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Technology you F'ng hate thread


Ghost Train
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converter boxes, convert cables, anything that converts 1 plug to another type of plug. stuff never works right and I hate having to get more damn cables every time I buy something.

Also things that make pretentious noises to tell you that they've done something. <_<

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Since you're been in Japan for sometime, just how advanced are the japanese mobile phones and networks compared to their western counterparts? I really like the standard clamshell design compared to the crappy touchscreen smartphone trend started by iPhone. Too bad Japanese phones don't quite work outside Japan...at least not fully.

I would be interested in seeing actual hardware comparisons proving this claim. I don't think from the actual handset perspective the US is far behind if we factor in smart phones... infrastructure is definitely a work in progress. Actually, even smart phones we import from Korea / Taiwan. NVM lol!

I've heard from friends who've spent time in Japan in the past five years describe the high tech features of Japanese phones as "gimicky", cute, and offering no real advantage over a Droid or BB for business users. It was best put as, "highly suitable for teenage girls." Again, anecdotal, not personal experience :D .

We do have crap customer service though. No need to compare to other countries when you're sure you've hit rock bottom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2isSJKntbg

Edited by Ghost Train
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I would be interested in seeing actual hardware comparisons proving this claim. I don't think from the actual handset perspective the US is far behind if we factor in smart phones... infrastructure is definitely a work in progress. Actually, even smart phones we import from Korea / Taiwan. NVM lol!

I've heard from friends who've spent time in Japan in the past five years describe the high tech features of Japanese phones as "gimicky", cute, and offering no real advantage over a Droid or BB for business users. It was best put as, "highly suitable for teenage girls." Again, anecdotal, not personal experience :D .

We do have crap customer service though. No need to compare to other countries when you're sure you've hit rock bottom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2isSJKntbg

From my limited experience at looking at friends Japanese phones when I've visited Tokyo & Kyoto, I'd say that pre-iPhone & Android era, Japanese phones were definitely superior to anything from Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson etc. In the present iPhone & Android era, I think Japanese phones have been surpassed.

Graham

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I believe these are the specs for the latest variant of the phone i'm using: http://k-tai.casio.jp/products/ca006/spec.html

Note: hivision = high definition

It's a nice device (at least from what I could glean from google translator :p ), but not noticeably superior to say something like a Droid 2, which has a 1GHz CPU, as well as most of the features from the device you linked.

Droid gets the battery edge with almost twice the talk time. Furthermore, the device is a true global phone (well except Japan I guess lol), supporting all four GSM bands, and the Droid OS of course is a "global" platform.

I will concede that I'm comparing apples and oranges, as the devices I'm touting as technically equal or superior are smart phones, whereas you're probably thinking of normal mobiles. In the latter category, I think the run of the mill Japanese phone would probably annihilate the plain vanilla US phone.

...

NOW I DON'T WANT U GUYS TO THINK I'M PRAISING SMART PHONES OR ANYTHING LOL ...

Edited by Ghost Train
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Ghost train and David I hear you guys, that Nokia ( I have one ) is dam near bomb proof, Mine has a pay as you go sim in it and is used when out on my MTB Bike, don't want any in coming calls and defenatley don't want to bust my nice new HTC. It's Nokia predecessor is nearly ten years old and is only now a little flaky on the reception and the battery charge level sucks. I'd still use it on my bike if could justify a battery for it that cost more than a new phone.

The menu is text, calls and settings, no WAP no email no ring tones black and white, simples !!

On the subject of west vs east in phone tech, I was in Tokyo when I first got my HTC TYTN the guys in Yodabashi Camera Shinjuku were all over me as apparently they didn't have one in Japan yet. The sales manager told me that apart from home market only models the U.K nearly always beat them to it on new models. Needless to say my HTC worked much better out there than it did on the home U.K networks.

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Why didn't you say you wanted to compare "smart phones"? Here's a linky: http://gpad.tv/phone/kddi-au-sharp-is05-sh/

And linkies to links for smartphones that I can't be bothered to search for the actual specs:

http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/product/foma/smart_phone/index.html

http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/smartphone/ (Funny how Softbank, who flouts the Iphone, also have an Android powered one coming out.)

If these are representative of what's currently in the market, then there is no doubt in my mind now that the gap has pretty much disappeared. The Sharp you linked is comparable to the Droid X, which also offers FWVGA and HDMI support. The Softbank & nttdocomo offerings above are pretty similar to what a US carrier would have in terms of run of the mill HTC or Samsung droid devices ... and did I see the supposedly technologically inferior Blackberries in the lineup too :D ?.

