• Coming Soon: Smartphones With 16MP Cameras

    If you look at the batches of new cell phones Japan’s leading mobile carriers have been presenting in recent months, you’ll notice the high-quality cameras some of the models have. And now major Japanese chip maker Renesas (which merged with NEC last year) is even promising [JP] 16MP cameras in future handsets. Read More

  • Japanese Cell Phone Owners Get Gardening Tips Via Mobile Emails

    If you needed one more piece of evidence that Japan is crazy about everything mobile, here it is: the country’s leading mobile carrier today announced [JP] a system that provides user-specific instructions to home gardeners via cell phones and special “garden sensors”. NEC is a partner in the pilot project, which actually began last Saturday in 30 selected households in Japan. Read More

  • Video: Japan Gets Gundam "Robot" Phone

    After teasing it in May, Japan’s No. 3 mobile carrier SoftBank Mobile (25 million subscribers) now added a Gundam-themed cell phone to its line-up. Gundam is one of the most famous anime series out there, and the new handset is geared towards fans of that series (and cell phone otaku in general). Read More

  • IS01: Sharp to roll out Android smartbook

    There’s just one Android phone currently available in Japan, one of the biggest mobile markets in the world. But the HTC Magic, which Japan’s biggest telco, NTT Docomo, started distributing last summer, will soon be joined by the Sharp IS01 [JP] – which is not really a “smartphone”, but rather being marketed as an MID or “smartbook” instead. Read More

  • Vertu to sell 4 golden cell phones in Japan (price: $215,000 each)

    Nokia pulled out of Japan, one of the world’s biggest mobile markets, as early as November 2008. But because this country is quite wealthy, the Finnish company decided to conquer Japan with their luxury brand Vertu [JP], starting operations in September 2009. Initially the plan was to market handsets priced between $16,000 and $50,000. But today Vertu Japan announced a… Read More

  • New technology heats up cell phones when callers get agitated

    I can’t think of too many use cases for this, but they did it: A team of researchers from the University of Tokyo (Japan’s MIT if you will) has developed a technology that makes it possible to “physically” convey emotions from cell phone to cell phone. The key elements of the technology are a sensor and a Peltier device that’s attached to the back of the phones. Read More

  • Streetfighter IV for iPhone: Capcom releases official trailer and screenshots

    As reported (and following Final Fantasy I and II, which are now available), the App Store will get another hit Japanese video game this month, Streetfighter IV. It will be the first mobile version of the Arcade game that so far was only ported to PS3, XBO360 and the PC. And today maker Capcom released the official trailer and a slew of new screenshots. Read More

  • Samsung announces 3G-equipped 'Go' netbook for AT&T

    The nation’s “fastest” (and often most frustrating) 3G network (i.e. AT&T) is adding another netbook to its lineup of 3G portable devices, the Samsung Go. So what exactly is said Go? Well, according to Sammy, it’s “a compact and lightweight netbook with instant access to broadband speeds powered by the nation’s fastest 3G network and the Microsoft Windows… Read More

  • U.S. Senate: It's cool to jam cell phones in prisons

    Oh, U.S. Senate. Just when we thought you had turned your collective attention to the plethora of incredibly important issues to tackle (read: healthcare, 2 wars, global warming, education, etc), you go and pass the Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009. Read More

  • Toshiba makes those yet-to-be-commercialized mini fuel cells smaller

    Fuel cells, those electrochemical conversion devices, which are supposed to make the lives of gadget freaks easier, are still a hot topic in the alternative energy sector even though the technology hasn’t penetrated the mass market yet. Toshiba, for example, has been experimenting with fuel cells for quite some time now. And the company has now announced the development of a fuel-cell… Read More

  • Japanese iPhone users can buy $1,000 cases from today

    Despite being able to choose between an enormous number of super-advanced cell phones for years now, the Japanese have come to embrace the iPhone. The number of iPhones in circulation is estimated to have topped the 1 million mark quite some time ago, which triggered SoftBank BB (a sister company of Japan-exclusive iPhone provider SoftBank Mobile) to start offering something very Japanese… Read More

  • SoftBank rolls out nine new cell phones in Japan (photo gallery)

    Following KDDI, Japan’s No.3 telecommunications company SoftBank today also presented the new cell phone line-up for this spring. The company presented a total of nine models and will start selling the first handset of the line-up (the Panasonic 930P) from tomorrow. Read More

  • KDDI au unveils spring cell phone line-up (photo gallery)

    Japan’s second biggest mobile phone carrier KDDI au today presented their new cell phones [JP] for this spring. The first handsets will be available in Nippon on Saturday. And they have a few spectacular models to offer – if only the Japanese carriers did what they promised a few months back (large-scale internationalization due to a shrinking home market), everyone could get… Read More

  • Exactly what would a Presidential mobile look like?

    Apropos of the ongoing ruckus about President-elect Obama’s BlackBerry — the so-called “BarackBerry” — an interesting question is coming to the fore: why is the President, or even a prominent Senator for that matter, using a civilian mobile phone? With matters of national security, policy, and locations of our most powerful citizens being beamed through the air… Read More

  • iShodo: Try calligraphy on your iPhone

    Tokyo-based Ubiquitous Entertainment has developed iShodo, a calligraphy application for the iPhone. Japanese calligraphy in particular takes years and years to master and is widely considered as a form of art. I wrote “CrunchGear” in Japanese on my own iPhone using iShodo and you can see the result in the picture below (believe me, my handwriting is bad – even in Japanese). Read More

  • T-Mobile pulls the trigger on the BlackBerry 8900, finally

    Rumors have been floating for weeks now and we knew the 8900 would be coming sometime in early ’09 and tonight T-Mobile has made it official. However, the 8900 aka Curve II aka Javelin will not be hitting store shelves on the 11th or 18th according to the press release. T-Mobile is being coy and saying it’s coming sometime this month. It could happen on those dates, but… Read More

  • T-Mobile to launch BlackBerry 8900 sooner rather than later?

    If this screenshot from TmoNews is legit, which I’m inclined to believe it is then (even though they originally said it would be the 18th as well as BGR) the 8900 will be in my nerdy paws a few days before the expected February 11th launch. I don’t see a whole lot else that we didn’t already know about the Curve II. I just wish it were 3G. *sigh* Read More

  • RemoteDroid: use your G1 as a mouse and keyboard for your PC

    RemoteDroid allows you to use the touchscreen and keyboard of your G1 as inputs for your PC. I’m trying to think of a situation in which this would be handy and not just cool, but I can’t. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s totally awesome. Actually, it could be useful for a home theater PC setup, or for making people think your computer is haunted. Read More

  • Japanese prefecture to ban cell phones in schools

    In what can only be described as the most insane move of all time, Japan’s Saitama prefecture (analogous to a state or province elsewhere) will be banning cell phone use by students at most of its primary, middle, and high schools. If this doesn’t incite Japanese schoolgirl riots and widespread destruction, I don’t know what will. Various reasons are cited, including… Read More

  • HTC expects to ship a million G1s by year's end

    Revising their previous target of 600,000 HTC G1s shipped by the end of 2008, HTC CEO Peter Chou has disclosed that the company now expects to ship at least 1 million of the world’s first Android handset by year’s end. While it’s not quite as mind-boggling as the 1 million iPhone 3Gs Apple sold in just 3 days after launch, pushing one million handsets in 2 1/2 months is no… Read More

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