received orders for gateway systems and server systems for i-mode. NEC will supply the N530i, a folding clamshell type handset which employs the GSM/GPRS system and the dual browser of HTML and WAP that supports i-mode. The handset will off services in English and Chinese. (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/28/2002
  Mobile Phone Sales in Asia/Pacific Increase 8Pct. in Q1 2002
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
  Summary Mobile phone sales to end-users in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan rose 8 percent in the first quarter of 2002 on a year-on-year basis, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc. "Regional demand was highest in Asia and Pacific, where Chinese Lunar New Year promotions and heavy, unofficial terminal subsidies in the Korean market served as catalysts for a strong sell-through," said Gartner Dataquest. According to Gartner Japan Ltd., Japanese terminal venders ranking among top 10 are Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (6th), NEC Corp. (9th), and Kyocera Corp. (10th). (AsiaBizTech)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/24/2002
  NEC to Supply i-mode Wireless Handsets to Taiwan
Friday, May 24, 2002
  Summary NEC announced that NEC Taiwan Ltd. received an order from KG Telecom for the supply of mobile handsets for KG Telecom’s i-mode service. NEC will deliver its "N530i" i-mode handsets to KG Telecom’s operation in Taiwan, thus becoming the first supplier of i-mode mobile handsets in Asia outside Japan. KG Telecom will be the first company in Asia (outside Japan) to introduce i-mode planed in the second quarter of this year. (3g.co.uk)  
 
   
HANDSETS/DEVICES News of 5/16/2002
  Japanese phone shipments down 49.7% in March
Thursday, May 16, 2002
  Summary Japanese mobile-phone shipments in March dropped by 49.7 percent to 3.12 million units compared with sales in February, the Japanese Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) reported. It was the 10th monthly consecutive decline, and the worst drop in history. According to the JEITA, cellular phone shipments dropped by 49.4 percent, while PHS shipments dropped by 55.4 percent. The association attributed the decline to a decrease in new mobile users and in mobile users who purchase new handsets. (GlobalWirelessNews)  
 
   
 
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  Summary (gilesrichter.com)
Japan has a super-powerful mobile ecosystem worth billions, brimming with futuristic technologies, business models, and experiences that the world wants to emulate. But is it a model or an anomaly? And does it only exist because it was incubated in isolat...
Surprise? 10 years in, ComScore Discovers m-Commerce in Japan
  Summary (New Media Age)
That's right. After ten years of leading the world in mobile commerce, Japan has leapt ahead to take the lead again, and it has snagged the attention of the foreign media. This surprising non-news was broken by ComScore at the Mobile World Congress an...
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