I live in the Netherlands. I was sick with anticipation when I learned that NL was going to be one of the first european countries to adopt i-mode. The experience so far is deeply disappointing. The uptake was pretty slow, the first terminals were dreadful, service was spotty and content simply wasn't there yet. This all gave the service a bad reputation. Companies didn't invest in content for mobile devices (not WAP, not i-mode, nothing...), being an i-mode content developer still isn't pretty if it is your only source of income. Vodafone bought the second largest network in the country (Libertel) and started pushing MMS real hard. MMS came about and ate i-mode's lunch, despite it being a less versatile technology.
Currently there might be 5.2 million i-mode terminals roaming this land, but that all doesn't necessarily translate into service demand.
However you can now read most of the nation's major papers in your i-mode device... and well, sadly, little else.
The Register: "Of course, establishing a platform is also about building a user base. Symbian CEO David Levin announced that some 1.18 million Symbian-based phones shipped in Q1 2003, up from the two million-odd shipped in 2002 as a whole and 147,000 in Q1 2002. At the end of March, he said, Symbian's ten licensees were working on 21 Symbian OS devices, 17 of them not yet announced in public. The others include Nokia's N-Gage, Siemens' SX1 and Samsung's SGH-D700."
I think this is going to happen quite a lot - independant developers will get pushed aside as established players start porting their products to Symbian. Look at the AOL deal. Soon that'll be standard on a lot of Symbian phones (or at least available) and will have an impact on independent's like Tipic or FastTxt for sure. Anyways, I've been using NetFront to test out my XHTML stuff, but I'm moving over to Opera now because it's a much more finished product.
"To that point, Tom believes his fellow developers should realize that the mobile Internet is completely different from the fixed Internet. "It's not about 'the Web on your phone'; it's about building services, which are genuinely useful, using appropriate technologies," he says.
Tom distrusts tools to automatically re-purpose Web content to mobile devices. "They don't work, and make a classic mistake of assuming that what people want from the mobile Internet is a Web-like experience, 'only smaller'," he says. "If you look at most of the successful mobile services to date -- NTT DoCoMo's i-mode, say, or Vodafone Live! -- they've been based on content which is specifically authored with mobile usage in mind. That's very important."
Sun shines all over Korea A new standard forces South Korean cell phone carriers to use Sun Microsystems software (J2ME). That includes KT Freetel, which currently uses rival software (BREW) from Qualcomm.