PHS phone sports 1-inch EL display
Willcom will soon be offering what the Japanese wireless carrier claims will be the smallest PHS cell phone in the world. Made by Eibitto, The WX03A measures only 32mm×70mm×10.5mm (1.3x2.8x0.4 inches) and weighs 33g (1.2 ounces) with its battery. The phone uses a one-inch OLED, like those often found in watches.
Apple crushing Sharp, Willcom in Japan
Apple has claimed nearly half of the Japanese smartphone market in just over a year, Impress says. iPhone sales represent46.1 percent of the entire market in 2009 and also claim the top two spots on the Japanese charts by a wide margin, with the older iPhone 3G still leading at 24.6 percent and the iPhone 3GS close behind at 21.5 percent.
Willcom shows new handsets
At a press conference on Tuesday, Willcom announced the release of a few updated and new handsets as well as new technologies and services. The Willcom 03 slider phone, introduced earlier this year, will be available in a new black color starting November 7th and includes a new feature that translates roughly to "hand-painted chat" that allows users with compatible devices to chat live by drawing or writing on the devices' touchscreen. Another new service, dubbed Willcom meeting, will launch on November 4th and allow as many as seven users to talk at the same time, with invitations to the conference call that can be sent via e-mail.
Willcom 9 supports Java
At a press conference in Japan today, Willcom unveiled its new Willcom 9 handset, earning the distinction of being the company's first phone that integrates Internet and email applications accessible via dedicated shortcut buttons that jump to Google search and Gmail respectively. The flip-phone features a 2-inch, 320x240-pixel resolution LCD screen with 262K colors, and uses Willcom's proprietary W-SIM card.
iPhone Sought in Japan
Japanese cellphone users are most eager to have the iPhone 3G over any other smartphone in or coming to the market, according to a new study by iShare. The research group says that 57.9 percent of all those responding to a survey said they most wanted the Apple device, which placed well ahead of others despite the study method allowing multiple answers. Second place belonged to the Japan-made Willcom D4 UMPC and phone crossover at 35.8 percent, while the more conventional Willcom 03 was third at 33.1 percent.
Willcom 03 slider phone
Willcom, Sanyo and Microsoft co-developed the Willcom 03 slider phone, also known as the WS020SH. The top panel features virtual navigation keys, similar in execution to those on the Samsung Soul, that appear on a 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD, and add a number pad when needed. Sliding the top panel open reveals a full QWERTY keyboard. One-segment streaming digital TV is displayed on the 480x800 resolution screen thanks to the handset's Flash Lite 3.0 software.
Willcom and Sharp D4 UMPC
Sharp and Willcom together on Monday put out some of the first concrete details for an ultra-mobile PC based on Intel's Atom architecture. Known alternately as the Willcom D4 or the WS016SH at Sharp, the device is built to be small and light enough at just over one pound in weight but fast enough to run Windows Vista with a 1.33GHz Atom (capable of HyperThreading) and 1GB of memory; a unique tilt-slider design allows it to fit both a QWERTY keyboard and a direction pad alongside a 5-inch touchscreen sharp enough at 1024x600 to display a desktop operating system.
Japan grows WiMAX
Two Japanese companies have won licenses that should see WiMAX take firmer hold in the world, Reuters reports. Government officials have granted licenses to a group led by KDDI, Japan's second-largest cellular provider, and Willcom, a company controlled by the US-based Carlyle Group. KDDI is partnering with Intel and phone maker Kyocera, and plans to use WiMAX to launch a new broadband service in 2009; Willcom will follow suit with a similar service in the same timeframe. KDDI notes though that its venture will be expensive, costing as much as $1.3 billion by the end of 2013.