Much has been made of Japanese cell-phones and the amazing things they can do. The latest salvo in the worldwide cell-phone war has been fired by KDDI, Japan's answer to AT&T, with the InfoBar 2 unveiled this week at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan. Sleek, sexy and boasting a large LCD screen, the InfoBar 2 does everything an Apple iPhone can do, and more... just consider these cutting edge features:
· 2.6-inch OLED screen with 240 by 400 pixel resolution
· 2-megapixel camera
· 100MB of internal storage
· MicroSD slot for memory cards containing music or other files
· Embedded Felica smart chip for electronic payments
It's not just phone technology in Japan that makes all this possible. The high-end 3G infrastructure in Japan is ideal for the integration of functions that make Japanese cell-phones multitasking wonders. For example, InfoBar 2 users can surf the Net at speeds up to 2.4Mbps compared to the paltry 70Kbps to 135Kbps AT&T Wireless' EDGE Network provides for iPhone users.
Even as the rest of the world tries to catch up, Japan's phone companies and service providers just keep setting the bar ever higher. InfoBar 2 users bored with web surfing can tune in - for free - to any of Japan's many digital TV stations, 7 alone in the Tokyo area. And get this - KDDI's Lismo music store not only allows direct downloading of songs to one's handset, but if you're not sure of the title or artist, just hum a few bars and Lismo will match up possible songs from its music database! Now really, how cool is that??
The Infobar 2 is expected to make quite a splash in Japan's retail market this November. Its good looks, remarkable capabilities and attractive ¥20,000 ($172) price (not including the cost of a service contract) make it one very effective iPhone killer... if it were available outside Japan, that is. (via Yahoo! News)
Japanese Innovations Writer