Japanese high school girls are averaging three hours per day during the week using smartphones and other mobile phones, a survey by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has revealed. Daily phone time among girls stood at 186.9 minutes, on average, compared with 132.7 minutes for boys, according to the survey released on Thursday.
The rate of smartphone users among students owning mobile phones at elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan stood at 56.8 pct in late 2013, up 20.8 percentage points from a year earlier, a Cabinet Office survey showed Wednesday. The rate stood at 82.8 pct for high school students, up 26.9 points, 47.4 pct for junior high students, up 22.1 pct, and 13.6 pct for elementary school children, up 6.0 points.
The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) released in June 2013 its newly developed "KoeTra," a free application for smart phones and tablet terminals (now available for iOS), which supports better communication between the hearing-impaired and the non-hearing-impaired. Using speech recognition and synthesis technologies, KoeTra converts text into speech, and speech into Japanese text.
The communications ministry and the education ministry will test a new system in which students will be able to access teaching materials on the Internet using tablet computers and other electronic devices both at home and at school, beginning in late fiscal 2014, ministry sources said.
Line has announced it’s added another 100 million people to its registered user count in just four months, pushing it past the 300 million user mark globally. It revealed the new numbers at a press conference today in Tokyo, attended by TechCrunch Japan. The messaging app platform maker, which started off in Japan back in 2011 — devises a series of cute sticker characters to attract an initially young user-base.
Despite a not-so-stellar third quarter for Apple, Japan was a bright spot for the iPhone maker. Apple now commands a record 34% market share in the country once dominated by domestic brands. It's the first time a smartphone brand has surpassed 30% market share in Japan in a decade, and Apple is poised to grab even more. Japan's smartphone market has typically been dominated by domestic companies including Sony and Sharp, and until this past quarter Apple didn't hold much sway in the country.
Companies in Japan and overseas are accelerating their development of “wearable technology”— items such as wristwatches and eyeglasses with data processing capabilities. South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to soon announce a new watch-type device and Google Inc., of the United States, has generated considerable buzz over its Google Glass product. And with domestic makers including Sony Corp. hurrying to enter the market, competition over the next generation of computing devices is expected to heat up.
Apple investors focus heavily on growth opportunities in China; but what about another neighboring Asian country? Is Apple overlooking iPhone growth potential in Japan? Japan's largest wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo has now expressed interest in carrying the iPhone, after the company has been losing subscribers to rivals that do offer Apple's device.
A kimono designer is attempting to save the endangered art by introducing it to today's gadget-loving younger generation. Nobuaki Tomita has created cases for Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computers made of fabric for kimono sashes worn by "maiko" apprentice geisha. "I want to save the true tradition in one way or another while it is still alive," Tomita said.