Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bye bye keitai

The other day I was trying to figure out how to turn the voice message recorder back on in my NTT DoCoMo cell phone. I had turned it off 6 months ago or so and turned on voice mail, which is a different thing. What should have taken about 5 seconds, required me to grab the manual---the convenient English manual (416 pages) which is just barely more comprehensible to someone with English as a first language than the Japanese one---and search the index while going back and forth to find the correct section. Then I had to try to figure out what the rather puzzlingly written instructions meant.

After about 10 minutes I was finally able to get it almost set. "Almost" because I kept getting an error message that read "Ring time cannot be set." Another search in the manual explained that this happened when messages were full. Nice to know, but there were no messages stored. Finally, I gave up.

Not being an Apple-fanatic despite (or because of) owning a Mac, I have never had any special interest in most Apple products. I do now for a user-friendly phone and so, perhaps, do many others in Japan:

[The 350% increase in "unique users" in 2009]...may surprise many who expected the iPhone to not perform so well in a country well known for its keitai culture, but the smartphone concept as embodied by the iPhone has certainly begun to take hold in Japan. ....the iPhone is the number one smartphone in Japan by a huge margin...46% of the smartphone market.ars technica

Gee, I wonder why? Perhaps one can do something like read and send an e-mail in less than 20 keystrokes?


  1. Anonymous8:50 PM

    i know how you feel. i got sick of my phone -- an otherwise perfectly good nokia, which softbank had re-branded and sabotaged by removing a lot of features that users everywhere else in the world take for granted, like the ability to install apps, for example. so i just took the only thing of value that softbank contributed to the deal -- the sim card -- and put it in an unlocked 3G phone i bought from overseas. maybe i'm a bit of a tech nerd, but the feeling of being forever out the grasp of those control freaks was fully worth the $500 outlay.

  2. Uh-oh, Softbank has the iPhone contracts.

  3. Anonymous10:31 PM

    it's not an iphone.

  4. Sorry, I meant that Softbank handles the iPhone, and I am considering getting one.