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DoCoMo uses Darth Vader to lure Japan from iPhone to Android

updated 09:55 pm EST, Fri November 26, 2010

DoCoMo sells Galaxy S with Vader in iPhone nation

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has been scaling up its attempts to lure smartphone buyers in recent days with a new TV ad (below) to lure users to the Samsung Galaxy S. The reported ad, the expansion of a campaign that started in the summer, has Darth Vader standing as a personification of the Android phone. His presence gives Galaxy S owners the power to do anything, the WSJ-spotted ad suggests.

The minute-long promo is unique both in its sense of humor but for the attempt to push a Korean-made phone in a country typically averse to foreign-made phones. While smartphones have obtained some influence on the Japanese market, the area typically reverts to traditional "feature" phones from Fujitsu, Panasonic, Sharp and other domestic manufacturers. Many of these have Japan-specific extras such as 1Seg over-the-air TV tuning and FeliCa for near-field wireless payment that often aren't included in foreign models.

DoCoMo's version of the Galaxy S, launched October 28, also faces an uphill battle versus the iPhone in the country. Samsung had a relatively strong launch but didn't claim the absolute top sales spot, having been bracketed in its second place spot by the two existing iPhone 4 models. Apple has only a small portion of the total phone market in Japan, but it commands two thirds of smartphone sales and is single-handedly credited with giving its carrier SoftBank a faster growth rate than the once institutional DoCoMo could manage. The American phone designer has made up for a lack of local features by allowing peripherals such as a wireless 1Seg tuner.

Android is the next-closest smartphone platform in Japan courtesy of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 getting modest success before the Galaxy S arrived. Doubts exist as to whether it will enjoy the same growth that the platform did in the US. The iPhone has kept the iconic status among younger users that it partly lost in the US, and Apple may look to other networks beyond SoftBank. A now near-certain CDMA iPhone could come to the second-largest carrier in Japan, KDDI. Apple is similarly rumored to be readying an NFC-ready iPhone 5 that could theoretically support FeliCa.

The current iPhone 4 may even reach DoCoMo relatively quickly, as FCC testing showed that it had a DoCoMo-ready 800MHz 3G band that has simply gone unmentioned by Apple in official marketing.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +2

    Yes, Come To The Dark Side ...

    ... the personification of evil ... blah blah blah ...

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000

    +5

    I wouldn't want to be associated with...

    a droid.

    droid |droid|
    noun
    (in science fiction) a robot.
    • figurative a person regarded as lifeless or mechanical : she will probably leave you for a sales droid.
    • Computing a program that automatically collects information from remote systems.
    ORIGIN 1970s: shortening of android .

    What is so exciting about a droid?

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009

    +3

    Lame


    The Little Green Robots are cuter.

  1. Sammyrea2010

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010

    0

    comment title

    Just want to say your article is striking. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.


    option poppers

  1. Sammyrea2010

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010

    -3

    comment title

    Just want to say your article is striking. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.


    option poppers

  1. patrix

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2006

    +2

    next Androids in Japan

    They WILL have the standard Japanese features.. Check out the sharp IS03 or the Sharp Galapagos.. Osaifu keitai (e-wallet), 1seg- emoji, infrared, etc. I ordered one myself (is03) to enjoy Android AND the Japanese features...

  1. tightzeit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +6

    Ummm

    As Foe Hammer pointed out, he is an on-screen villain of the most evil kind. The humour would work if they used his abilities in some clever way, but as a shadowy figure, lingering about every time you use your phone, the negative connotations are just too huge to overlook.

    Who the h*** wants Darth Vader hanging around every time you use your phone? What if you type in the wrong number? Is failure an option?

    Perhaps the Asian market responds differently to marketing of this nature, or there's more to the campaign (because as far as satire goes it's extraordinarily lame). I guess they reversed a truck load of money into Skywalker Ranch and George said, 'Ummmm... Okay. Next.'

  1. dmsimmer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +3

    Ironic.

    "Don't be evil."

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