For anyone who’s wanted a quick primer on Japanese cellphones and what they do better than ours, this wikipedia entry is perfect.
Also, Wired’s How Mobile Phones Conquered Japan. The book mentioned, “Personal, Portable, Pedestrian”, sounds like a good read and I’ll probably be buying a copy. Amazon link.
It’s a pity i-mode hasn’t taken off here. Perhaps a carrier like Singtel would have done more with it than Starhub has. Or maybe they should all have teamed up to make it a standard (always the best way).
Bank transactions on-the-go would be a great thing to have, but limiting it to customers of one bank? And movie ticket booking, limited to Eng Wah cinemas? Come on.
Edit: Here’s a great topic page on cellphones from the Trends in Japan online magazine from Web-Japan, which I’m happy to have just discovered.