Japan's DoCoMo plans new app platform for phones

Jul 09, 2010
Pedestrians use their mobile phones as they walk past a NTT docomo shop in Tokyo in 2008. Japan's number one mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo has said it will add a new application platform to its "i-mode" handsets this year as it tries to catch up with Apple's runaway iPhone success.

Japan's number one mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo has said it will add a new application platform to its "i-mode" handsets this year as it tries to catch up with Apple's runaway iPhone success.

NTT DoCoMo will allow third-party individuals to develop applications for the company's 50 million "i-mode" users, spokeswoman Makiko Furuta said.

DoCoMo revolutionised Japan's with the 1999 launch of its i-mode service, which brought internet services to mobile phones. However, DoCoMo restricted the number of app developers, citing quality control issues.

But the recent emergence of systems such as Google's Android and Apple's App Store for the iPhone and has prompted DoCoMo to loosen its controls and allow individuals to easily create and offer apps and services.

"The open platform is everywhere in the world today and as the market changes, we would like to provide a platform similar to the smartphone for our i-mode customers," Furuta said. The new platform will be launched in November.

DoCoMo's lead is being nipped by the popularity of US-based Apple's iPhone, which accounted for 72 percent of smartphones sold in Japan in two years, according to a recent survey by Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd (MMRI).

While that corresponds to five percent of the total mobile phone market, the figure illustrates that the Californian company is making inroads into Japan's notoriously tough-to-crack market.

DoCoMo's rival Softbank is the exclusive carrier for the in Japan.

In April DoCoMo launched Xperia, which allows users to download apps from Google's Android market.

The Japanese operator services a "DoCoMo market" for smartphone users that allows consumers to access apps from around the world.

Earlier this week said it aimed to release an electronic book by next spring to compete with Apple's iPad, which has sold more than three million units worldwide since its April launch.

Explore further: Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan's NTT DoCoMo to launch Xperia smart phone

Jan 21, 2010

Japan's top mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. Thursday said it will launch Sony Ericsson's Xperia smart phone in April, in a direct challenge to heavyweight Apple's iPhone handsets.

DoCoMo invests $45.5M in US mobile video firm

Jul 06, 2009

(AP) -- NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile phone operator, said Monday it spent $45.5 million to take a 35 percent share in a U.S. company that makes multimedia technology for its mobile phones.

Openwave to Support Leading i-mode Phone

Aug 09, 2004

To Ship with i-mode Compliant Openwave Mobile Browser Version 7 Openwave Systems Inc., the leading provider of open software products and services for the communications industry, today announced a collaboration with SAGE ...

Japan phone makers team up to develop new platform

Apr 26, 2010

Four leading Japanese electronics makers said Monday they will team up with top network operator NTT DoCoMo to develop the operating system for its next-generation cellphones, due for launch next year.

NTT DoCoMo expands i-mode to Hong Kong

Jun 01, 2006

A decade ago NTT DoCoMo was the mobile arm of Japan's single-biggest phone carrier, which dominated the domestic market that it more or less focused on exclusively. These days, the company continues to be one of the biggest ...

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

13 hours ago

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...