Ameri-Smartphone Moon over Japan – Sharp Corporation to Release Galapagos Android Devices

So you're walking around a city in Japan, it's about five or ten years back, what do you see? Japan-born electronics as far as the eye can see. Now you're in that same city, it's 2010 - what do you see? iPhones. Tons of iPhones. And what else do you see a spattering of? Android-based phones. Just a spattering, but they're on the rise. In a country known as the Galapagos Islands of mobile phone markets for their wonderful and varied selection of devices and systems, a new wave is cresting, a wave of American-made mobile tech - and app developers are in the mood for surfing.

Hikari iFame Android Tablet for NTT Launches in Japan

So, you're in Japan, and you don't mind that you can't have the Samsung Galaxy Tab quite yet (not that you haven't thought about that MTV exclusive app), but you really want an Android-based tablet. If you're on NTT, then perhaps the Hikari iFrame is the device you've been looking for. Featuring a nice, brilliant white case, and a roomy 7-inch touchscreen display, the Hikari iFrame is certainly an interesting member to the Android-based tablet family.

NTT DOCOMO Unveils Three New Android Phones, Coming Soon

NTT DOCOMO, over there in Japan, has just unveiled a plethora of new devices for their network, and while there's 28 to choose from, only three of them are worth mentioning on the Android front. The three new handsets feature plenty in the hardware department, but there's only one of them that will launch with Android 2.2 under the hood, while it's only one other that even mentions upgrading to the newer version of Android in the first half of 2011.

MWC 2010: Ericsson has the eStore

This is a very interesting move by Ericsson. They just announced a partnership with Opera to bring the eStore, this is a new way to buy apps other than the traditional Android Market or that other phones AppStore. This store will aim to take the way we buy apps to a different plateau.

Japan to Release Android Phone next year made by Sharp

While we are having a blast here in the US with the latest Android-based smartphones, and other countries are waiting anxiously for them to arrive. Japan, apparently, is missing on the Android fun. But all that is about to change, thanks to SoftBank and Sharp. About a year ago that we had a story on NTT DoCoMo, planning to make an Android-based phone in Japan. This time, Sharp and SoftBank are the ones making waves, first, SoftBank, which is Japan’s third biggest cell phone carrier, announced last week an Android-powered phone for next year. Then, we have Sharp, who just two days ago in Tokyo, promised to roll out a number of Android-based handsets on the first half of 2010. Exactly how many phones? Well, we have no idea just yet. In Japan, Sharp has the biggest market share out of eight cell phone makers, so, if they really jump in the Android bandwagon, it translates to great news for the Google OS, since Japan is consider the most advanced mobile society in the world. There's no word from Sharp on which of the three big carriers in Japan will get the Android handsets. But they did say that the features on said handsets, will be unique to the Japanese market. One of the possible specific features might be a tuner for 1seg, which is a digital TV standard used not only in Japan, but also in some parts of South America. [Via TechCrunch]

NTT DoCoMo HT-03A aka HTC Magic landing June/July

NTT DoCoMo have confirmed that they will be offering the HTC Magic as their first Android smartphone.  Launching as part of the docomo PRO series as the HT-03A, the handset will offer the same 3.2-megapixel camera as the version currently on sale in Europe. The carrier was tipped to be adopting the Magic earlier this month, though at the time it was unclear whether HTC had crafted them a version specially intended to work on Japan's advanced 3G networks.  Instead, it looks as though this is the same 3G GSM handset available already; that said, it lacks many of the high-end features Japanese users can choose from [PDF link] in their cellphones, such as 1-Seg TV broadcasts, mobile credit card payments and the NTT DoCoMo personalized services.  The NTT DoCoMo HT-03A will go on sale in japan sometime during June or July 2009.  No word on pricing as yet.

Android Community Week in Review: Week 19 2009

Biggest news this week has been the arrival of the Vodafone HTC Magic at Android Community, with an unboxing video and initial hands-on gallery here.  The smartphone is the second to reach the market running Google's Android OS, and according to leaks will show up on T-Mobile USA as the myTouch 3G.  T-Mobile USA will be hoping for strong sales from the handset, too, after the performance of the G1.  That's taken fifth place in the best-selling smartphones in the USA during Q1 2009, beat only by the iPhone 3G and a trio of BlackBerry devices.  It's a confidence in both devices shared by Rogers Wireless, who are planning to offer the HTC Dream (aka G1) and HTC Magic in Canada from June 2nd; meanwhile, slightly further afield, NTT DoCoMo are tipped to be offering the Magic in Japan as the HT-03A. The Magic comes preloaded with Android OS 1.5 "Cupcake", and so it's only fair that G1 owners get the same software update.  T-Mobile USA have finally confirmed that they will be rolling out the latest firmware from the end of this coming week, in an upgrade plan expected to run through to the end of May.  They may be hoping that distracts us from the Android leaks this week: firstly, their own device roadmap which pegs the G1 v.2 and Samsung Houdini as arriving later in 2009, and secondly an in-the-wild sighting of the HTC Hero. Stay with Android Community this coming week for the Vodafone HTC Magic review and more video content!

NTT DoCoMo’s first Android phone is HT-03A aka HTC Magic

Android will be spreading its reach to Japan soon, as the HTC Magic lands on carrier NTT DoCoMo with the new name HT-03A.  The touchscreen handset will be the first to use the Android OS in Japan. NTT DoCoMo confirmed that they were planning on introducing an Android device last November, following rumors that they would be working with South Korean carrier KT Fretel.  NTT DoCoMo is already a member of the Open Handset Alliance. It's unclear offhand whether the HT-03A will remain a 3G GSM device, or will be switched to use NTT DoCoMo'd high-speed FOMA W-CDMA network.  The handset will certainly use Android OS 1.5 "Cupcake", however. [via Unwired View]
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