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New iPhone 6, 6 Plus take lead in Japanese smartphone market

09/25, 11:39am

82.2 percent favoring regular iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are commanding the Japanese smartphone market, just a week into their availability, according to BCN sales rankings cited by Forbes. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 was the most popular phone overall, taking eight out of the top 10 spots, and even then the iPhone 5s claimed 5th and 8th places. The larger, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus reached no higher than 11th, but still took five out of the next seven spots.

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Huawei, NTT Docomo research proposes LTE supported by Wi-Fi bands

08/22, 11:31am

Extra capacity added to LTE in tests by using 5GHz unlicensed spectrum

Carriers could use Wi-Fi spectrum to extend capacity for its LTE service in the future, if new research is adopted. Researchers from Japanese carrier NTT Docomo and Huawei have managed to use the 5GHz unlicensed spectrum, typically used for Wi-Fi, to operate an LTE network, with the extra bandwidth having the potential to enhance existing LTE cellular networks.

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iPad gets education discounts; NTT DoCoMo version on June 10th

05/28, 9:25am

Discounts knock just $20-30 off prices

Apple has extended discounts to the iPad at its educational store. The cuts are relatively modest, in the US only knocking $20 off of the cost of the Mini, Retina Mini, and fourth-generation iPad, plus $30 off of the iPad Air. That puts 16GB Wi-Fi models of the tablets at $279, $379/$379 and $469, respectively.

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NTT DoCoMo postpones Tizen smartphone launch over low market growth

01/17, 7:59am

Japanese carrier claims market cannot support third mobile operating system

The first consumer Tizen device release has been stalled by Japan's largest carrier over concerns that the Japanese smartphone market cannot sustain a third mobile operating system. Plans by NTT DoCoMo to launch a device in March will now not take place, with the carrier citing a significant lack of overall growth of the market in Japan.

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Apple's iPhone takes all 10 slots for Japan's Top 10 smartphones

11/12, 9:57am

BCN rankings put Apple on top of Japanese smarpthone sales

Apple's newest iPhones aren't just popular in Japan, they account for each of the top 10 selling smartphone slots in that country. This according to BCN Rankings, which charts the top selling devices in Japan from week to week. The week ending November 4 marked the first time in history that one smartphone brand had taken all of the spots in BCN's top 10.

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Samsung Galaxy J heads to Japan with Galaxy Note 3 internals

10/11, 5:23am

Brightly-colored Galaxy J unlikely to see non-Japan release

Samsung has launched another Galaxy-branded smartphone, coming to NTT DoCoMo in the future as part of its new seasonal roster, alongside the Sony Xperia Z1f. The Galaxy J, shown by the Japanese carrier to be available in white, blue, and pink, appears to be a mix of the physical design of the Galaxy S 4 with Galaxy Note 3-inspired internals.

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NTT DoCoMo blames iPhone supply issues for dip in subscribers

10/07, 7:52am

Last Japanese carrier to host iPhone loses 66,800 users in September

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo lays the blame for a record monthly fall in subscribers with Apple, despite having only recently agreed to carry the iPhone on its network. The carrier claims that the loss of 66,800 subscribers in September was down to the lack of stock for the newly-released iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

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NTT DoCoMo demonstrating 5G network at CEATEC show in October

09/18, 10:23am

5G concept promises high speed, high capacity, low latency

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo is planning to demonstrate what it believes to be the successor to current 4G LTE services. A stand at the CEATEC technology exhibition in Japan will have the carrier showing off its "concept for the next-generation mobile communication system," along with other items such as intelligent glasses and new models of smartphone.

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NTT DoCoMo agreed to 40 percent quota to get iPhone, report says

09/12, 1:41pm

Deal may impose major burden on carrier

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo agreed to make the iPhone 40 percent of its smartphone sales in order to secure a deal with Apple, Nikkei reports. The 5s and 5c will be the carrier's first iPhone models, since it previously refused to sell the device unless it could pre-install integrated service apps. Holding out has cost the company subscribers, many of whom have flocked to iPhone-ready rivals SoftBank and KDDI.