Since at least in the smart phone segment it seems they are using similar hardware powered by the same OS as here in the US, then it's accurate in fact to say there is no gap, at least when it comes to the technology the consumer can choose from.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Japan is abandoning its in-house technologies and looking to the west. We see it clearly from the heart & soul of the above phone:

OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo) - Owned by Google, an American company

CPU: Qualcomm QSD8650 1GHz - Made by Qualcomm, again a US manufacturer.

Edited by Ghost Train
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I think it's premature to make statements like that; especially as these "smart phones" are relatively recent additions to the international and domestic markets and that there are other, non-Japanese, non-American parts suppliers that you have neglected to consider.

I'm really considering what people can buy off the shelf: what can Japanese consumers get vs what can NA consumers get?

Hardware-wise we have anything from Motorola (a US company), to HTC (Taiwan). But the two most influential forces behind smart phones and mobile devices in recent times have really been Apple and Android - both of which are American. Hardware is cheap, it's the stuff it runs that's meaningful and makes the device useful, and in that category "others" like Nokia have fallen behind significantly.

... Please enlighten me on some of these other suppliers and players you mentioned :D ?

Of course, the Principality of Liechtenstein might pump out a mobile technology breakthrough anytime now! ... but it's doubtful and in the foreseeable future, Droid, Apple, and to a lesser extent RIM, Symbian, etc. will be the key players.

Also, be careful about applying too much significance to the source country of components. Businesses tend to choose either what gets the most bang for the buck or what the market demands. Take my desktop. Fujitsu, made in Japan. And just like the preceding two decades worth of desktops made in Japan for Japan, it's got an Intel chip and runs J-Windows. Significant sign that in-house technology is being abandoned? Hardly.

I would actually be careful applying this logic to Japan. At least from my perspective, Japan loves to in-source, much more so than Americans. To name a few: Using WCDMA vs using GSM, Using their own wireless internet protocol (name eludes me now) vs WAP. More specifically in regards to cell phones, using domestic OS and software, until recently. In fact a quick google of this subject reveals that all of my suspicions are actually quite true, and there is even a name for it: Galapagos Effect.

Ever wonder why an economy that has so successfuly exported Walkmans, Playstations, and automobiles, never been able to push its mobile phones abroad? It could be infrastructure, but the serious software deficiencies the article mentions sounds like a more plausible reason to me. (Why would you not want to make more money?)

Edited by Ghost Train
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While cellphones in general don't bother me, I'm really starting to get my hate-on for voice-activated features.

"Call Brother-home." "DID YOU SAY, CALL SUPERVISOR?" "Call. Brother. Hooooome." "DID YOU SAY, CALL PIZZA PLACE?" "Cancel. Call numbers. "DID YOU SAY, CALL MOTHER?"

At about this point, my head go a'splode. :angry:

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While cellphones in general don't bother me, I'm really starting to get my hate-on for voice-activated features.

"Call Brother-home." "DID YOU SAY, CALL SUPERVISOR?" "Call. Brother. Hooooome." "DID YOU SAY, CALL PIZZA PLACE?" "Cancel. Call numbers. "DID YOU SAY, CALL MOTHER?"

At about this point, my head go a'splode. :angry:

+1

All voice activation sucks.

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You're forgetting the intangibles: customer service and reasonable monthly rates. ;)

yea yea , customer service and plans. On customer service, I've already stated that it's difficult for any system to get worse than what we have here - which amounts to barely literate script monkeys. Plans suck as well, mostly because of additional fees carriers tack on to your monthly fee. Personally, I don't feel that my own wireless bill is unreasonable. I pay 60.00 USD for 500 minutes and a certain SMS quota but with unlimited data usage. As I use Skype for my calls, the minutes cap, and treat gmail as messaging, the cap does not affect me at all.

I find it doubtful that things are as flexible as you state, given that WCDMA pretty much guarantees that you're locked in with a phone company - but as this is too difficult to judge from where I'm sitting, I'll give you this one.

