Mobiles afflicted with Galapagos syndrome

Posted on July 20, 2009  /  0 Comments

What does mobile handset design and Darwin’s theory of evolution have in common. Read the full article for an answer.

At first glance, Japanese cellphones are a gadget lover’s dream: ready for Internet and e-mail, they double as credit cards, boarding passes and even body-fat calculators.

Competition is fierce in the relatively small Japanese cellphone market, with eight manufacturers. Takeshi Natsuno developed a wireless Internet service that caught on in Japan.

But it is hard to find anyone in Chicago or London using a Japanese phone like a Panasonic, a Sharp or an NEC. Despite years of dabbling in overseas markets, Japan’s handset makers have little presence beyond the country’s shores.

“Japan is years ahead in any innovation. But it hasn’t been able to get business out of it,” said Gerhard Fasol, president of the Tokyo-based IT consulting firm, Eurotechnology Japan.

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