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Will Android Succeed In Japan?

japan_android.gifIt is common knowledge that Japan leads the way in the development of mobile value added services. But with an already saturated mobile sector, what are the chances of a western Operating System making it big in Japan?

According to an article by Levi Shapiro published in RCR Wireless, they are pretty good. He explains that Japan’s saturated market means that operators are forced to innovate in order to try and gain market share.


In the article, Levi argues that Japan is clearly a mature mobile market: net subscriber additions is just 3% per year; 90% of the subscribers use high speed 3G networks, and over half of all subscribers pay for unlimited data plans.

Although NTT DoCoMo is still the market leader with 50% share, they are seeing a shrinking aggregate ARPU and a declining market share. In response to these pressures, DoCoMo has chosen to innovate through the Android platform.

DoCoMo would like to encourage Android developers to develop applications targeted at the Japanese market. To accomplish this, they have recently promised to allocate a slice of their annual $1 billion R&D budget and to support western developers. This support will include language translation services, application porting, adaptation for Japanese culture, quality assurance testing, introductions to experts for “Japanization” of applications and operator specific API’s.

DoCoMo also recently hosted an Android Developers workshop in Palo Alto, with the objective of linking DoCoMo’s top technical talent with leading mobile content and application developers.

Minoru Etoh, Managing Director of DoCoMo’s Service and Solution Development Department said, “To prepare a new ecosystem with Android, DoCoMo is supporting the Android developer community. Our support includes network API’s, operator charging systems, localization, and federation of developers.”

levi-shapiro-pic.jpegLevi concludes by saying, “Android represents a rare opportunity for western content owners in the Land of the Rising Sun…This could be your chance to become ‘Big in Japan.’”

If you would like to read the rest of the article, where Levi Shapiro explains more, please click here.


13.04.2010    Tags: , , ,
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