Wednesday, April 26, 2006

And the winner in Japan is: Barcode reader!

Japanese consumers are the world’s early adopters of the latest mobile technologies and features. The market is therefore seen as a key test bed for innovation, which is why industry professionals around the world look to Japan to understand “what’s next” in wireless. Even so, it’s a common myth that Japan is two to three years ahead of the U.S. in the development of its wireless market.


Among the mobile phone features used more often by Japanese consumers than their U.S. counterparts were wireless Web browsing, mobile email, ringtone downloads, PDA functions, graphics and screensaver downloads, mobile gaming, picture messaging, digital music listening, video messaging, and mobile TV and video. Most notably, 76 percent of Japanese consumers use their phones for Web browsing, compared to just 12 percent in the U.S. market.
Emerging features currently available in Japan, but less ubiquitous here, also display a strong growth potential for the consumer wireless market in the U.S. These features include the following:
- Barcode reader (used by 27 percent of Japanese consumers)
- GPS (26 percent)
- FM radio (22 percent)
- Voice recorder (18 percent)
- Analog TV tuner (18 percent)
- Mobile Commerce and e-money capabilities (16 percent)


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