Japanese Exec Says iPhone’s Success Reveals Local Industry’s Failures
As an outsider, news of the iPhone’s success in Japan appears at first glance to be a testament to it’s success, but according to a local industry executive, it owes a great deal of it’s popularity in Japan to their cellphone industry’s failure. Tsuyoshi Natsuno, a former executive with NTT DoCoMo says that the industry has fallen into a “collegial system” where a phone’s design is controlled by the carrier and is locked to it, something he says removes incentive for driving technology forward.
When asked what he thought of the iPhone 3G, he said “I believe the iPhone is closer to the mobile phone of the future, compared with the latest Japanese mobile phones.” He attributes it’s success in part to “project leader Steve Job’s [sic] solid faith.”
In contrast, he noted that Japanese mobile phone makers have several flaws, saying things like: “Too many of them are negative about new ideas,” “they have lost their edge as they determine everything based on a collegial system,” and “even if someone has potential, he or she isn’t assigned to a responsible position at a Japanese company.” He says that these less-than-spectacular handsets may thrive best in an environment where no one takes leadership.