We’ve shown you the summer cell phone lineup from KDDI (Japan’s No. 2 carrier) yesterday. Today, Japan’s third largest carrier, SoftBank Mobile, showed its own summer lineup during a special press conference, and all of their 13 new models have one thing in common: they all come with Twitter pre-installed.
The buyers of these cell phones will be able to access Twitter either via a pre-installed app or through a pre-installed widget on the homescreen. The background is that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son himself is a huge Twitter fan (he has almost 300,000 followers) and believes Japan is set to become Twitter country. And in fact, by some measures it’s already No. 2.
Twitter CEO Evan Williams, who joined SoftBank’s press conference from San Francisco (via Ustream), said he has high hopes in Japan because it’s such a highly advanced mobile nation and Twitter is easy to use on cell phones (around 37% of active users use Twitter on their phones). The collaboration with SoftBank is a good start: The company boasts 22 million subscribers, and its user base has been growing nicely over the past few years. SoftBank as a whole, one of Asia’s biggest telcos, currently has a market cap of $26 billion.
The widget has been developed by Twitter in the US and will be available starting early next month (another widget that will be pre-installed on the next SoftBank cell phones is made by a third party). SoftBank subscribers with older handsets will be able to download the new Twitter apps and widgets at that point in time, too.
And here are all the “Twitter cell phones” SoftBank showed today, along with the main specs (needless to say, they all have many more features):
Sharp mirumo2 944SH
(3.2-inch full wide VGA touchscreen (480×854 resolution), 3-inch memory sub-display, 8MP camera, digital TV tuner, Wi-Fi, waterproof, Bluetooth, microSDHC card slot)
Sharp AQUOS SHOT 945SH
(3.2-inch full wide VGA display, 12.1MP CCD camera, records video in 720p, digital TV tuner, Wi-Fi, waterproof, Bluetooth, HDMI interface, GSM, two-way stereo microphone)
(3.1-inch full wide VGA touchscreen, 13.2MP CMOS camera with auto focus, digital TV tuner, Wi-Fi, waterproof, Bluetooth, GSM)
(3.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 100,000:1 contrast ratio and 180 degree viewing angle, 8.1MP camera, digital TV tuner, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSM)
Sharp SOLAR HYBRID 842SH
(3-inch QVGA screen (240×400 resolution), lets you make a two-minute call time after 10 minutes of solar charging, waterproof, Bluetooth, microSDHC slot, follows the 936SH from last year)
(3-inch QVGA screen, 0.75-inch OLED mini sub-display, 3.2MP CMOS camera, microSDHC slot, waterproof)
Samsung AQUA STYLE 840SC
(2.8-inch QVGA screen, 3.1MP CMOS camera, digital TV tuner, microSDHC slot, waterproof, GSM)
(3-inch full wide QVGA screen (240×427 resolution), 3.2 CMOS camera, 10mm thin body, digital TV tuner, GSM)
(2.9-inch full wide QVGA screen, 5.1 CMOS camera, digital TV tuner, microSD slot)
(3-inch full wide VGA screen, 3.1MP CMOS camera, 13.9mm thin body, digital TV tuner, microSDHC slot)
(3-inch QVGA screen, 3.2MP CMOS camera, extra-easy to use, microSDHC slot, waterproof)
(2.8.inch WQVGA screen, 3.14MP camera, extra-easy to use, microSDHC slot, GSM)
Sharp 945SH G
(based on the 945SH shown above, special Gundam robot version to celebrate the anime’s 30th anniversary, features a number of Gundam-specific contents and comes with a special dock)