Don't need to wonder, as it was my major. You're indirectly referring to things like political paradigms of the laissez faire economy vs the import substituting guided democracy, coupled with an export based economy which hasn't quite realized that MITI no longer exists and it's replacement no longer performing the same role, with a dash of nationalism on your part, and the writers of the material being directed at. ;)

It's funny you hint that I'm infusing a dose of Nationalism along with the oh so patriotic New York Times into this discussion :rolleyes: . Let's all take a second to remember how this discussion got started in the first place:

Posted 31 January 2011 - 06:05 PM

I look at you North Americans mobile phones, and just shake my head at the limited options, both hardware and connection wise, and the total lack of customer service. Shame.

Given your incredible perspective on the issue, explained later:

10 years ago, I had a mobile phone in Canada. It was a brick. Despite being the latest and greatest available, when I came to Japan at that time and showed it to my university classmates, they said that that model was available some "5 to 7 years earlier". It was a Nokia.

Bringing this argument back to its root, I think I've pretty much torn down the above myth - that Japanese netizens are laughing at our inferior mobile devices:

  • The models you have linked have equivalents both in features and in hardware power to what is available off the shelf in the west.
  • That there is no gap, as Japanese phones are gravitating towards global standards like Android, thus essentially running the same hardware and software as in the US.
  • An article from a fairly reputable source I would say (plus numerous others on the isolated development of Japanese technology if you google the subject) attributing inferior and incompatible software to Japan's inability to export its mobile technology.
  • Two board members, through actual visits and time spent in Japan, dispelling the myth of mobile superiority.
  • The cutting edge of mobile research falls squarely on US companies like Apple and Google at least for now, and in this area, others, who were once leaders, are now followers desperately trying to catch up.

Now, something that you may not be aware of: many North Americans and Europeans lament that the Japanese internet is not very developed, yet the Japanese mobile internet (an internet dedicated to the mobile phone) positively dwarfs any equivalent internet in other markets - if such a thing exists. Those lamenters, who are mostly beating their chests to a nationalistic beat, neglect, forget or are not even aware of this mobile internet.

I've never argued any of the above to be false - my beef as I've stated is that our handsets are stuck in the stone age (which I've definitely proven to be false). In fact, I hold the following to be irrefutably true statements: that the telecom infrastructure in Japan is superb, and that on low scale phones you will see better choices and performance. The last point is pretty meaningless in a comparison battle in my opinion, as pretty much everyone I know has a smart device.

There are, of course, other things that most people outside of the country are simply not aware of, that you'll have to do your own research to find out about (my time is waaaaaaaaaay to finite these days, and I'm sure you'd prefer more Macross translations than a dissertation on the mobile phone market ;) ). Suffice to say that only comparing hardware and software is ignoring a lot.

Anyhow, if you want to look at the real technological powerhouses, Korea, Tiawan and China are where it's at. Call it a management policy problem in the consumer electronics industry in Japan that started to appear a couple of years ago.

I'm sure there is some nebulous political & economic theory you can throw at me that my farm boy midwest brain can't handle, but I'm also a software engineer, and I'm interested in facts, actual observations and results, and an up to date assessment of what I'm looking at - all of which I've provided.

Hardware and Software is not everything, but if it's good (or perceived to be so) it will sell.

Every country loves Coca-Cola...

Chinese are getting stuffed on KFC...

Toyota pretty much ran circles around the Detroit Big-3 until fairly recently...

It's not rocket science and a dissertation is not needed to explain this. Also, last I heard the iPhone is doing pretty well in Japan.

Also, I'd hardly rate China as a technological powerhouse. Rather it has been successful at whoring out its 1+ billion consumers to become fat with bigMacs and using this influence to demand joint ventures and "borrow" technology.

Edited by Ghost Train
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Before my BB, I had a Nokia 6200 one for almost 5 years. As bare-bones as a mobile can get, but super-durable, incredibly high quality reception, and looked pretty sharp (it screams I'm a utilitarian minimalist who likes tools that work vs tools that look good but are sh!t) for a candy-bar design:

Nokia6200.jpg

...Fast forward 5 years, and the initial batch of shiny iPhone4's has problems making phone calls :D . We must all practice grabbing the phone the correct way to get optimal reception. Practice makes perfect! Let's keep at it!

I've had that & use the 'flip-phone' descendent of that currently(don't remember the model#; its in my locker @the moment).

Agree w/everything you've said!

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I've had that & use the 'flip-phone' descendent of that currently(don't remember the model#; its in my locker @the moment).

Agree w/everything you've said!