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Apple debuts high-end iPhone 5S with 64-bit A7 processor

09/10, 2:00pm

Touch ID sensor brings fingerprint recognition to iPhone

During Apple's omnibus iPhone and iOS 7 announcement today, Apple officially revealed the iPhone 5s. The device boasts Apple's new 64-bit A7 processor, and is constructed of "high-grade aluminum" with chamfered edges, now being offered in three colors: silver, gold, and a new "Space Gray" color. Also added to the phone are a new motion-sensing chip, as well as a greatly improved camera and flash system.

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Japan's NTT DoCoMo signs iPhone deal with Apple

09/05, 3:59pm

iPhone 5S, 5C should be carrier's first offerings

NTT DoCoMo has signed a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone, according to Yahoo Japan. Although Japan has always been expected to be one of the first countries to get the iPhone 5S and 5C when the devices launch later this month, to date Apple has only had regional iPhone deals with SoftBank and KDDI. Yahoo suggests that the first DoCoMo iPhones will indeed be arriving this fall.

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Rumor: Japan's NTT DoCoMo to get iPhone 5S

08/26, 6:30am

Slow selling Galaxy S4 set to be replaced by Apple iPhone 5S

The CFO of Japan's largest carrier NTT DoCoMo has stirred speculation that it may start selling the Apple iPhone, possibly the iPhone 5S. In an interview published in a Japanese magazine, Kazuto Tsubouchi argued that there is a solid basis for the telco and Apple to join forces, reports Bloomberg. Although no deal has yet been reached, the news follows DoCoMo's decision to drop the Samsung Galaxy S4 from its winter lineup following disappointing sales.

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NTT DoCoMo drops Samsung Galaxy S4 from winter lineup

08/14, 6:07am

NTT DoCoMo dumps slow-selling Galaxy S4 from winter range

In a surprise move, Japan's NTT DoCoMo has dropped Samsung's Galaxy S4 from its winter lineup after poor sales during the summer, reports Reuters. Instead, Sharp will be set to join Sony and Fujitsu on NTT, making for an all-Japanese winter lineup. NTT only sold 700,000 Galaxy S4 handsets, well short of the 1 million target that the Japanese telco had set for the South Korean maker's flagship.

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NTT DoCoMo 'lifestyle system' holding up iPhone sales

07/05, 10:34am

Carrier wants integrated services pre-installed

Efforts at building a "lifestyle system" are why NTT DoCoMo has yet to pick up the iPhone, CEO Kaoru Kato tells Reuters The carrier normally has apps pre-installed on its phones in order to support integrated services, but Apple has always blocked carriers from making any modifications to iOS. NTT also wants its logo on devices, another thing Apple has refused to allow.

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NEC Medias X first smartphone with liquid-cooled Qualcomm processor

05/15, 10:07am

Heat transferred from phone processor to graphite radiator via liquid tube

NEC has unveiled a smartphone aimed at women, which it claims to be the first in the world with a water or liquid-cooled processor. The Medias X 06E, forming part of NTT DoCoMo's summer release list, uses a tube of liquid that transfers heat from the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor to a graphite radiator located elsewhere on the phone, spreading generated heat across the phone instead of in a single place.

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NTT DoCoMo reveals smartphone, tablet releases for coming months

05/15, 5:21am

List includes nine smartphones, one tablet, one Raku-Raku device

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has revealed the lineup of mobile devices that it will start offering over the summer. Eleven models make the cut, including nine smartphones, one tablet, and one "Raku-Raku" simplified smartphone. Notable additions include a new Sony Xperia smartphone, the Aquos Phone Zeta, and the Aquos Pad tablet from Sharp.

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NEC Medias W dual-screen smartphone set for Japan launch

01/22, 5:06am

Android apps usable on single screen or spanning both

An Android smartphone with hinged dual screens has been revealed as part of NTT DoCoMo's new range of mobile phones. Originally shown at Mobile World Congress last year, the NEC Medias W has a pair of 540x960 TFT LCD displays measuring 4.3 inches, which when unfolded, gives the user a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1080x960.

