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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 12:50 11/12/2007
News Review #420: November 12, 2007

Disney Aims to Take On Japan's Cellphone Market

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Disney Aims to Take On Japan's Cellphone Market
The Wall Street Journal (11/12/2007)


According to the Wall Street Journal (see the link above), Walt Disney Co. plans to enter Japan's cellphone market next spring by using the phone network owned by Softbank Corp. While this would certainly an important step to utilize the brand power of popular animated content for Disney, Softbank could also benefit from leasing its communications network to expand its profit base. Obviously, it would be a great advantage for Disney to be able to sell its phones and services through Softbank's nationwide cellphone stores.

Disney's entry would certainly intensify competition in the Japanese cellphone market which is currently dominated by the three giant companies, because Disney's brand power is so outstanding around the world and in Japan in particular, and could completely take over the market segment for the Japanese youth in the near future. Its tieup with Softbank, which is rapidly gaining popularity among Japanese younger generations, seems likely to adopt such a strategy in an aggressive fashion. The biggest loser might well be NTT Docomo, which has already been losing its customers to the other two carriers due to the portability arrangement for the last year or so.

Hopefully, all this move, along with indirect competition from Google and Apple in the cellphone field, would lead to revitalization and globalization of the Japanese cellphone industry, which might be regarded as stagnant and inward-looking, compared to globally expanding cellphone businesses outside Japan.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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