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SoftBank Announces Summer 2015 Smartphones and Services

SoftBank Announces Summer 2015 Smartphones and Services

On May 19, SoftBank Unveiled its 2015 Summer Products & Services at the Tokyo Prince Hotel in Minato ward, Tokyo.

For this roll-out, President Miyauchi, now heading up the newly minted SoftBank Mobile Corporation, appeared onstage, showed off his Apple Watch, and held court for the entire presentation. SoftBank Mobile is a new company established on April 1, 2015 by merging 3 other telecom companies: SoftBank BB, SoftBank Telecom, and Y!mobile. He explained that SoftBank will continue providing its new product models under 2 brands, SoftBank and Y!mobile.

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The Gear

This summer, four new Android smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, will be released under the SoftBank brand, and it will be the first time for SoftBank to sell the Galaxy series. No new feature phones from Softbank were announced. Here’s the breakdown:

Smartphones:

  • Xperia Z4, by Sony
  • AQUOS Xx, by Sharp
  • AQUOS CRYSTAL 2, by Sharp
  • Galaxy S6 edge, by Samsung


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Tablet:

  • Microsoft Surface 3 (with 4G LTE)

President Higuchi of Microsoft Japan joined Miyauchi onstage and it was unveiled that the world's first LTE-capable Surface 3 will be available through the Y!mobile brand after June 19. 


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PhotoVision TV2, be SEIKO

This new devices appears to be a simple (waterproof) photo frame, but it’s a bit more than that. There is a TV tuner built-in that allows you to watch live or recorded TV shows on the device or streamed to your smartphone screen.


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Mobile Theater, by ZTE 

I personally feel that listening to the current SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son usually makes SoftBank's press conferences much more interesting than that of other companies, but since he wasn't there and we already saw all the new smartphone models at the NTT docomo and au events, I was actually feeling bored. 

However, this new non-smartphone gadget intrigued me. It's an Android 4.4.4 projector device called Mobile Theater. Manufactured by ZTE, the device is equipped with a 5-inch touch display and is capable of projecting a maximum 120-inch, 200-lumen image. To be honest, it really looks Apple product


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By connecting a smart device through HDMI or Miracast, it is able to project any saved images or videos. You can also use it as a stand-alone projector for web videos, PDFs, Word documents, games, browsers, and maps. It can also be used as a 6300mAH mobile battery and a mobile Wi-Fi router. Even in the brightly lit demo room, the projected image still looked clear. You can even use the ceiling as a screen and enjoy watching contents while lying down, like being in your own planetarium.

Mobile Theater Specs:

  • Release date: After September 2015
  • OS: Android 4.4.4
  • Size: 134 x 131 x 33.3mm
  • Weight: 579g
  • Processor: Snapdragon MSM8974 Quad core 2.0GHz
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Display: 5-inch (720×1280)
  • Battery: 6300mAh
  • Connectivity: 4G/4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 
  • Input/Output: HDMI, Miracast

New Services:

Like au and NTT docomo, SoftBank is aiming to beef up its e-commerce services, particularly smartphone-based online shopping options. They teamed up with Yahoo! Japan, and starting in October, SoftBank smartphone users will be able to purchase products without registration on Yahoo! Shopping. Users will be able to complete a standard purchase in 10 seconds, with the amount charged to their smartphone bill.

With so many duplicate models across all Japanese carriers, SoftBank President Miyauchi stressed that it’s really time to compete through services, software, and carrier-specific services and options.

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