Come on guys... phones do a whole lot now. I can forgive a little considering the amazing usefullness they have.

...

Also things that make pretentious noises to tell you that they've done something. <_<

What is a pretentious noise?

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+1

All voice activation sucks.

Actually, my voice activation on my Motorala Droid is surprisingly accurate. Used it plenty of times while driving and looking for a specific location. I just say "Map of in and out" and it actually picked it out and opened up in google maps within seconds.

Works with addresses and other locations too =]

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On the topic of nationalism, let's see what you said:

There are better ways to have stated that without the nationalism connotations, and let's also keep in mind that neglecting to mention non-Japanese, non-USA suppliers* is pretty damning. Not to mention that the companies mentioned are multinational companies... <_<

*Ie the presence of the Samsung Galaxy in the market.

The difference between my statement, and your insinuation that we're still somehow half a decade behind Japan is that mine is based on facts. Would you consider the following statements clear signs of chest beating Nationalism?

Barbancourt is a rum made by a Haitian company.

Tata Consulting, which provides software servies, is an Indian firm.

Research in Motion, the makers of Blackberry, is Canadian.

Sure, we can spend all day and night reading into tone, of what I meant or did not mean, but I prefer to stay focused on facts - which is what I have done.

lol nice comback with the "they are multinationals anyways" line - which is obviously true, who isn't nowadays. I should point out though that the core leadership, R&D, and presumably the people who write the code are squarely on this side of the world. But if you insist:

Apple Inc. is incorporated in California: Source

Trades in NASDAQ, an American stock exchange.

Google is incorporated in Delaware: Source

Also with shares trading in NASDAQ.

Now, let's all take a moment to review my complete non-reference of US players:

Hardware-wise we have anything from Motorola (a US company), to HTC (Taiwan).

I would be interested in seeing actual hardware comparisons proving this claim. I don't think from the actual handset perspective the US is far behind if we factor in smart phones... infrastructure is definitely a work in progress. Actually, even smart phones we import from Korea / Taiwan. NVM lol!

I've heard from friends who've spent time in Japan in the past five years describe the high tech features of Japanese phones as "gimicky", cute, and offering no real advantage over a Droid or BB for business users

Note: RIM, makers of BB, is based in Canada

Oh Yes... DAMMING INDEED!

also, regarding my earlier statement, it's pretty evident I am zero'd in on mobiles and not trying to discuss larger macroeconomic trends or infusing nationalism into this discussion.

Since at least in the smart phone segment it seems they are using similar hardware powered by the same OS as here in the US, then it's accurate in fact to say there is no gap, at least when it comes to the technology the consumer can choose from.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Japan is abandoning its in-house technologies and looking to the west. We see it clearly from the heart & soul of the above phone:

OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo) - Owned by Google, an American company

CPU: Qualcomm QSD8650 1GHz - Made by Qualcomm, again a US manufacturer.

I admit that the line break is cause for confusion, but seeing that the sentence about looking to the west is clearly flanked by discussions on mobile hardware and software, it should be pretty clear that's what I meant. If not, I'm sorry, I am a terrible writer, I concede that much.

...Oh and by the way Galaxy runs on Android.

The article linked to is Americacentric at worst. At best, it's failing to realize that there are different economic paradigms at work in non-lassez faire market economies; which isn't necessarily a deliberate editorial choice, as there are, for example, a variety of political economic government actions and institutions that don't exist in English speaking countries, nor even have proper descriptive terminology in English (this may have been rectified in some of the other English speaking countries in the past decade or so.)

lol dude... just stop changing the subject here - I've stated at least in my last 3 replies that my beef is just with your assesment of mobile technologies, and more specifically the handset itself. Congrats on being so knowledgable on Japanese political institutions.

At least, please show some evidence disproving what's on the article. What the article states is neither a unique piece of reporting or a phenomena no one in the world has heard about before.

Do institutions, regulations, and government have a discernible impact on writing code and designing good software? I highly doubt it.

Furthermore, you're basing your assumptions on the total market on only the last few quarters worth of performance of the newly introduced "smart phones" coupled with a few anecdotal observations from MW members, who are visitors, not residents. Other than my input, how much anecdotal evidence from any of the other current and former resident of Japan MW members have you incorporated into your body of evidence?

Ok... let's have this discussion again in a few years then. It's nice to be able to continously push the analytical finish line further and further eh? Let's never stop and think about how competitive we are because things can drastically turn in our favor!

