updated 09:35 am EDT, Fri August 15, 2008
Japanese iPhone success
The new-found popularity of the iPhone in Japan is as much a failure of local industry as it is an advancement by Apple, a former NTT DoCoMo executive claims. Tsuyoshi Natsuno, who lead the carrier's i-mode division, describes the Japanese cellular industry as having fallen into a "collegial system," where phones are designed explicitly according to specifications outlined by carriers. The phones in fact have no existence outside of their carriers, a situation which Natsuno believes to offer no incentive for driving technology forward.
Although Japanese phones do have technological edges, like better cameras, wireless payments and 1Seg mobile TV, the situation is said to be so bad that workers who might actually advance Japanese phones are not assigned any positions of responsibility. The iPhone should in fact shake up Japanese cellphones, Natsuno argues, simply by showing people that there is no reason for phone makers to remain static.
The executive notes that the iPhone also has the benefit of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a leader with "solid faith" in his product. Products with a positive vision behind them tend to do better, says Natsuno, because it encourages workers to cooperate and realize that vision.