Cerebral Shangrila

Monday, July 20, 2009

Japanese Cell Phones - Gallapagos Syndrome

Have you heard of Galapagos Syndrome ? ( We all have heard of Galapagos island, thanks to Darwin), I haven't until today. Why do Japanese cell phones which have been ahead of rest of the world by at least three years in hardware and features, never been able to garner any market outside Japan?

So, you get the drift - that is Galapagos Syndrome. I have always been amazed by what the Japanese could do with their mobile phones. We mortals couldn't even do half of those things with PC for a long time.

NYT says " Japan’s lack of global clout is all the more surprising because its cellphones set the pace in almost every industry innovation: e-mail capabilities in 1999, camera phones in 2000, third-generation networks in 2001, full music downloads in 2002, electronic payments in 2004 and digital TV in 2005. "

Why weren't the Japanese successful then? " Despite their advanced hardware, handsets here often have primitive, clunky interfaces, some participants said. Most handsets have no way to easily synchronize data with PCs as the iPhone and other smartphones do."

What should the Japanese phone makes do now? "Japan’s handset makers must focus more on software and must be more aggressive in hiring foreign talent, and the country’s cellphone carriers must also set their sights overseas."

What is great about iPhone - Its design, ease of use and amazing variety of apps that can be loaded on it. The Japanese definitely know more about convergence but can learn a thing or two about building a partner ecosystem & ease of use from Apple.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home