I have recently returned from a trip to Japan, whilst staying in Tokyo I noticed quite a few mobile phone observations that I would like to share.

Japan has the most developed mobile (phone) market in the world. They have been using the mobile internet across a variety of local handsets for 10 years now. The first thing I instantly noticed was the fact that SMS is not a system used or indeed not available to all phones in Japan, instead the Japanese mobile users all use email direct from their phones & between phones.

Just about all traditional print or poster adverts in Tokyo now feature QR codes. This is because Japan decided a long time ago to adopt just 1 single universal QR reader & coder that every phone can communicate with.

The Tokyo underground system is extremely efficient as I’m sure you may have heard before, however, everyone uses an RFI card (same as Oyster card here in the UK) that stores money, it is also possible to use these card to pay for drinks & snacks in one of Tokyo’s 6 million automated vending machines as well as pay for fares in Tokyo cabs. Some phone manufactures have now built RFI chips into their phones so, it is possible to use your mobile phone to enter the underground system, buy drinks & snacks, & then get a cab somewhere!

It is very true that the iPhone’s world domination is continuing, particularly in Tokyo as there did seem to be at least as many uses of this device as you would find in London, however, the competition is very fierce and the current ‘must have’ accessory looks to be Clam-shell phones. If you walk into just about any electrical or phone retail store in Japan you would be amazed at the sheer volume of clam-shell phones available, in every colour & size you can imagine.

If anyone has any specific info they would like to know about the Japanese mobile marketplace please get in contact with Yodel.