I read over weekend NTT DoCoMo's Annual Report 2006. and familiarised myself more with Japanese mobile market. I am trying to put LG's Prada phone UI ( not Apple's ) inovation more into combined perspective .
I notice long ago that FOMA/mova handsets ( and those of other operators ) are not design's cutting edge but they are successful and selling well in Japan.
Above all , 3G usage penetration is almost 70 % in Japan and all that with handsets that are good-all clamshells and candybars.
Japan's market is by all means unique.
If we assume, there's wider shift in the user interface which will be supported by software (touchscreens and fluid/software Uis instead of buttons ) which will make easier using all these multimedia features and advanced mobile services ( payments, keys ), how will ''iphonish'' avantgarde concept make inroads into Japanese market ?
Is it relevant at all since usage of 3G service is not hampered by current generations of japanese handsets ?
I know there were some rumors about possible SoftBank's distribution of iPhone in Japan( SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son attended MacExpo in SF and Steve Jobs is his friend ) .
If true, whether that would have any sense since iPhone is not build and designed under control of mobile network operator and therefore hadn't had a chance to be adopted to operator's business goals ?
So, I am not talking about features of these future japanese handsets, but of design principle. Will they move building with their partners ( Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu ) those sort of touchscreen models with radical UI design proposition ?
I like Toronto Star's article and opinion from last January putting into perspective iPhone and more advanced mobile markets like japanese.