iPhone: cool, novel and amazing technology

Might you use a smartphone in the future? graph of japanese statisticsLast time I looked at the iPhone I got a comment on me being a bit negative in my outlook, so this time in a survey by BlogCh looking at smartphones I promise to be more positive!


Between the 27th and 29th of August 2008 801 members of the free email service CLUB BBQ who also had a mobile phone for private use completed an online survey. 54.2% of the sample were male, 17.5% in their twenties, 48.3% in their thirties, 29.0% in their forties, and 5.2% in their teens or aged fifty or older. Note that the CLUB BBQ demographics is more technologically aware than the average internet user.

I thought my next mobile phone might be just another bog-standard one, but I just recently read a bit about the HTC Touch (or the HT1100 as DoCoMo label it) and it gets a lot of good reviews and comes in at the same price as… but it doesn’t do emoji. Curses! However, the Willcom 03, one of the subjects of this review, can at least display them.

Indeed, looking at the Willcom 03 feature set it looks like it is what the iPhone should have been for the Japan market. Oops, I’m being negative again, but for the sake of research I stopped at a mobile phone shop and picked up the Willcom 03 leaflet. It’s very feminine, telling the story of a week in the life of a young businesswoman in suitable pastel colours, and for just 6,700 yen all-in for unlimited data and zero money down (I think), it’s a winner.

Incidentally, I’ve not seen an iPhone in the wild yet, and I’ve seen just one or two iPod touches

Hot jets of water up the bum enjoyed by majority of Japanese men

Hot water bum washing toilet seat is... graph of japanese statisticsThis is a matter that I have pondered about, so it’s interesting to see BlogCh addressing the issue of hot water bum-washing toilet seat usage.


Between the 29th and 31st of July 2008 658 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed an internet-based private questionnaire. 51.2% of the sample were male, 13.2% in their twenties, 47.0% in their thirties, 28.6% in their forties, and 11.2% in their teens or fifty or older.

I’ve used the hot water spray twice; once on a toilet with a built-in drier, and once without. Both were rather unpleasant experiences, and the lingering feeling of dampness downstairs was quite disconcerting.

Bum-washing toilets?

View Results


Cellphone mastery low in Japan

How much of your cellphone functions have you mastered? graph of japanese statisticsThis is a bit of a short, but sweet, survey conducted by BlogCh into cellphone function ease of use.


Between the 25th and 28th of July 2008 547 people (the selection method was not mentioned) completed a survey. 52.3% of the sample were male, 21.1% in their twenties, 45.9% in their thirties, 25.2% in their forties, and 8.8% of other ages.

I liked this survey because one of the selling points of the SoftBank iPhone is the ease of use, which the foreign press often stresses whilst mentioning the difficulty of Japanese cellphone operation. The results here highlight few are really comfortable with their phones. I was surprised by Osaifu Keitai (RFID-based contactless payment) being the hardest to use, as it’s just a touch on the sensor and you’re done. However, I think there is also the aspect of difficulty of understanding what exactly it is mixed in with these results.

Another reason I liked this survey was the use of Japanese to describe the degrees of confidence. I’ll leave them untranslated.

White dog much preferred over black man

Which mobile carrier's ads do you like the most? graph of japanese statisticsThe SoftBank adverts are my favourites, although there is always the risk of over-exposure with the dog even recently featuring in a photo book and a DVD. However, this recent survey from BlogCh showed no signs of flagging popularity when they asked about mobile phone television commercials.


Between the 15th and 17th of July 2008 370 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service successfully completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 14.6% in their twenties, 49.2% in their thirties, 28.6% in their forties, and 7.6% in their teens or over fifty.

I wonder if they’ll have the SoftBank dog using the iPhone? Given that another survey today indicated that the euphoria has passed, will they trot out their dog to flog some more kit? Will they introduce a new character? They had five rather unpleasant cats recently but they only lasted a week or so. Oh, and here is Dante Carver, the black guy who plays second fiddle to a white dog.

Q3 also brings me to another pet hate (as it were) with the SoftBank mutt coming tops as a fireworks partner. Back in the UK, in the run-up to November the 5th they’d be public service advertisements and other reminders to keep pets indoors to avoid them getting spooked by fireworks, but I’ve never heard of such a thing over here.

Finally, if you’re a SoftBank customer, here’s your chance to win a talking Oto-san bank or strap and free Oto-san themed games and deco-mail!

SoftBank iPhone: women rather underwhelmed

Have you bought an iPhone? graph of japanese statisticsWith the iPhone era in Japan now about three weeks old, and with previous surveys showing vast numbers of people willing to sell their own grannies in exchange for an iPhone, this survey from BlogCh into the iPhone, conducted the weekend after the release of the Jesus Phone shows a bit about how the Japanese have reacted.


Between the 18th and 22nd of July 2008 433 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 65.8% of the sample were female, 9.9% in their teens, 28.2% in their twenties, 43.2% in their thirties, 15.0% in their forties, and 3.7% aged fifty or older.

The sample size is a bit small, as is the number of purchasers from the sample, so it is a bit difficult to extrapolate the numbers, but I’ll of course keep my eyes peeled for further data in the coming months. However, just 3 people are planning to buy later, which does suggest that the euphoria has passed. Despite being cheaper than first predicted by me, cost scares off more than two in five.

