i-mode just doesn’t work anymore outside Japan

i-modeWhile it’s still being used by nearly 50 million Japanese subscribers, a forerunner of the mobile Internet i-mode is fading in the rest of the world.

Apparently, there were two main problems with the i-mode: first, i-mode was not supported by the major handset manufacturers and the carriers ended up offering a small number of compatible phones; second, i-mode is closed system, requiring users to obtain i-mode software and forcing mobile content providers to adhere to rigid i-mode rules for designing mobile content for i-mode devices.

Two operators announced to phase out their i-mode services amid a lack of customers – Telstra in Australia and O2 in UK. According to David Nicholas, the head of communications for O2 in Europe, O2 could offer only 12 phone models with i-mode but more than 240 with conventional Internet browsers — that was probably the reason the carrier had only 250,000 consumers in Britain.

There you have it. The very important step in the evolution of mobile communications is at its dawn. New, faster 3.5 and 4G networks are being built as we speak. Yeah, we’re all inpatient but we should know that the better, more connected, more mobile future is coming! And that’s a good thing to look forward to. 🙂

[Via: International Herald Tribune]

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