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Japan To Get Android-Based “Yahoo Phone” Next Month

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Japan gets an Android-based “Yahoo Phone” [JP]: what may sound weird at first is actually not that surprising a news item, given that Yahoo is the country’s biggest website. Add to the fact that the country’s third biggest mobile carrier SoftBank, the provider of the phone, is Yahoo Japan’s biggest shareholder, and the emergence of such a handset makes even more sense.

The phone is manufactured by Sharp and is the rebranded version of the so-called “AQUOS PHONE THE PREMIUM SoftBank 009SH” [JP] the company showed a few weeks back. It features Android 2.3 as the OS, a 4-inch LCD with QHD resolution, an 8MP CMOS camera, Bluetooth 3.0, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, a microSDHC slot, a digital TV tuner, an e-wallet function, infrared communication, etc.

Buyers can expect to find selected Android apps and services from Yahoo Japan pre-installed on the device, for example Yahoo Japan Home, Yahoo Japan Auctions, a calendar, dictionary, Yahoo Loco (the company’s LBS), etc.

SoftBank subscribers choosing the phone become Yahoo Japan premium members for free for two years (instead of having to pay $4.50 monthly) and can also get additional points for every purchase made on Yahoo Shopping for the next two years.

SoftBank will start distributing the Yahoo Phone in Japan late next month.

Sorry for the small picture – we’ll add more when we get them.