I know at least two of my Japanese readers were more than willing to kick the SoftBank dog out of the way (and perhaps even the SoftBank lady out of bed) to get their hands on an iPhone, but I’ve not seen any English-language reviews of how it performs in Japan. Drop me a line if you know of any, and I’ll link to them from here.

Embarrassment holds few back from maid cafes

I can’t say I want to go to a maid cafe, if the video below is anything to go by! Today is a double dose of silly survey Sunday, with this very short and sweet (just like the maids…) survey on maid cafes.


Between the 25th and 27th of June 2008 441 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed an internet-based questionnaire. 55.1% of the sample were male, 14.7% in their twenties, 48.8% in their thirties, 25.9% in their forties, and 10.7% of other ages.


Why the iPhone is not wanted in Japan

With tomorrow (July 11, 2008) being release day in Japan of the 3G iPhone through SoftBank, I thought I’d add to the tsunami of articles by adding this survey from BlogCh that looks at, amongst other things, what people feel is stopping them from buying Softbank’s iPhone.


Between the 27th and 30th of June 2008 427 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.1% of the sample were male, 11.5% in their twenties, 49.2% in their thirties, 32.3% in their forties, and 7.0% other ages. The sample was pre-screened with all selected being holders of personal-use mobile phones.

It’s very interesting to note in Q2 that women seem slightly more interested in the iPhone than men, and in the detailed breakdown by current provider (see original survey for details) I think I could detect some envy amongst DoCoMo users!

One ease of use issue I’ve not seen specifically addressed but which is important in Japan is whether you can write email one-handed hanging off a strap in a crowded train. Inability to be thumb-driven in this fashion will be a black mark among reviewers, I suspect.

Commenting on another blog, I just realised that here about 13.3% are investigating purchasing, whereas earlier this month when looking at all the regular new models from DoCoMo, au and SoftBank just 6.7% wanted to buy any one of all the other summer 2008 phones. Incredible!

I also see that Strapya is already decked out with a few 3G iPhone accessories from Japan!

iPhone leather slipcaseiPhone leather slipcase


Corporal punishment in Japan: gobsmacking results

Did you receive corporal punishment at school? graph of japanese statisticsI’m gobsmacked that a smack in the gob is considered acceptable corporal punishment by about three in five Japanese! This is just one result from a genuinely shocking survey on corporal punishment.


Between the 23rd and 25th of June 2008 467 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a pirvate internet-based questionnaire. 52% of the sample were male, 13.9% in their twenties, 46.0% in their thirties, 31.9% in their forties, and 8.1% of other ages.

I hope I’m not making a huge mistake with the translation here, as the results are so counter-intuitive to my western mind. In Q4, I think the question is what people think is appropriate as a means of punishment for students. Any advice on the correctness or otherwise of this assumption is most welcome. I’m also a bit shakey on Q2.

The Japanese phrase used for corporal punishment in this survey is 愛のムチ, ai no muchi, which translated as “tough love”. According to Japanese law I believe it is banned in school, although according to many people I know who work in Japanese schools it is very much alive and kicking.

Emoji versus Kaomoji – graphical icons versus text emoticons

Which do you use more on mobile phone email, emoji or kaomoji? graph of japanese statisticsI’ve previously translated surveys looking at Japanese text emoticons (kaomoji) and at graphical icons (emoji) but now let’s look at a recent survey from BlogCh on emoji and kaomoji.


Between the 11th and 13th of June 2008 433 members of the BlogCh monitor panel who owned mobile phones. 53.1% of the sample were male, 15.5% in their twenties, 49.9% in their thirties, 27.0% in their forties, and 7.6% of other ages.

I use emoji almost exclusively, with one of the main reasons being that I cannot remember the meaning of most of the kaomoji! I also occasionally download, or more often save icons from other people’s mobile phone email.

9% want a SoftBank 3G iPhone in Japan

Do you want a SoftBank iPhone? graph of japanese statisticsAlthough a survey last year showed that around 40% fancied an iPhone, now we have the first survey regarding the concrete release date to see if people are prepared to put their money where their mouths are. This survey was conducted by iShare and BlogCh and the topic was actually mobile phone battery changing, but since the iPhone doesn’t have a user-changeable battery pack, they shoehorned an iPhone question in.


Over the 5th and 6th of June 2008 402 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.5% of the sample was male, 12.2% in their twenties, 43.5% in their thirties, 34.8% in their forties, and 9.5% in their teens or over fifty.

If you’ve read my recent estimate of monthly fees for a SoftBank iPhone you may be put off buying it, I suspect. I’ve had some criticism of my figures, but I wanted to choose 300 free minutes as a realistic figure, as that is just 10 minutes a day with free calls only to other SoftBank owners, and the X Series unlimited packet service at 9,800 yen a month is their Smartphone tariff, and although there is a sliding scale of charges, the upper limit of 52,500 packets per month is just 6.7 megabytes of data, or about 224 kilobytes per day, or just one page of many popular web sites, thus surely everyone will use their full allowance.