The NYTimes today asks a pretty interesting question.  If Japanese mobile devices, which are years ahead of their overseas counterparts, are so advanced why aren’t they a success in Europe, the US or even in China and Korea? 

Japanese developers are jealous of the runaway global popularity of the Apple iPhone and App Store, which have pushed the American and European cellphone industry away from its obsession with hardware specifications to software. “This is the kind of phone I wanted to make,” Mr. Natsuno [developer of the i-Mode network] said, playing with his own iPhone 3G.

The forum Mr. Natsuno convened to address Galápagos syndrome has come up with a series of recommendations: Japan’s handset makers must focus more on software and must be more aggressive in hiring foreign talent, and the country’s cellphone carriers must also set their sights overseas.

The real issue seems to be making great, universal software.


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