Yukie Nakama beats dog

The battle for new customers amongst the mobile carriers is rather intense, with the three main players running lots of prime-time television advertising. To see what effect they are having on the average Japanese consumer, NEPRO Japan recently looked at mobile phone television advertisements.

Research results

From 10 am on the 7th to 3 am on the 8th of March 2008 4,498 users of the mobile phone menuing systems from the three main providers, namely iMode, Yahoo! Keitai and EZweb self-selected themselves to complete an open survey. 56% of the sample was female, 3% in their teens, 35% in their twenties, 42% in their thirties, and 20% aged forty or older.

Sadly, if the result in Q4 had been the other way round I could have got the much more enticing title of “Yukie Nakama gets licked by dog”, but it was not to be. Anyway, here is the lovely Yukie Nakama, and some other not-so-lovely people:

SoftBank CM from YouTube

Although I can’t stand dogs in real life, I really do like the SoftBank commercials! Yukie Namaka’s au “Anybody!” appearances are rather entertaining too, although the latest ones are a bit naff. I can’t remember recent DoCoMo adverts, although a few months ago they had celebrity-infested ones. Just to round out, eMobile has monkeys, with this one featuring the SoftBank dog’s twin brother being amazed at the cheap deals.

Online voting in Japan

Do you think that answers from internet voting have any practical use? graph of japanese statisticsThis blog would not exist if it weren’t for all these online survey organisations from which I can appropriate material for presenting to you. To find out what the average Japanese thinks of these things…; well, in this case it’s not the average Japanese, it’s just those that feel motivated enough or have time to waste answering questionnaires like this. Also, Q1 indicates that almost half the sample take part in no other questionnaires and the like, so what sort of sample do we really have here? This is getting all rather complicated, so rather than trying to analyse the respondents’ motivations, let’s just look at the survey from NEPRO Japan on online voting.


Over the 4th and 5th of October 2007 3,906 mobile phone users self-selected themselves to complete a survey through their mobile phone in exchange for the chance of winning a prize. 57% of the sample was female, 3% in their teens, 34% in their twenties, 44% in their thirties, and 19% aged forty or older.

Note that from Q2 we can learn that online voting covers a number of different ways of capturing user opinion, from obtaining demographic information when registering online to getting user ratings on Web 2.0-like word-of-mouth review sites.

Japan cell phone upgrade needs

Have you thought of upgrading your phone to the new 2007 summer models? graph of japanese statisticsWith the new 2007 summer mobile phone launch completed, with the main focus being on the top end high-specification models, NEPRO Japan came out with a report on a survey into cell phone upgrade needs.


Between 10am on the 5th of July and 3am on the 6th of July 2007, NEPRO Japan made a questionnaire available through the menuing systems of the three main mobile service providers, namely NTT DoCoMo’s iMode.

I try to restrict my new handset cost to under 10,000 yen, but then there’s always a new power adaptor, phone cradle, 2,000 yen contract renewal fee and a couple of other hidden costs that all add up.

Blacklisting calls or mail on mobile phones

Have you blacklisted phone calls, email, both or neither? graph of japanese statisticsIf you’ve signed up for dodgy mailing lists or are getting too many calls from your ex on your mobile phone, fortunately almost all Japanese cell phone models have features enabling you to blacklist other phone numbers, email addresses and even complete domains. Personally, all bar one mailing list that I’ve joined has honoured my unsubscribe requests, but whenever I get a dodgy ワンギリ, wan-giri, call, that is a call that just rings once so when you call back they apply assorted high pressure sales or extortion tactics to you, it goes into the banned list on my phone. Recently, NEPRO JAPAN looked at how the average person used mobile phone blacklisting features.DemographicsBetween 10 am on the 7th of June and 3 am on the 8th of June 2007 NEPRO JAPAN made a survey available to the general mobile-phone using public through the menuing systems of NTT DoCoMo’s iMode.

Japanese mobile phones and holidays

With summer coming up soon and thoughts turning towards travel, NEPRO Japan recently published the results of a survey it conducted on the topic of mobile phones and holidays. Here holidays covers everything from day trips to overseas travel.


Over the 10th and 11th of May 2007 3,866 self-selecting users chose to complete a survey made available through the three major mobile menuing systems; NTT DoCoMo’s iMode, SoftBank’s Yahoo! Keitai, and au’s EZweb. 58% of the respondents were female, 3% in their teens, 34% in their twenties, 44% in their thirties, and 19% aged forty or older. As has been noted before for infoPLANT surveys, the self-selecting sample nature tends to attract heavy mobile phone users.

