Date: Sunday, January 21st, 2007, 12:59
As stock markets swooned and techies buzzed over Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs’ long-awaited entry into the mobile-phone market, Japanese consumers could be excused for wondering: Why the fuss?
Many Japanese had a hard time buying Jobs’ hype about “reinventing” the phone. The revolution is well under way in Japan, where cell phones are used for everything from navigating home by GPS to buying movie tickets and remotely updating blogs.
Japanese cell phones also download music, surf the Internet and make phone calls.
They’ve been a natural extension of daily life the last few years, spurred by the Japanese decision to be the first country to upgrade to third-generation mobile-phone networks, or 3G, which increased broadband capabilities and allowed for greater, faster transmission of voice and data. Apple’s iPhone, by comparison, will operate on a 2G network.