Thursday, May 10, 2007

Japan Mobile

I was sitting with my colleagues this morning and we were discussing Japan. We're writing a new report on the B2B media market in that country for our subscriber service. We got onto the topic of mobile and the prevalence of data services offered in Japan over handsets. We've blogged on this before, most recently here.

Well, today Digital World Tokyo points to a Sydney Morning Herald article which looks at why PC usage is falling in Japan. The Tokyo blogger comments:

There's no great mystery behind the reason why the proportion of Japanese people in their 20s using a PC to get online dropped from almost a quarter in 2000 to just 11.9% last year – put simply, the lure of the mobile phone is to blame.

The increasing availability of mobile versions of popular sites like Yahoo (Japan's search engine of choice) and Mixi (a social-networking site without peer), combined with the fact that all mobiles have email addresses, means that there's very little need for most people to learn how to use a computer for everyday use. Throw in the alien nature of the QWERTY keyboard and Japan has a surprisingly small PC user base.

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