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Hands-on: Huawei's Ascend D1 LTE, Ascend W1

01/10, 4:08pm

Ascend D1 LTE bound for Japanese market

If you're familiar at all with astrophysics, you'll understand how the gravitational pull of Huawei's Ascend Mate phablet drew us back to the Chinese manufacturer's booth for the second day in a row. This time, we crossed the event horizon in order to check out Huawei's other offerings, namely the Ascend D1 LTE and Huawei's Windows Phone offering, the Ascend W1. Huawei also had a few tablet offerings on display that we'll get to later, but for the moment these two actual hand-friendly handsets were our targets for handling.

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Samsung confirms Tizen smartphones to go on sale in 2013

01/03, 10:44am

Confirms earlier reports of Tizen OS handset development

Samsung has confirmed it will be making Tizen-based devices, with the first of the range expected later this year. The announcement comes shortly after reports surfaced at the end of 2012, claiming the manufacturer was working with NTT DoCoMo Vodafone, and Intel to ship a handset in Japan, followed by other Asian and European regions shortly afterwards.

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Samsung, Docomo to ship first Tizen smartphone in early 2013

12/31, 12:59pm

Open mobile operating system to spread across Asia, Europe

Samsung is to launch its first Tizen-based smartphone in 2013, according to reports. The open-source operating system, being developed in partnership with NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, Intel and others, will apparently appear on a handset in Japan in early 2013, and will spread to other Asian and European countries shortly afterwards.

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Panasonic P-02E smartphone shows up at FCC

12/26, 1:50pm

P-02E to sport 1920x1080 display, Android 4.1.2

Panasonic has had another handset approved by the FCC, with filings from the regulatory body revealing what appears to be a high-end Android device. The P-02E sports a recent version of Jelly Bean, NFC, LTE, and a high-resolution screen. It doesn't appear to be coming to the United States any time soon, though; the filing has the device headed for Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo.

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NTT DoCoMo blames subscriber loss on lack of iPhone

12/07, 9:20am

Softbank, KDDI pull in DoCoMo customers

Japan's largest cellphone carrier, NTT DoCoMo, has posted a net loss of 40,800 subscribers for the month of November, Reuters reports. The company is blaming the draw of the iPhone 5, which is only carried in Japan by DoCoMo's two main rivals, KDDI and Softbank. DoCoMo adds that the bleed is the first time it has seen subscribers drop in over five years, and its worst drop to date.

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Samsung Galaxy S III Alpha with upgraded hardware hits Japan

10/13, 4:48pm

Hardware upgrade seems to match Galaxy Note II

A new version of the Samsung Galaxy S III has been announced in Japan. Appearing on Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, the Galaxy S III Alpha is an improved version of the original, sporting hardware remarkably similar to that of the Galaxy Note II. A new color is also carried over from the Galaxy Note II, however the stylus does not.

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NTT DoCoMo starts automatic voice call translation service

10/01, 1:37pm

Japanese carrier also releasing AR translation app

Japan's NTT DoCoMo is set to launch the world's first Android-based commercial mobile service for conversation translation. Hanashite Hon'yaku provides automatic voice translations between Japanese and another of three languages, with results not only being displayed on-screen, but read out to each side of the conversation as by a voice synthesizer.

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Tobii, NTT DoCoMo eye-tracking tablet to debut next month

09/19, 3:26pm

Prototype ibeam uses eyes for navigation

A tablet concept with embedded eye-tracking is being prepared for its first public demonstration. The ibeam, a collaboration between NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, and Tobii Technology, is an Android tablet with Tobii's IS20 sensor that can detect where eyes are looking at, and then perform the action being focussed on by the user.

