Japanese Handset Vendors Take Another Crack At The West
We said earlier that another misstep by Vodafone Japan was trying to sell foreign handsets that were substandard compared to local products. Japanese handset vendors are having the exact opposite problem — their handsets have been too advanced to sell anywhere else in the world. But, with the growth of 3G around the globe, they feel like they’ve got an opportunity to grab some market share since they’ve been selling the devices for a few years now. It sounds good on paper, since Japanese handsets are some of the most advanced in the world, but this story’s been trotted out before — the spread of i-mode to foreign carriers as well as the introduction of cameraphones, and a general invasion of the US were supposed to have similar effects, but Japanese manufacturers still don’t command much global market share. Japanese phones remain relatively expensive, and their user interfaces aren’t too widely renowned outside the country, and while its vendors have been able to eke out some small gains, it’s hard to see why the spread of 3G should do any more than that for them.