Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
This week we're talking about Japan's role in the iPhone 6's alleged and guessed at and in all ways speculated upon manufacturing delays due to display assembly issues, and then we talk about gambling, booze, and internet addiction and how that last one might be really kinda highly subjective and we're not buying all the Ministry of Health is selling!
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Welcome to Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
It’s already Friday west of the international dateline – here in Japan, it’s totally the future. The weekly JTFF is our somewhat Technosnarky coverage of 2-5 particularly important, specifically Japan-related tech stories. Get yourself hip to the micro & macro that went down while North America was sleeping – check in with Akihabara News every Friday morning and BOOM! Ahead of the game, you win.
:: JTFF – August 22, 2014 ::
• Japan Display, Inc. Part of iPhone 6’s Reportedly Possible but Nobody Really Knows for Sure Potential Supply Shortage that May or May Not Exist Maybe Kinda
Damn, we humans love to pointlessly speculate on iPhone stuff, don’t we? Well, the JTFF isn’t above doing the same, but at least we have our angle to follow (Japan). And, of course, we too will dork out on the new phone when it’s released. Dismissing that digression, anybody remember Japan Display? We do! The JTFF has been following the Japan Display saga for a few years now, and basically, it was this bold experiment that took the failing display divisions of three tech giants (Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi) and mashed them together into one independent display-making corporate entity. Surprising many, it turned out rather well: the divisions meshed nicely, profits ensued, the company increased their business with Apple, and earlier this year held a $4 billion IPO. Not bad, not bad at all. But now, according to rumour and insider speculative geekery, along with a handful of other manufacturers, Japan Display was dealt a production setback when Apple realized it was squeezing the iPhone 6 a bit too tight and sacrificing screen brightness. This is a speedbump for Japan Display because it’s also reported that nearly ⅓ of the hybrid company’s revenue comes from Apple, which some analysts see as a bit precarious. But to that we say: “Hmmmmm… well maybe, but Apple does seem to be doing well for itself, and if Japan Display keeps doing well at what it does, then hey - success, yo.”
[JAPAN DISPLAY PART OF APPLE’S POTENTIAL SUPPLY PROBLEM - TIMES OF INDIA]
iPhone News & Coverage
• Japan Loves Booze, Gambling, and the Internets (and might need a 12-step program)
There is a lot of gambling in Japan: Pachinko, which is basically developmentally disabled vertical pinball with prize money, is everywhere. Here in Tokyo where we’re pounding this keyboard - a mostly residential area - there are no fewer than 4 pachinko parlors within a 7-minute walk. Gambling addiction rates are considered high (according to recently released survey). There is a lot of booze in Japan: With considerable signal degradation, if you translate the word “飲み会 / のみかい / no mi kai” into English, you’ll arrive at “drinking party.” It’s want for context, however, because drinking parties are often highly professional outings. It’s standard procedure for companies small and huge, social groups, sports teams, and many other social institutions to have these drinking parties, and unless they’re the DD or have a severe aversion, people are expected to at least have some beer. Bars and booze vendors thrive in Japan, and unless they really, REALLY have a problem, individuals who are habitual, even daily alcohol users are spared the the ‘alcoholic’ label. Alcohol addiction rates are considered high (according to recently released survey). There is a lot of internet in Japan: Internet addiction rates are considered high (according to recently released survey). This is where the rubber data hits the dorky road for us, and it’s something that we have to take issue with - mostly because humans don’t fully know what ‘internet addiction’ means...yet. Does the arithmetic of defining internet addiction factor in time spent online by people whose jobs require it? Or, exactly how often do I have to check my phone in a given hour to be considered addicted? We’re totally hip to the internationally accepted definitions of gambling and alcohol addiction, but internetting is something of a frontier, and nailing down what exactly constitutes addiction isn’t quite so easy, we say. So, this new survey by Japan’s Health Ministry, cited in the piece we’re citing here, would benefit from digging a bit deeper and refraining from using or needing to use speculative terminolgy like “could be” and “seems,” etc. Oh, and if these societal ills are so damn bad, how is it that Japan's is the world's longest-lived population? Oh again, one other thing: Japan's internal social science skills are not exactly...highly regarded. As such, we call for an independent, foreign based investigation of this internet addiction issue. Like the French, maybe. That'd be good.
[GAMBLING, BOOZE, AND THE INTERNETS ARE JAPAN’S ADDICTIONS - INTERAKSYON.COM VIA AFP]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.