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Archive for the 'Vodafone/Softbank' Category


The Ultimate Kids Keitai

Continuing my now two-post long thread of Ultimate Keitai aimed at particular demographics, I now present to you the ultimate Kids Keitai! The newly renamed Softbank Mobile has released the ‘Kodomobile’ which has been especially designed for children.


The phone features a GPS tracking system so that parents can check the location of their kids on a computer at any time, a panic alarm, and a warning light that will automatically send an email with the time and current location when activated. There’s also web access to things like Yahoo! Kids (remember, Softbank and Yahoo! are in cahoots), some games, 1GB of memory, a high resolution camera and a battery that can last for up to 20 days.

Good lord, I want one. I want a phone with 20 days of battery power and 1 gig of memory! Why can’t my phone have all that?!

The Kodomobile logo



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Vodafone Japan -> Softbank

Earlier this year, Vodafone announced that it was going to leave Japan and it was eventually bought by Softbank, who are the largest ISP in Japan and linked with Yahoo!

On October 1st, the changeover from Vodafone to Softbank was complete. There were small steps in this process, for example: Yahoo! JAPAN was magically put at the top of the Vodafone Live! service page. Now that the changeover is all-but-complete, these are the other rebrandings you can expect:

Image from
Image from

Link: (and again)

Posted by Chidade in Vodafone/Softbank | No Comments »


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West vs. East

Image from

Jon at PingMag has written an article comparing the most popular phones in Japan with the most popular in the West. Japan (and maybe South Korea) is easily the mobile phone (or cell phone, if you’re that way inclined) capital of the world. They aren’t just phones. Nowadays, they’re also TVs, your train ticket, business card as well as all the functions known to the West, like email, mp3 player and personal organiser.

I like the phones in Japan. Australia is usually about 3 years behnd the rest of the world technologically, so there’s no way my old candybar style Nokia can compare to what can be found here. An interesting point to note: nearly all the phones here are flip phones. It’s gotten to the stage where it’s embarrassing to take out my top-of-the-Australian-line phone out, because it’s just plain ugly and featureless compared to the phones you can find here.

I think I’ll have to get myself one of these phones soon. The one with digital TV looks tempting.


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English Disaster Information on Mobiles in Fukuoka

I’ve been told that Fukuoka is the best city to live in Japan. I can’t judge, since I’ve only spent one night there, but I do like this recent move by Fukuoka city government:

Fukuoka Prefecture will start providing disaster information in English to residents with foreign nationalities via cell phone emails while informing their families abroad of their safety also through email, prefectural government officials said Thursday (from Japan Today).

The amount of English mobile content in Japan is very, very limited. I only know of Vodafone Live being provided in English, and even then, it’s not all the links and categories. If you want to download ringtones, games or pictures, you’ll need Japanese knowledge. It’s very frustrating.

Anyone out there know of other English mobile content services in Japan? Leave a comment!

Posted by Chidade in Services, Vodafone/Softbank | No Comments »


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Vodafone Quitting Japan

Via Slashdot:
Reuters is reporting that Vodafone, the largest mobile phone operator in the world, but the smallest in Japan, is (finally!) giving up doing business in Japan. Vodafone have not managed to be successful in the Japanese market for so many reasons… From offering a smaller choice of phones, updating their offer less often than the competition, having phones with less features, and being the slowest to adopt 3G technology. Japanese Vodafone division could be bought by Softbank, the largest ISP in Japan.

More fun about Vodafone in Japan:
Vodafone run away from Japan
Vodafone Japan’s big breakthru: NOTHING
Vodafone flops in Japan with a big yawn

Thanks Jul

Posted by Yves in Vodafone/Softbank | 1 Comment »


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The Meaning of Keitai

Over on the Japan Media Review website, Kenji Kohiyama, Professor at the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University, examines the “Meaning” and the “Future” of Keitai. Author of the book Keitai, he seeks to understand the culture of mobile phones in Japan, their multimedia use and their societal impact. Not really “fun” per se, but an interesting read if you are into mobile phones and Japan (otherwise why would you be reading this anyway?).

The keitai (mobile phone) is like a toy box with lots of different media stuffed inside where one can pull out the one of your choice as if from a magician’s hat.

In this book I hope to look at the meaning of these and their interest they bring and to gain some understanding on these issues. For this reason, I will take up each of the various media that are in a keitai, the very thing that our country is leading the world in promoting, and investigate their purpose and potential.

