The mobile internet was born 16 Years Ago in Tokyo with Docomo's i-Mode

The mobile internet was born 16 Years Ago in Tokyo with Docomo's i-Mode

Editor's Note:
We are so, so lucky. Just look at that image. Never curse your smartphone again!

Mobile internet was born on February 22, 1999 in Tokyo - 16 years ago

On February 22, 1999, the mobile internet was born when Mari Matsunaga, Takeshi Natsuno and Keiichi Enoki launched Docomo's i-Mode to a handful of people who had made the effort to the Press Conference introducing Docomo's new i-Mode service. KDDI soon followed with EZweb, and J-Phone with Jsky (J-Phone was acquired by Vodafone, which was unable to manage J-Phone, Vodafone then sold the company to SoftBank).

i-Mode's popularity soon exceeded any expectation: Docomo for some periods had to limit new subscriptions.

With Steve Jobs' love for Japan, and Apple's intense supplier relationships with Japan, it's not farfetched to see connections between i-Mode and iPhone, in particular the i-Mode ecosystem and Java-based i-Appli's are forerunners of today's apps and apps-ecosystems.

[RELATED]
Japanese Smartphone News & Tech

At that time there was no Wikipedia, and Docomo had no English-language website at all, so our company Eurotechnology Japan KK's information was more or less the only English language information openly available about i-Mode. We were bombarded by requests from many major semiconductor firms, telecom operators, investment banks, students and world-famous business schools for our i-Mode report and related business development and strategic work. 

Today 5 of the global top-10 top-grossing Apps are Japanese

While Docomo never managed to capture global value from inventing and first introducing the mobile internet, the No. 1 top-grossing company globally, and five of the top-10 globally top-grossing Apps for iOS and Google-Play combined are Japanese (source: App-Annie). See Japan's top 25 grossing mobile apps here

Japan's app market is the world's largest in terms of cash revenues

It's also no coincidence that in terms of cash value, Japan's is the world's largest app-market for iOS and Google-Play combined, bigger than the US market and the Chinese market in terms of cash value (source: App-Annie).

App-Annie's data to our knowledge only cover the iOS and Google-Play app-stores, not the i-Mode and other mobile internet businesses, so Japan's actual mobile app economy is even larger than App-Annie data show.

i-Mode is still alive and kicking - and a big business for Docomo

i-Mode is still today the mobile internet system for Docomo's traditional flip-phones which are still an important part of the market, and recently made headlines since sales for traditional flip-phones were rising, while smartphone sales were (temporarly?) dropping.

i-Mode (and EZweb for KDDI, and Yahoo-mobile for SoftBank) will still be important business for some time to come in Japan.

Source: 

Related Articles

NTT docomo Unveils Winter & Spring 2015 Products and Services - AkihabaraNews.com

Editor Yoriko attended NTT docomo’s Winter/Spring 2015 Product & Service announcement event held Tuesday here in Tokyo. The complete event gallery is here.

NTT docomo Intros Samsung’s 5.6-inch GALAXY Note Edge - AkihabaraNews.com

Editor Yoriko attended NTT docomo’s Winter/Spring 2015 Product & Service announcement event held Tuesday in here in Tokyo.

Kanako Miura - AkihabaraNews.com

Today, per the Japanese tradition of marking the one year anniversary of an individual's death, known as the Meinichi (めいにち・命日), we remember the life and accomplishments of brilliant young roboticist Dr. Kanako Miura, lost in a terrible accident one year ago today. Our original article was published May 29, 2013. 

• • •

NTT docomo Summer 2014 Rollout - AkihabaraNews.com

Pictured Here:
Actor Tori Matsuzaka; Actress Maki Horikita; Actor, Last Samurai, and Godzilla Hunter Ken Watanabe; Actress Satomi Ishihara

Unlike a traditional mobile phone or Android smartphone, iPhone doesn't support mobile wallet services. But, NTT docomo made it possible to join those services using your iPhone.

They are going to release Osaifu Keitai Jacket 01, a device for iPhone that transforms the iPhone into a mobile wallet compliant device.  

NTT docomo - Samsung GALAXY Tab S 8.4 - Tablet Meets Bluetooth Keyboard - AkihabaraNews.com

Editor Yoriko attended NTT docomo’s Winter/Spring 2015 Product & Service announcement event held recently here in Tokyo. The complete event gallery is here.

** Special Notice: NTT docomo has issued a warning that this product is ONLY for use with dogs. **

You are not the only one who can benefit from wearable technology.  Your fluffy best friend can benefit too.

NTT docomo today has announced that they are going to start providing a new service called Pet Fit for users' dogs sometime in March. You can remotely check how your dog is, maintain his daily health condition, and find out where he is when he's lost.

Nayalan Moodley - June 13, 2014

Tesla's Exclusive docomo Data Deal

In addition to Nayalan's news below, many of you probably saw today's huge announcement, and if not, have a read of Elon Musk's Tesla blog post from a few hours ago. The patents, as the kids say, are out of the barn.   -Ed.

• • •

NTT docomo - Dococchi - Watch-Style Wearable Child Monitor (Tracker?) - AkihabaraNews.com

Ongoing docomo Coverage:
Last week, we joined NTT docomo's 2014-2015 winter/spring products rollout and witnessed their new approach to wearable devices for kids - it’s called Dococchi (ドコッチ).

AkihabaraNews participated in NTT docomo's 2015 summer roll-out and witnessed Fujitsu's ARROWS NX F-04G smartphone, the world's first smartphone that has an iris recognition system built-in. But this year, sadly, Ken Watanabe is NOT built-in!

 

As a part of their research into wearable computing, Docomo are working with the possibility of pairing smartphones with head-mounted interfaces. At CEATEC 2013, they demonstrated a variety of situations where this technology could be utilized in the future.

Japanese Technology from the Future SATURDAY but was Supposed to Be Friday!

This week it’s Japan thinking about investing a bunch of cash and tech into cancer treatment in India, which is nice, NTT Data Canada has significantly upped some jobs predictions in Nova Scotia, and even we're saying "NTT Data Canada?", and SCHAFT Robotics has left the DARPA building, which is kind of a bummer, but intriguing. 

• • •

NTT docomo’s Celebrity Marketing Crew: Ken Watanabe, Satomi Ishihara, and Maki Horikita (GALLERY) - AkihabaraNews.com

Left to Right: NTT docomo President Kaoru Kato, Japanese actresses Maki Horikita and Satomi Ishihara, with international movie star Ken Watanabe

Yoriko Takahashi - May 16, 2014

NTT docomo: 6 New Smartphones for Summer - AkihabaraNews.com

NTT docomo's New Smartphones
Following up on yesterday’s coverage of NTT docomo’s summer rollout event, we want to provide a few more details on the 6 new smartphones they unveiled at Belle Salle Shiodome in Tokyo on May 14.

Pages