Japan's InfoBar 2 Outclasses Apple iPhone

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)

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

Oct 7, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Are these real buttons on

Are these real buttons on this iphone killer? Someone missed the point on this one. The only thing worth reading about this phone was 3G.

Oct 7, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Infobar2 Superior???

Steve, you say "It's not just phone technology in Japan that makes all this possible" and then proceed to site 'superior features' that are only there because of the power of the Japanese Telecom infrastructure   In actual features the Infobar2 has a smaller screen, less intenal memory(and even with the largest memory card, significantly less overll memory), the same size camera, etc.

 No real indication of 'touch' capabilities, leads me to believe this is limited.  Like many items designed o the Japanese market, Infobar2 is quirky, i.e. color, shape, feel.    Something that s not really old, but not really new. 

 It's Iphone hands down, not even tin the same class, but way ahead.

Oct 7, 2007
by kris (not verified)

It's so funny...

...that Apple just got into the mobile phone game and they already have the product everybody wants to kill. Every new phone is copared against the iPhone.

How can the infobar2 be better than the iPhone? The name alone killed it. These suckers don't know what to call their products. They need to learn how to keep the names simple. Take a look at how simple Apple products are. On the other hand you have companies calling thier products things like Samsung z900, Nokia n500. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid).

 Can you connect this infobar2 thing to a tv and watch your photos on it?



Oct 14, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


Hi Steve!

Do you have any idea if this phone will work outside Japan, like for example in the United Kingdom? I REALLY WANT TO PURCHASE ONE OF THESE! I have always been in love with INFOBAR. Can you (or anyone) tell me how can I purchase this? Thanks!



Oct 14, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

will it work in the UK?

Hard to say, it all depends what standards your service provider (BT?) uses and if they're compatible with what's used in Japan. Give 'em a call and ask - you might be surprised.

Nov 20, 2007
by Jamie (not verified)

Davey, an "...informed..."


an "...informed..." viewpoint?
Your link offers little more than a article that is:
(a) rhetorical, e.g. "Sure, the new phones have some good features like international roaming and digital TV as standard across the board, but so what? There’s nothing particularly new (roaming) or useful (TV) about those two, is there?" The first claim is false because many cellphones will not operate on a third generation network and the next ignores cultural practices because many commuters in Asia watch TV on their way to and from work. And;
(b) deceitful. The article conveniently omits the fact the average consumer mobile device in Japan doubles as a bank or credit card and trainpass.
And I wonder why that is?
Perhaps it's because its author is yet another crybaby who has to believe that American engineers are engineering products better than those availble in Asia, or else his little heart will break?
And as for his claim that Japanese cellphones resemble toys, just take a look at the Apple iToy which looks ridiculous next to any enterprise Nokia model, for example.

Jun 21, 2008
by Anonymous


i saw this recently in times magazine, as the most awaited phone in tokyo!

Oct 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Infobar 2

Does anyone know if this can be used outside of Japan and if the plans are limited?