Monday, 18 February 2008

Google gains dominance of Japan's mobile market

Business Week have reported on Google's huge gains in the Japanese mobile market where deals over the past year with the country's two biggest wireless carriers - NTT DoCoMo and KDDI - has given their search technology a dominant position on this massive market with as many as 82 million mobile subscribers.

In contrast, Yahoo! lags behind with coverage on around 18 million mobiles despite owning the most popular web portal in Japan. Google is likely to benefit from far more search traffic now that DoCoMo's and KDDI's mobile subscribers will see a search box and the phrase "enhanced by Google" when they first go online from their mobiles. To quote the example used in the article, this means that someone in Tokyo's Shibuya shopping district who wants to find a store selling vinyl records no longer has to type in Google on a numerical keypad to gain access to the company's search engine, but get taken directly to the service.

Japan's desire for technological advancement has placed it at the forefront of many computing and mobile developments with Government data showing that the Japanese are as likely to go online from a mobile handset as they are from a desktop PC. Data from comScore also indicates that when the Japanese search the web they are likely to look at maps and check train timetables after e-mailing and reading news stories. Google's mobile services cover all of these activities and their experiences from Japan are likely to be used in other countries as these trends are taken up elsewhere.


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