Mophie FeliCa to
Mophie today promised to give Japanese iPhone owners much-requested support for FeliCa wireless payments. The team-up with two local firms will see a version of Mophie's casing that uses the same RFID wireless as the Sony standard. In tandem with an iPhone app, the add-on will let Apple's device pay for many goods by bringing the iPhone within an inch of a FeliCa source, such as at a store. Mophie promises that it will work in reverse and that shops can use the accessory to take payments, especially at on-the-street shops where a usual counter isn't an option.
Sony 4-inch BRAVIA LCD
Electronics giant Sony on Tuesday unveiled its newest BRAVIA TV for the Japanese market, the 4-inch XDV-W600. The portable TV can be taken to the bath thanks to its IPX7 and IPX6 waterproof rating, enabling it to withstand water depths up to 3.3 feet for up to 30 minutes. While in the bath or elsewhere, users can view content from its built-in 1Seg TV tuner or about 10 hours of content recorded onto its 2GB of internal memory as well as listen to FM radio programming.
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.
Japan iPhone Demand Spikes
Japanese interest in the iPhone 3G surged to where more than one in seven Japanese phone customers has been considering an iPhone, according to a survey published today by iSHARE and conducted at the end of June. The researchers note that while a pre-announcement study showed just 8.9 percent of buyers considering an iPhone, that number has since climbed to 14.5 percent, a jump of about 63 percent in just a few weeks. Existing subscribers with official iPhone carrier SoftBank are disproportionately more likely to want the device, with exactly one in five (20 percent) likely to buy while just 10 percent of those with other providers mulling a switch of carriers to get the device.
Japan iPhone 3G Study
Despite the relative success of the iPod in Japan, the iPhone 3G isn't likely to get an immediate footing in the country, according to a new iSHARE study. Of the Japanese adults polled, 91 percent say they have no plans to buy the device when it becomes available on July 11th. Of the remaining nine percent, nearly all (8.9 percent of the total) said they planned to purchase the device. Slightly under half of these are users already signed up for SoftBank, the carrier picked for the initial Japanese launch.
LG Prada in Japan
Fashion design firm Prada on Thursday said it would launch its LG Prada phone in Japan, signaling one of the few carrier-based releases for the touchscreen device outside of Europe. The phone will be paired up with dominant carrier NTT DoCoMo and will primarily be sold from Prada's own stores rather than cellular or electronics shops. Few details of the local phone are available, though the handset is likely to include some level of 3G support to handle Japan's networks and should keep the 2-megapixel camera of the original.
Sony Portable Bravia TVs
Taking its Bravia TV line to handhelds, Sony this morning introduced two explicitly portable TV sets. Both the D500 with its 3-inch screen and the more pocketable, 2-inch G200 are built to catch Japan's 1Seg over-the-air digital TV format; they also support the standard's electronic programming guide, letting viewers take a quick glance at the schedule regardless of where they begin watching. Like their full-scale counterparts, the portable Bravias even include a mobile version of the Bravia video decoding engine, Sony says.
PSP Internet Radio Upgrade
The PlayStation Portable will soon get a firmware update that adds some heavily requested features for its built-in Wi-Fi connection, according to an update from Sony. Version 3.80 will be the first to allow tuning Internet radio and should support live streams in the same formats as the player can handle offline, including MP3-based Shoutcast streams. The PSP will now also pick up photocasts through RSS feeds and supports OPML, allowing users to import lists with multiple feeds, such as from a dedicated RSS reader on a PC.