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(keitai-l) Re: BlackBerry's launch in Japan

From: Darren McKellin <dmckellin_at_visto.com>
Date: 09/21/06
Message-ID: <23880294DAC68949889DBD058E518DEB050AE9DA_at_ex2k3-rs.vistocorp.com>
On the DoCoMo Japan website it states the Japanese Blackberry does not support typing in Japanese. To type in Japanese using Namimail, DoCoMo Japan says to contact DoCoMo USA. It does not appear that DoCoMo in Japan is going to support namimail directly anytime soon, or preinstall the software. The price DoCoMo is putting on the Blackberry is quite high, JPY5,985 per handset WITHOUT any data included. The real kicker is that DoCoMo will not offer a flat data rate. Heavy users will get hit for JPY30,000+ or much worse per month just for data. DoCoMo mentions the invoices for the Blackberry device and the data will be separate. If a user wants Nami-mail they will need a third invoice from DoCoMo USA (cost is $9 a month for Namimail).

Namimail v1.x had a terrible reputation as it was hard to install and use, it didn’t even support predictive typing. With version 2.x there will be some sort of predictive typing supported but I am not sure how good it is or if the other issues such as problematic installations where solved.

I met a DoCoMo sales guy who said that DoCoMo Japan will never proactively sell Blackberry to any companies other than the niche market of foreign firms in Japan, and that DoCoMo will not launch a device with Japanese input. It may be a defensive move by DoCoMo, in most markets Blackberry is in, they are usually working with 2 or 3 carriers who just become a bit pipe. If DoCoMo spent a lot of money promoting Blackberry and it was popular, Softbank or another carrier could launch the service and take advantage of DoCoMo helping to create the market and demand. That is exactly what happened to O2 in the UK, they spent 2 years promoting and growing Blackberry and then Vodafone and Orange both launched the service. At that point the only real differentiation the carriers have is to cut prices which is a bad business model. So most likely DoCoMo will keep RIM in a little box and make large margins on a small user base. RIM will need to find another channel if it wants real success
  here.

This initial thread was started by someone who wants to launch and IM service on Blackberry in Japan. With the prices DoCoMo is charging, there will never be a large enough market to make it worth your while to launch the IM service.

-----Original Message-----
From: keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net [mailto:keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net] On Behalf Of Michael(tm) Smith
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 1:41 AM
To: keitai-l_at_appelsiini.net
Subject: (keitai-l) Re: BlackBerry's launch in Japan

"ben_at_benmiller.com" <ben_at_benmiller.com>, 2006-09-19 21:31 +0900:

> marketing spend and infrastructure investment) are there reasons why
> the Japanese-language input product available in the US
> (http://www.namikiteru.com/en/index1.html) would not be relatively
> easy to implement?

I notice that the News Headline part of that page currently says
"Namimail v2.0 will be equipped on BlackBerry for sale in Japan
starting 9/25". And the page about Nanimail itself says "Namimail
1.x comes with Japanese font and IME (Input Method Editor)
enabling Blackberry devices to read and write Japanese."

The Japanese version says 日本で発売のBlackberry, so unless some
aftermarket reseller will be installing Namimail on Blackberrys
and reselling them, I'd assume that means RIM (or whoever their
official reseller is here) will be selling them with Namimail
pre-installed. (Which would contradict some, um, supposedly
authoritative reports posted earlier on this list suggesting that
they'd be shipping without a Japanese IME.)

  --Mike

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Received on Thu Sep 21 12:08:51 2006