JR East – Please Don’t Walk When Using a Smartphone

Officials at East Japan Railway Company have begun asking people not to use mobile phones while walking inside train stations.

The move came after a 5th-grade boy suffered minor injuries when he fell off the platform onto the train tracks at Tokyo’s Yotsuya Station. He was looking at his phone screen while walking.

Posters saying “No cell phones while walking” are on display in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station. Announcements are also being aired inside the station, asking people not to use cellular phones while walking.


Smartphone Uses Vibration of Display Screen to Transmit Sound: The Kyocera Urban Progresso

Kyocera Corporation (President: Tetsuo Kuba) announced the release of the URBANO PROGRESSO, the world’s first smartphone*1 to be equipped with Smart Sonic Receiver technology which transmits clear voice quality to the user directly through vibrations in the handset’s display screen — a technology co-developed by Kyocera and KDDI Corporation, based on Kyocera’s proprietary advanced ceramic technology.

The new model is part of Kyocera’s DIGNO®-branded smartphone series, complete with various features including a stylish and sophisticated design using a metallic shell; 4.0-inch OLED “Luminous Display®”; compatibility with WiMAX™ high-speed Internet service; and connection with up to eight devices via Wi-Fi® tethering.

Available in three color variations, the new phone is part of KDDI Corporation’s new handset lineup announced on May 15.

Smart Sonic Receiver

1. Smart Sonic Receiver uses display screen vibrations to transmit audio

Smart Sonic Receiver is a new function which uses a piezo-electric actuator to create vibrations along a wide area of the display screen which in turn transmits clear voice quality to the user. This is the first smartphone in the world to be equipped with this function.

2. Audible voice clarity from a wide area of the screen

As the vibrations cover a wide area of the screen, the user is able to hear clear voice quality regardless of where their ear is placed. Furthermore, by pressing the whole screen against your ear to create a cover, it is easier to hear in crowded and noisy environments*2.


1. High-definition 4.0-inch OLED Luminous Display

The display screen possesses brilliant visual characteristics including high-definition, vibrant color reproduction, high contrast, excellent video expression, and a wide viewing angle — which allow the user to enjoy a richer visual experience with beautiful images and clear text. Moreover, the display surface is made of high-strength glass which is highly scratch resistant.

2. All-in-one phone with WiMAX compatibility

The URBANO PROGRESSO is compatible with WiMAX high-speed Internet service with speeds of up to 40 Mbps (down) and 15.4 Mbps (up)*3, and also features a tethering function to connect up to eight Wi-Fi compatible devices, allowing the user to view full Web pages, send large files, stream video and download with ease whether indoors or out. Furthermore, the URBANO PROGRESSO answers the demand for an all-in-one style smartphone replete with various features including a flash-equipped 8.1-megapixel camera to allow the user to take photos even in dim environments, and waterproof / dirt-resistant functions*4. All these features are packed into a stylish and sophisticated product design.

Panasonic to get into the smartphone race

Panasonic Corp said on Tuesday it will begin sales of its own smartphones in Japan early next year and overseas in 2012, in a late but ambitious attempt to grab share of the booming market.

Based on Google Inc’s Android operating system, the new phones will compete against Apple Inc’s iPhone, which dominates the Japanese smartphone market, as well as with Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant admitted it was late joining the smartphone party, but said it hoped to differentiate its handsets by emphasizing network capabilities with other Panasonic products.

"We misjudged the speed at which smartphones would be taken up in the Japanese market," Osamu Waki, head of the company’s mobile communications unit told a news conference. "With the rapid shift to Android, we want to catch up quickly."

Read the rest of the story: Panasonic to begin smartphone sales in Japan in 2011.

Apple Big Winner in Japan’s Smartphone Market for 2009

Apple Inc. shipped 1.69 million iPhones in Japan in the fiscal year ended March 31, capturing the top share of the country’s smartphone market, MM Research Institute Ltd. said.

The iPhone, offered by Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier Softbank Corp., accounted for 72 percent of smartphones shipped in the country in the period, the Tokyo-based researcher said in a report yesterday. Taiwan’s HTC Corp. was second with 11 percent, followed by Toshiba Corp. with 6.8 percent, it said.

Demand for the iPhone helped more than double Japan’s shipments of handsets that can surf the Web and download music, video and applications to 2.34 million units last fiscal year, while shipments of regular mobile phones declined 4 percent to 34.4 million, according to the report. Smartphone shipments will probably exceed 3 million units in the 12 months started April 1, even as the overall market is forecast to contract for a third year, it said.

Read the rest of the story: Apple Captured 72% of Japan Smartphone Market in 2009