updated 04:15 pm EST, Mon November 12, 2007
Disney cellular in Japan
Entertainment monolith Disney will soon launch new cellular products in Japan, the company has announced. Beginning in early 2008, the company will partner with local carrier Softbank, and begin producing unspecified content, as well as new Disney-branded cellphones. Softbank is currently the third-largest network operator in Japan; Reuters writes that it will most likely be the main beneficiary of the deal, since it is a new carrier and fighting giants NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.
For Disney, the move may be more suspect; an IDC Japan analyst argues that Softbank may gain no more than 100,000 to 200,000 customers out of a possible 100 million, and Disney recently announced the closure of Disney Mobile, its American MVNO. DM's death will mark at least the second failure of a major Disney cellular project, since the company had to close Mobile ESPN in 2006.