My mention of the 2 people on this thread is just icing on the cake. The evidence you presented, pretty much defeats your own claim that NA is far behind the curve - as the product offering clearly shows that Japanese consumers in the smart phone segments have comparable choices with those of American consumers - and are running, with the same OS, and comparable hardware specs.

Please show me evidence that there is some incredible breakthrough that will dethrone Android and Apple in the near future. It could happen, but the probability is low.

Anyhow, all that is beside the point, as the main reason I responded to you to begin with, is that you are trying to extrapolate macro-scale paradigm shifts in the overall economy from a short-term, micro-economic fluctuation limited to one small sector of the economy.

I strongly disagree, I've kept my discussion squarely focused on the technology itself as much as possible ... I certainly wasn't the one who brought up this nationalism crap in the first place.

I have never offered an opinion on anything remotely close to a "macro style" shift on the economy you describe. Saying that perhaps Japanese mobile phone software is lagging, is not implying the end of Japanese economic prowess.

there's no point to continue, as you're not understanding what I'm saying. ("Political economy" does NOT equal "political" and "economic".)

How about just admit you're wrong or that your perception of the choices NA consumers have is out of date - and perhaps consider the possibility that we don't have horse drawn carriages and don't light kerosene lamps every night?

Edited by Ghost Train
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Haha Ghost Train, you remind me of this guy I know who argues just for the sake of arguing :) ...

Anyways, this topic of East vs. West I find to be quite interesting to my current University studies (I'm hoping for PoliSci & Asian Studies major and hopefully work in China or Japan when I graduate). I'm actually taking a class now on Post-WW2 Japanese history, and my professor has been saying something similar to what u are alluding to with the software thing. He's basically saying that Japan today has somewhat of an identity crisis and many are no longer confident in their ability to compete globally like they are used to - but this is in many ways due to the general anxiety produced by the global ricession - and in terms of both talent, and know-how they can quickly catch up if they wanted to. Today we were asked to discuss this CNN video interview with Rakuten's CEO - Japanese online retailer, and his take on some of the structural issues w/ Japan:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2011/02/02/talkasia.hiroshi.mikitani.cnn

(can't get it to link properly for some reason, so just paste it onto ur browser)

On the topic of mobiles, I stayed for two weeks last summer with my family's friend in Japan. I brought my Moto Android (1st generation one), but couldn't get reception, and was dissapointed since I'm on verizon here in the states which is also CDMA :( ... anyways they had a teenage son, so we talked a little about technology and stuff. There are a lot of nifty applications they have, like paying for goods directly with your phone and the bar-code scanning thing, but some of those are being rolled out in some US cities. Like you can now pay at Starbucks with your I-Phone. Overall, I didn't feel there was a huge difference in the phones, not anymore anyways. I'm confident that my beat up Moto could go toe to toe with any phone I encountered if only I could get reception :D.

Anyways, I think you guys should just learn to disagree. Train ur obviously in the US so use whatever works for you, and whatever works for Sketchly works for him over there.

Back on topic... I hate toll booths, when I first got my license I was stuck without enough change at one, and there was a huge line of angry drivers behind me lol... finally an attendant came and gave me a freebie.

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Without getting caught up in Ghost Train/sketchley's... discussion (of which I'm not sure I even follow anymore), I think the perception here in the States was that a few years ago the phones we had in America weren't as cool/shiny/feature-packed/technologically advanced as the ones in Asia (not just Japan, but Korea and Taiwan as well).

Love it or hate it, the iPhone was a paradigm shift in the mobile market. It's not that we didn't have smartphones before the iPhone, it's just that smartphones were largely bulky devices with keyboards and trackballs and styluses (styli?) that business people used. The iPhone was a sleek, attractive device for the masses, and everyone else started scrambling to come up with competing products. By and large, the most successful competitor is Google's Android. I'm not sure about the state of so-called "dumbphones", but (and this is not a commentary nationalistic tendencies by any country, in terms of hardware or software) I don't really feel like the selection of phones in America is really behind anymore. There may be some brands that are only available in Asia, but Android seems like the OS of choice. And really, how different is an HTC Android phone sold in America different than a Sharp Android phone sold in Japan or a Meizu Android phone sold in China?

Mind you, this is only a comment on hardware. While I disagree with sketchley's notion that we have a limited selection in North America, I will readily agree that our service is both lousy and overpriced.