This is a rather disappointing study as a number of questions that I think should be multiple choice are asked as single answer ones, for instance. When we’ve been on domestic travel, we’ve never used our mobiles for anything other than just email or photographs, and international travel packet charges are too high to even contemplate taking a live mobile along, although wifey does take hers as an address book.

Mobiles help strengthen Japanese parent-child relationships

Has parent-child communication changed due to mobile phones? graph of japanese opinionNepro Japan recently reported on an interesting report on parent-child relationships and email. This perhaps could be considered a follow-up to a previous survery on how people have seen society change due to mobiles.


Between the 5th and 6th of April 2007 Nepro Japan collected 3,866 responses through a menu option available through the public menu systems of NTT DoCoMo’s iMode, SoftBank’s Yahoo Keitai and au’s EZweb. 42% of this self-selecting survey was male, 3% in their teens, 36% in their twenties, 42% in their thirties, and 18% aged forty or older.

Not being a parent, and not having a parent in this country, I cannot comment on any personal experiences.

In Q1 there seems to be rather a lot of orphans! Perhaps it includes people who have fallen out of touch with their parents.

Nearly half consider mobile GPS a privacy threat

Do you think mobile phone GPS infringes on privacy? graph of japanese opinionHaving just translated a look at GPS functionality according to JR Tokai Express Research, along comes another survey by NEPRO JAPAN also on Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality, conducted by means of a public survey made available through the menuing systems of DoCoMo iMode, Yahoo! Keitai, and au EZweb mobile phone portal sites, available over the 8th and 9th of March.


3,897 people self-selected themselves; 58% were female, 3% in their teens, 37% in their twenties, 43% in their thirties, and 17% aged 40 or older.

Note than in the previous survey about 21% said they had used mobile phone GPS functionality, but here 30% had. The difference can perhaps be explained by the fact that this age group was younger, self-selecting, and conducted through mobile phones rather than PC internet, therefore this survey would most likely attract a higher percentage of people with newer phones, thus more GPS users.

Mobile phone mail is killing the art of letter writing

How long in total do you use a mobile each day?NEPROJAPAN recently published the results of a survey they conducted into how mobile phones have changed their lives. A similar survey was conducted last year. Respondents were solicited by means of an option through the menuing systems of the three main mobile phone service providers, namely DoCoMo’s iMode, SoftBank’s Yahoo! Keitai, and au’s EZweb over a two day period from the 8th to 9th of February.


Of the 3,746 who successfully completed the survey, 56% were female, 3% in their teens, 36% in their twenties, 44% in their thirties, and 17% in their forties. Note that due to the self-selecting nature of the survey, heavy users of mobile phones will most likely be over-represented in the figures.

Recently, the one thing that I’ve started using much more, now that both my wife and I have a phone that supports it, is Deco-Mail, HTML mail for mobiles, which basically means lots and lots of animated GIFs in mail.

Cutting back on mobile phone bills in 2007

Thought about changing mobile provider to save money? graph of japanese opinionNEPRO JAPAN recently published the results of a survey into economising on one’s mobile phone bill. On one day in mid-December of last year they questioned 3,425 people across the three main Japanese carriers, DoCoMo’s iMode, Softbank’s Yahoo! Keitai and au and TU-KA’s EZweb, by means of a public poll available through the main menus of all three carriers’ systems. 44% of the sample were male; 3% were teenagers, 35% in their twenties, 44% in their thirties, and 18% aged forty and over.

Similar questions were asked of a similar group around the same time last year, so one can perhaps observe a trend over the past year.

I’ve actually now worked out how to read my mobile phone bill, I hope, and with all my discounts and whatever in place, it costs me around ¥4,000 per month for just a little talk time, some surfing, and free email exchange with my wife.

Over a third would give mobiles to their pre-teen kids

Do you agree children should carry mobiles? graph of japanese opinionNEPRO Japan recently conducted a survey into people’s views on children carrying mobile phones. Over one day at the start of October they gathered 3,716 valid responses by means of a self-selecting public survey available through the menuing system of all three major mobile phone carriers, namely DoCoMo’s iMode, au’s EZweb, and Softbank’s Yahoo! Keitai. Demographically, the respondents were 59% female, 2% in their teens, 36% in their twenties, 44% in their thirties, and 18% aged forty or older.

Q4 is an interesting question. As far as I know, in the UK there are a lot of rules regarding the provision of facilities for the blocking of content that mobile phones can access, but I have never heard of such a facility in Japan. The worry about running up big bills is a bit unnecessary, however, as all mobile providers have plans that can cap usage at specific costs. Going shopping online seems another strange worry, but perhaps it also means signing up for too many services with monthly fees?