The Meaning of Keitai
The Future of Keitai


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Kigurumi Keitai V501T by Vodafone

Kigurumi Keitai V501T by Vodafone

We announced it about a month ago: the Vodafone V501T keitai by Toshiba can disguise itself into several “textures” and patterns. The word “kigurumi” is Japanese for “costume”. As in, wearing a rabbit suit for example. For Vodafone, cute animals were not enough: they went rubber tire, cheese, soda…
Kigurumi Keitai V501T by Vodafone

This week end, they started advertising the “Kigurumi Keitai” V501T in Shibuya station, where all the hip youngsters have to pass through at least once a week. And they also made a special flash-heavy website that I can’t manage to get into (perhaps because I’m on Mac).
Kigurumi Keitai V501T by Vodafone

Haven’t seen these keitai in shops yet, but they should be there soon enough.
Kigurumi Keitai V501T by Vodafone


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Vodafone tests 2Ghz wireless

VodafoneThe press-release published today on’s website revealed that they have achieved speeds of up to 1.7Ghz on their WCDMA (3G) network in Japan. The speed milestone was recorded on April the 27th in field tests. It also mentions that it’s possible to reach 2Ghz speed connection, but there’s expected to be high-traffic on the service, hence 1.7. Pending permission, vodafone will construct a testing station for continued field work on the new service.

8th – I would like to note that this is frequency, and not data rate :D.

Via: NewGMobile

Posted by Deluxe in Vodafone/Softbank | No Comments »


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Vodafone is going full-scale gimmick

Vodafone Toshiba V501T

When Vodafone acquired J-Phone a few years ago, they inherited a not too comfortable market: kids. au/KDDI is supposed to be the operator for the young cool adults, NTT DoCoMo covers Everyone in general, and with the Foma high end stuff they reach the rich young adults as well as the geeks, tu-ka (KDDI) is after the older people who don’t care about digital cameras or java games, and J-Phone/Vodafone is supposedly the phone for the kid who likes to show off with silly games, gadgets, useless accessories, but doesn’t have as much money to buy high end stuff as the au or the Foma crowd. This is a generalization of course, but it becomes obvious when you watch the ads and the features of the phones.

Vodafone spent who knows how much for their big tv/billboards campaigns featuring David Beckham and Nakata Hidetoshi (probably the most famous soccer player in Japan), and they forgot that they were by far not the leader in Japan, and that their consumer base needs cool stuff ALL THE TIME. If they asked me, I would have explained that to them, but they didn’t. Instead, they kept releasing one phone every now and then (6 months or so) when au and DoCoMo were introducing lots and lots of new cool features and loads of new phones all the time, stealing away their customers, one at a time. Well, they should have asked me but hey…

All this to say Vodafone is finally waking up it seems. They haven’t released any new revolutionary thing technologically speaking, but the creatives there have finally started thinking of original ideas that might make young and bored people buy Vodafone. I say it’s about time we see things like this one, dressed like a little red devil! They have just announced the V501T (Toshiba), which comes in a choice of 12 “costumes” (Polygon, Soda, Tile, Bull, Tire, Cheese, Sucker(!), Lawn, Gummi, Wave, Mermaid, and Dinosaur Egg).

Now, who cares about the specs when your phone looks like that? If you really need them, I suggest you read the press release.

They also introduced the Vodafone V501SH (Sharp) which can also be customized with “texture panels”, which are supposed to change the tactile feel of the phone itself. Not as cool but a noticeable effort to follow the success wave of Foma’s P901i covers that are ubiquitous and have been for a while now. Below is the type of displays you find all over the place in Tokyo. One would have expected that Vodafone come up with it first, as it is pretty common in a Nokia world, but quite unusual in Japan, but again DoCoMo did it first. Let’s see how this one goes.

Foma P901i phone covers

Via Gizmodo


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Vodafone 3G – 802SE : the best Vodafone 3G phone so far

SonyEricsson’s 802SE is a killer device. Nice screen, SVG compliant, not too big, easy to handle. Much better specs than the Nokia and Motorola 3G-phones. We expect this phone to hit the top rank in Vodafone’s Japanese sales of handsets.

Main specs:
* network: W-CDMA / GSM tri-band (900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
* weight: 128 gram
* size: 49*102*23.6 mm (clamshell)
* main display: 2.2 inch (220*176 pixels), 260,000 colors TFT
* subdisplay: 1 inch (101*80 pixels), 65,000 colors CSTN
* main mobile camera: 130,000 pixel CMOS (digital zoom 4 times)
* photo storage capacity: &MB
* memory card: memory stick DUO 32 MB
* sound: 72 voices, AAC codec
* Java, TV video, USB port, IR port, Bluetooth, Macromedia Flash, SVG
* PC link for PC synchronization of schedule and addresses


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