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Haha Ghost Train, you remind me of this guy I know who argues just for the sake of arguing :) ...

Anyways, this topic of East vs. West I find to be quite interesting to my current University studies (I'm hoping for PoliSci & Asian Studies major and hopefully work in China or Japan when I graduate). I'm actually taking a class now on Post-WW2 Japanese history, and my professor has been saying something similar to what u are alluding to with the software thing. He's basically saying that Japan today has somewhat of an identity crisis and many are no longer confident in their ability to compete globally like they are used to - but this is in many ways due to the general anxiety produced by the global ricession - and in terms of both talent, and know-how they can quickly catch up if they wanted to. Today we were asked to discuss this CNN video interview with Rakuten's CEO - Japanese online retailer, and his take on some of the structural issues w/ Japan:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2011/02/02/talkasia.hiroshi.mikitani.cnn

(can't get it to link properly for some reason, so just paste it onto ur browser)

I aim to please... many people died so that I could have the right to say whatever the f*ck I want whenever and wherever - so I intend to troll, flame, and argue as much as possible :) . But seriously, it's all just in good fun, I mean this is a board about transforming airplanes ffs, how serious can you get? I certainly don't take it seriously enough to ninja-edit my posts 12+ hours after I post...

and thanks for sharing the video

... though I think when he says software, he means it in a more general sense rather than computer software.

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Anyways, this topic of East vs. West I find to be quite interesting to my current University studies (I'm hoping for PoliSci & Asian Studies major and hopefully work in China or Japan when I graduate).

I recommend reading David Williams' "japan: beyond the end of history". It'll help one to appreciate some of the fundamental similarities and differences between the major world economies, and why such measures as the Plaza Accord and SII were doomed to failure even before negotiations started. (It's also one of the main reference points in my preceding posts about the effects of Political Economy on the market situation).

Anyways, I think you guys should just learn to disagree. Train ur obviously in the US so use whatever works for you, and whatever works for Sketchly works for him over there.

Technically we weren't disagreeing about the topic of "Smart Phone" technology being equitably distributed in the major world markets and that the total service package (mobile device, provider service and service rates) are more customer oriented in Japan...

Edited by sketchley
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I think the perception here in the States was that a few years ago the phones we had in America weren't as cool/shiny/feature-packed/technologically advanced as the ones in Asia (not just Japan, but Korea and Taiwan as well).

Love it or hate it, the iPhone was a paradigm shift in the mobile market. (...)

Mind you, this is only a comment on hardware. While I disagree with sketchley's notion that we have a limited selection in North America, I will readily agree that our service is both lousy and overpriced.

It's a bit more complicated than that, though I agree that there is an odd perception in the USA about technology in Japan (in short, though new technology is adopted more quickly in Japan and it's presence is more perceptible in everyday life, the exact same stuff has been exported for sale overseas. So it's more a mythical technological gap than an actual one; pervasiveness aside.)

Edited by sketchley
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From my limited experience at looking at friends Japanese phones when I've visited Tokyo & Kyoto, I'd say that pre-iPhone & Android era, Japanese phones were definitely superior to anything from Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson etc. In the present iPhone & Android era, I think Japanese phones have been surpassed.

Graham

Totally agree on that. 2 years ago I got some casio cell phone from AU and now its collecting dust while im using my Iphone from softbank, plus having an Iphone in japan is a novelty like girls in the clubs like that you have one.

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Technically we weren't disagreeing about the topic of "Smart Phone" technology being equitably distributed in the major world markets and that the total service package (mobile device, provider service and service rates) are more customer oriented in Japan...

LOL, this is quite hilarious. Note that Sketch has repeatedly ignored the fact that his original statement criticizes both the choice of plans - and the actual handset equally. Quoted yet again for clarity ... though I feel it's kind of hopeless as we're dealing with a strong case of selective memory here:

10 years ago, I had a mobile phone in Canada. It was a brick. Despite being the latest and greatest available, when I came to Japan at that time and showed it to my university classmates, they said that that model was available some "5 to 7 years earlier". It was a Nokia.

Instead of admitting that perhaps a 10 year old impression of the choices available in Canada does not hold much weight today - he launches the discussion into fantastic tangents such as: nationalism, and institutional intricacies of the Japanese market economy, which by the way he has yet to enlighten us on its effects of mobile devices.

