NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank have created the “Japan Mobile NFC Consortium,” which will help the three carriers coordinate and adopt an international NFC standard. Currently, all three operators offer an NFC service dubbed Osaifu-Keitai (wallet phone) which uses a contactless-IC smartcard that’s called FeliCa. Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t work overseas where other carriers use Type A or Type B NFC standards, which means Osaifu-Ketai won’t function properly for NTT DoCoMo, KDDI or SoftBank customers hoping to use their phones for mobile payments overseas. The three carriers hope they can work with handset makers and vendors to encourage the adoption of Type A and Type B NFC standards. The consortium also aims to “create an environment in Japan where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services based on common standards and rules adopted by the three mobile operators.” The full press release follows after the break. More →
Immediately following news that Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” has been released to manufacturers, Toshiba-Fujitsu became the first vendor in the world to announce a Mango phone. The stylish smartphone will launch with a less-than-memorable IS12T moniker in September, and it will be a KDDI exclusive in Japan at that time. Beyond being the first Mango phone announced, the IS12T will also be the first Windows Phone-powered smartphone to launch in Japan. Spec highlights include a 3.7-inch WVGA display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 32GB of storage and a 13.2-megapixel camera. Toshiba-Fujitsu’s announcement is the first in what we hope will be a long line of new smartphone announcements from Microsoft’s Windows Phone partners. New devices are expected later this year from vendors including Samsung, HTC, Dell and of course Nokia. More →
In a world where BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile and webOS dominate the mobile OS space, it’s been tough for LiMo to get a little love. Sure Android and webOS are Linux-based, but it’s just not the same. In an interesting move, Panasonic and NEC have chosen to go with LiMo — unveiling nine new devices that will feature the open-source operating system. Japanese mobile carrier KDDI and touchscreen company Immersion Corp are teaming up for the project but LiMo is hoping to the move grabs the attention of larger manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung and LG. Good luck with that. With less costs involved in running open source systems it could be more enticing for manufacturers to look to LiMo in the future. The mobile OS space is already pretty cluttered however, so don’t expect LiMo to start popping up on anything relevant from amongst the big boys any time soon.