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Fujitsu, NEC, NTT Docomo form mobile chip alliance

08/01, 7:18am

Access Network Technology set to take on Qualcomm, Samsung

Fujitsu, NEC and NTT Docomo have formed an alliance to manufacture their own smartphone mobile processors. Access Network Technology will see Fujitsu taking a majority 52.8 percent stake, with Docomo holding 19.9 percent and NEC 17.8 percent - Fujitsu Semiconductor will pick up the remaining 9.5 percent stake. The partnership has been borne out necessity as mobile chip supplies are constrained due to global demand, while the Japanese companies want to reduce their reliance on chips sourced from outside Japan.

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Fujitsu shows LTE-capable REGZA Phone T-02D for Japan

07/23, 4:30pm

Fujitsu T-02D gets OLED touchscreen, 13.1-megapixel cam and Japan-only launch

Fujitsu has just introduced a new handset for the Japanese market, the NEXT-series REGZA Phone T-02D. It gets a 4.3-inch OLED touchscreen with 960x540 resolution that Fujitsu calls new AMOLED Plus. The display works with a sensor that measures the color of ambient light to change its own color as needed.

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Amazon offering prepaid SIM cards in Japan

05/28, 8:08am

Amazon first foreign company to become an NVMO in Japan

Amazon will be the first foreign company to offer a prepaid wireless service in Japan. Nikkei [account required] reports prepaid SIM cards with 500MB preallocated to it will be sold for 1,980 Yen ($25) through the website, and as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), will be carried by NTT Docomo's LTE network. This takes place ahead of the expected Japanese launch of the Amazon Kindle in the summer.

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Sharp Aquos SH-07D, 09D, 10D coming to NTT DoCoMo

05/17, 3:05pm

NTT DoCoMo to bring three new Android 4.0 phones this summer

NTT DoCoMo has announced that the Sharp Aquos SH-07D, SH-09D, and SH-10D smartphones will be appearing on its network this summer. The three phones, each running Android 4.0, will debut separately on the network in a variety of colors.

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Samsung Galaxy S III gets 2GB of RAM for Japan

05/17, 8:37am

Japanese Samsung Galaxy S III users get bonus RAM

The forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S III for Japan has been fitted 2GB of RAM, versus the standard 1GB of RAM for most other international markets. The Japanese variant of the GS III also runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ‘Krait’ dual-core SoC, which is compatible with Japan’s NTT Docomo 4G LTE network. The inclusion of the additional RAM is likely to help support Japan-only features such as 1 seg TV tuner without bogging down overall system performance.

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NTT DoCoMo reveals summer phones, anime store

05/16, 1:10pm

NTT DoCoMo brings Galaxy S III to their network

Japan's NTT DoCoMo has revealed its summer lineup of releases including 16 Android 4.0 smartphones, a tablet, a mobile phone for children and a mobile Wi-Fi router. The announcement comes at the same time as plans for the company's Dmarket content to be expanded to offer anime videos and music on a flat-rate basis for smartphones and tablets.

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NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, others drop LTE chip alliance

04/02, 8:55am

NTT DoCoMo and firms don't reach pact in time

In a rare instance of backing off of a major deal, NTT DoCoMo said Monday that it had broken up its planned 4G chip alliance. The Japanese carrier along with Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, and Samsung had ended their joint venture in chips after an agreement on exact terms "could not be reached" by the end of the fiscal year, at the end of March. The company NTT DoCoMo had made to get ready for the alliance, Communication Platform Planning Co., was being closed and liquidated as a result.

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Panasonic Eluga hits Japan next week, Europe in April

03/22, 7:55am

Panasonic Eluga gets dated for Japan and Europe

Panasonic's extra-thin Eluga smartphone has edged closer to release with more concrete launches for Japan and Europe. Its home country is getting the Android 2.3 hardware as the P-04D on March 29 through NTT DoCoMo. That carrier is getting a special Deep Purple hue instead of the normal black.

