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Talking Japanese Culture, Season 1, Lesson 17 –
Top 5 Things You Need to Know About The Cell Phone Industry in Japan
Hello, and welcome to JapanesePod101.com.
I’m Eric.
In this lesson we will talk about the ​"Top 5 things you need to know about cell phone industry in Japan".
The first topic (on the list) is about the three big mobile phone carriers in Japan.
The biggest one is “NTT DoCoMo” (J: NTT Dokomo) which holds
around forty percent of Japanese market share.
Better known as “DoCoMo” (J: Dokomo), the carrier has a
solid reception for its extensive network
The second biggest is “au by KDDI”, or “au” (J:
ĒYū), which has some 20 percent market
share, followed by the third largest “Softbank” (J: Sofuto banku).
The next topic (on the list) is about old-fashioned
flip phones dubbed as “Galapagos mobile
phones” (J: Garapagosu keitai) or “Gala-kei” (J: garakē).
These flip phones have a wide range of
special features such as original ringtones, TV
functions, and a mobile wallet function.
But these multi-function phones are now likened to the evolution of life on the very isolated
Galapagos Islands because their functions
were specifically designed for and available only in Japan.
The next topic (on the list) is about a growing
smartphone market for both iPhones (J: Aifōn)and Android phones (J: Andoroido).
According to data from 2014, about 40 percent of mobile phone users in Japan use smartphones, and Android phones are slightly more popular than iPhones.
In 2010, big cell phone manufactures such as Sharp started off by releasing Android-based Smartphones in Japan, encouraging flip phoneusers to switch to the touch screen phones.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry Bold and Touch Pro failed to repeat their overseas success in Japan amid the growing popularity of iPhones.
The next topic (on the list) is about Android-based phone manufacturers.
As of March 2015, the most popular manufacturer for Android-based smartphones is Sony Mobile, which is formerly known as Sony Ericsson. The company is known for making phones with sophisticated design and high-quality sound and screen.
The rival Sharp is known for making phones withstunning screen quality, using the company’s cutting-edge technology for making television screens.
Panasonic, on the other hand, produces smartphones targeting enterprise and business users.
Last but not least is about the rapid growth of Wi-Fi calling which is fueled also by other popular applications such as LINE (J: Rain) and Skype (J: Sukaipu) .
In Japan, the calling rates for regular mobile phonesare often much higher than Wi-Fi calling.
What’s more, the Wi-Fi calls between app users, and sometimes even between non-users, can be made free of charge.
When you are overseas, it is also much cheaper to find Wi-Fi hotspots and make a call using Wi-Fi rather than using a regular phone line.
That’s all we have for this lesson.
Japan has one of the most advanced cell phone industries in the world, with dozens of advanced and unique applications.
What is your favorite service or application?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time. Bye!