I am being accused of supposedly using one industry to extrapolate macro-trends (which I've proven to be false already), yet he does the same thing by using macro level explanations to explain a piece of consumer electronic and his own lack of common sense.

This approach is of course perfectly reasonable, but no evidence has been presented showing the link or demonstrating why mobile phones are so special that they would be affected, when Playstations, Toyotas, and Panasonic Plasma TV's have not. Furthermore, he has not demonstrated how these mysterious institutional factors affect the individual software developer's ability to write code and engineer good software and thus address the NYT article that suggests that software is partly to blame for the export issue (you know that really nationalistic pro-American article).

Why the Japanese hate the iPhone: http://www.wired.com...why-the-iphone/ (somewhat out of date, but it raises good points about the conditions in the domestic market.)

Yes, this is a bit dated (will go into this point a bit later). This hardly provides any insightful views into the minds of the Japanese consumer. Trust me, it doesn't, I drive past tons of trucks with, "Buy Foreign and Raise Unemployment!" bumber stickers every day. Some points to emphasize:

The article mentions that at least the consumer's perception of the technology is that it's ~ 1 year behind - far less than your own claim. Furthermore, the author goes out of his way to state that the Panasonic phone being compared to the apple is far from perfect.

A more recent analysis ( source) shows that in fact the iphone, and droid devices have picked up steam.

In Japan, Cellphones Have Become Too Complex to Use: http://www.wired.com...06/japan_phones (again, good points about the conditions of the domestic market)

This one I'm glad you posted, as it provides some meat and further reinforcement to the "ultra-nationalistic" NYT article I linked earlier.

It reinforces and makes fact my original assertion that some hi-tech features are gimicky, as the article states that most features go unused and even not well understood by the consumer - this leads me to believe that a bigger factor is at play, which software and IT people are incredibly familar with: scope creep. This further shows the critical way in which software and its design fits into the equation. Perhaps some consumers are realizing that they want a telecommunications device and not a fracking rubick's cube, and are steering more towards utilitarian designs?

It also emphasizes the Galapagos Effect mentioend earlier(as it pertains to cell phones) quite clearly:

They're also at the mercy of the all-powerful carriers, like NTT DoCoMo -- the company that created the localized 3G network that makes Japanese handsets virtually obsolete in the rest of the world -- who get to decide what applications and functions are compatible with their networks. "The flashy little functions are cool, but they're carrier-specific," Hayashi says. "Once you take this out of Japan, it's just a piece of metal." Japanese companies only make 5 percent of global mobile phone sales, and all of those sales are domestic.

Given these similarities in opinion, perhaps Wired magazine writers are also a bunch of gun-toting American Nationalists (though probably more tech-savvy ones :D )?

Edited by Ghost Train
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I look at you North Americans mobile phones, and just shake my head at the limited options, both hardware and connection wise, and the total lack of customer service. Shame.

Anyhow, the corruption of writing is probably here to stay. Well, at least until the kids have to sit down for university exams. That's a nice and hard lesson in real life (young'uns here are losing... hmmm, never really learning how to write the more complex kanji), and the temptation to use mobile phones is always there, people just have to learn when it's OK to use them, and when it's not OK. I give North Americans another few years before they figure that one out and there is a noticeable backlash against it.

Are you saying that Japanese cells are better than US ones? Clearly they once were in the 90s and early 2000s (Japanese phones had cameras, picture mail and i-mode long before western phones had those kind of capabilities) but the top end phones I had in Japan from 2005 to 2010 from docomo were horrible, endless menus to do simple things (4 menus to get a contacts number), convoluted menus for everything else. I do like the clamshell designs and previously relatively large screens but iphone just craps on anything from Japan for user-friendliness. The Japanese don`t like iphone though because it doesnt have the barcode reader they constantly use to upload info from pamphlets and posters, or wallet function. When I came back to Australia in 2010 I was blown away that a phone could be so easy to use when I got my iphone. I`m not an IT geek so I don`t need esoteric customisability on my phone and I dont use apps so iphone clearly has the most sensitive touch screen and ease of use. The only thing I dont like is having to have filthy itunes on my PC to change anything on my iphone. I much prefer to listen to music in pure .wav through sony`s x-appli software.

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Are you saying that Japanese cells are better than US ones?

No, I said:

I look at you North Americans mobile phones, and just shake my head at the limited options, both hardware and connection wise, and the total lack of customer service. Shame.

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