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DoCoMo, NEC, Panasonic, Fujitsu make all-in-one 3G, 4G modem

02/24, 11:40am

LSI chips will allow for multi-network modems

Japanese wireless provider NTT DoCoMo has teamed up with hardware makers NEC, Panasonic, and Fujitsu on developing a rare large-scale integration (LSI) chip for modems that supports GSM, WCDMA, HSPA+, and LTE networks. The companies have developed both the software and hardware intellectual property. An engineering sample of the chips exists, and testing on major mobile networks has been completed.

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Next Generation Hotspot trials end, promise automatic Wi-Fi

02/23, 1:00pm

Commercial NGHs coming over next 12 months

Industry association Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) revealed on Thursday that some of the biggest carriers in the world have successfully tested Next Generation Hotspots (NGH). Wi-Fi access to these hubs is much simpler, and the second half of 2012 will see more tests that involve more advanced features. The first commercial NGHs will be built over the course of the next 10 months.

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MPEG LA starts offering Blu-ray 3D video patent licenses

02/22, 5:55pm

Pooled license simplifies technology dispersal

MPEG LA, which holds patent rights for several technologies including components of MPEG-2, MPEG-4, ATSC, and AVC, is now offering a consolidated license for patents pertaining to MVC (Multiview Video Coding). MVC is the standard for encoding and decoding video that is used in 3D-capable hardware, such as Blu-ray disc players and burners, video cameras, and PCs.

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NTT DoCoMo dates waterproof Android phone, tablet

02/16, 10:40am

Devices shares many specs, support Nottv channel

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has dated two new portable Android devices that are also waterproof. The Sharp Aquos SH-06D phone has already been seen before, and despite being promised to launch at the start of December, still hasn't surfaced. The other new device is the seven-inch NEC Medias Tab N-06D, which shares the handset's dual-core 1.2GHz processor.

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AT&T, Verizon both said carrying LTE iPad 3

02/13, 11:05pm

iPad 3 should get multi-carrier launch

Fresh details leaked Monday have an LTE iPad 3 shipping for at least two US carriers. AT&T and Verizon would both sell the tablet at 4G speeds, the Wall Street Journal said. Whether or not Sprint's upcoming LTE network wasn't mentioned, but the hardware would have the expected fallback to 3G in areas where LTE wasn't available.

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NEC Medias LTE N-04D coming to NTT DoCoMo soon

02/10, 6:05pm

High-end phone to be waterproof, get LTE, NFC

A new smartphone from NEC Casio is due to launch in Japan at provider NTT DoCoMo. The high-end Medias LTE N-04D will support 4G LTE speeds and sport a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. As is typical of high-end Japanese phones, a 1Seg TV tuner will also be onboard.

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Disney, NTT DoCoMo team on new Android smartphones

02/01, 6:00am

Disney and NTT DoCoMo parter on exclusive phones

Disney has partnered with NTT DoCoMo to release a pair of new Android-powered smartphones. The phones are part of a new range of smartphones to be sold exclusively under the 'Disney Mobile on DoCoMo' brand. The first of the two models (F-08D) will be launched in late February with the second (P-05D) due to follow in March, both Japan only.

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Nintendo, NTT DoCoMo use DS for voice recognition

01/30, 6:10pm

Voice to text to aid disable students in classroom

Nintendo is partnering with Japanese service provider NTT DoCoMo to bring speech recognition tools to the classroom. Together, the two companies are using Nintendo's DS handhelds to display a teacher's words directly on the handheld gaming device's screen as they are spoken. The intent is to help students with disabilities learn better.

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KDDI ups its outlook based on iPhone 4S

01/26, 12:05pm

KDDI gives optimistic outlook because of Apple

Second-largest Japanese carrier KDDI showed an immediate effect from its getting the iPhone 4S Thursday after it upped its outlook for 2012. It now expects to get 2.6 percent more revenue in 2012 than it did before owing to becoming one of Apple's latest official carriers. Although its profit dipped 17 percent in the fall to the equivalent of $697.1 million, it saw its data revenue go up 8.2 points, mostly as customers switched from their conventionally Japanese basic feature phones to smartphones.

