Galapagos: Japan’s mobile web has always been different than in the rest of the world. This primer tries to explain why:
Over one billion cell phones have been sold worldwide in the last year, but in the US or Europe, the mobile Internet is still catching on relatively slowly. There even was a heated debate in the blogosphere just recently whether the mobile web has a future at all.
However, this has never been a question in one specific region of the world: In Japan, since 2006 more people have been accessing the web through cell phones than through PCs. Is this a picture of things to come in other countries?
Not necessarily. The interplay of five specific factors paved the way for the success of the mobile web in Japan (where I live) and largely explains why it hasn’t taken off yet elsewhere:
- the ubiquity of advanced cell phones combined with a vast selection of tailor-made services
- tech-savvy customers who often had their first web experience on a cell phone
- a reliable technical infrastructure
- symbiotic business relations between carriers and content providers
- relatively sound regulatory policy
– read the rest in my article on TechCrunch: