A combination of an urban lifestyle and infrastructure advantages mean that the fixed internet is being left behind by the mobile, claims the Guardian.
Books on mobile, whoever would have though it?
Yasuko San is aiming her mobile at a small, square tattoo on paper, clicking a little and peering happily at the result. Her prize? The latest novel written for the mobile, entitled "Teddy". Such serialised novels for mobiles are just the latest phone application that has caught the Japanese imagination, but - apart from neighbouring South Korea - few others.
Oh what else is there, well
You can also collect e-coupons, pay bills, play Final Fantasy, update your blog and pay and check into hotels wirelessly. Soon the airport check-in will be history in Japan, too, as the e-ticket in your phone becomes your boarding pass.
Nearly all are services based on the success of the mobile web in Japan, where in a nation of 127 million the number of mobile internet subscribers recently passed 100 million. Not for nothing are the Japanese now known as the Thumb Tribe - a tribe who, for the most part, prefer their mobile to the fixed internet.
And back to Mobile Japan
It is no wonder those touting m-commerce as the next big web thing tell us Japan is the future blueprint. "Japan is the world's high-tech testbed for a wide range of consumer electronic devices and systems - many of which never see the light of day in overseas markets," says Daniel Scuka, keitai guru and consultant for publishers Wireless Watch Japan. "So keeping up with developments here is vital to knowing what's going to hit Europe and the US 24 months in the future; doubly so with respect to mobile and wireless."
By offering the Japanese a multiplicity of services - and, very importantly, some very cool handsets to use them on - the operators have created what every western mobile service provider is dreaming of: a mobile lifestyle culture that keeps millions reaching for the mobile rather than the fixed internet. But it does have its disadvantages.
Open API's - it was invented n Japan, because nobody is as clever as everybody
NTT DoCoMo's Takeshi Natsuno beleives the Japanese have a genius for designing new technologies that can be adopted by anyone. Right on. Mass creativity, Mass collaboration, Mass participation and importantly clever intelligent revenue sharing models that inspire economic creavity and application in the marketplace.
Not this locked down bullshit.
And as Bill Bailey says, start with a laugh and work backwards.
The Japanese are blessed with some of the best-looking technology in the world. It has to be intuitive, simple and high-quality, not because the Japanese are so tech-savvy, but because they are the most demanding consumers in the world.
Hopefully I am heading out to Japan with Tomi very soon, we would love to meet anyone that wants to meet us, and I want to soak up the energy, creativity and commercial power of mobile in Japan