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Nissan makes first self-healing iPhone case

01/18, 2:20pm

Nissan puts its self-healing paint on iPhone case

Japanese automaker Nissan has applied its self-healing paint technology to an iPhone case. The first-of-its-kind case is a tribute to the Juke crossover and was created with the help of the University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials. As on Nissan's cars, any small scratches or scrapes can fix themselves over time.

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Fujitsu demos quad-core 4G smartphone, Arrows Tab stateside

01/15, 9:05pm

Fujitus teases Tegra 3 and shows Arrows Tab in US

Fujitsu in its turn at CES was focusing mostly on the mobile side, demoing the Arrows Tab and, in a surprise, a quad-core smartphone. The Arrows-badged phone, which was using a Tegra 3, was behind glass at the main Fujitsu booth running the Riptide GP game NVIDIA likes to use to show the Tegra 3's graphics power. We were told it was running Android 4.0 and, on-device, had a 4.6-inch "HD" screen.

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KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank unite on backing NFC standards

12/23, 4:15pm

Form consortium to coordinate efforts

Japan's three largest wireless carriers are uniting to ensure NFC standards compatibility. NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and SoftBank are establishing the Japan Mobile NFC Consortium to coordinate the adoption of multiple international standards for NFC technologies used in their mobile devices and services. By doing so, the three hope to be able to offer lower-cost NFC services to both Japanese residents ans international visitors.

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LG Optimus LTE coming to NTT DoCoMo on December 15

12/14, 4:30pm

LG Optimus LTE to be first HD 4G at NTT DoCoMo

The LG Optimus LTE will become available on NTT DoCoMo's Xi 4G LTE network in Japan on December 15, the South Korean manufacturer announced. The phone will be offered in black, white and red, the last of which is unique to the carrier. The phone is already available in Korea, Canada, and the US.

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US Cellular hints iPhone an option once it goes LTE

12/05, 7:30pm

US Cellular next among carriers open to 4G iPhone

The chief for US Cellular's parent, TDS, hinted in a presentation at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Monday that US Cellular would be open to an LTE iPhone. It was "never going to say never" about Apple's device, but the carrier wanted the device on its newest network before considering. Its LTE network goes live in early 2012 and will already be at half coverage of its regional-sized network by the end of 2012.

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NTT DoCoMo claimed lining up LTE iPad, iPhone 5

11/30, 2:10pm

Paper says NTT DoCoMo in talks with Apple

NTT DoCoMo may have given clues to Apple making LTE a staple of its next iPad an iPhone. A claim in Japan's Nikkei asserts that the carrier is hoping to carry a 4G iPad by the summer and a matching iPhone by the fall. Apple chief Tim Cook had supposedly had NTT DoCoMo VPs Kiyoyuki Tsujimura and Takashi Yamada visit Apple's campus to successfully make a "basic agreement" and had been hashing out details such as minimum shipment volumes.

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Sharp Aquos SH-01D with Android, 720p to ship December 2

11/25, 4:55pm

Sharp to ship waterproof 720p smartphone in Japan

Japenese provider NTT DoCoMo has just officially announced that the Sharp SH-01D will ship on December 2. The Android 2.3-powered smartphone is waterproof and gets a 4.5-inch LCD with a 720x1280 resolution. The Aquos-branded screen uses a parallax barrier design for glasses-free 3D images.

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NTT DoCoMo has not 'given up' on iPhone, says CEO

11/15, 1:05pm

Japanese carrier still in talks with Apple

Japan's largest cellphone carrier, NTT DoCoMo, has not "given up" hope of selling the iPhone, according to CEO Ryuji Yamada. Yamada explains that Apple and DoCoMo are still in talks, but that there are several concerns, such as Apple's insistence on high volume commitments. The CEO also worries about the risk of the iPhone becoming a "mass majority" of DoCoMo products, and the closed nature of iOS blocking the carrier from pre-installing otherwise commonplace DoCoMo apps, such as its e-wallet system or custom i-mode email.

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