Wednesday, March 12, 2008

End of the Road for 2G Mobile Phones

With 3G being offered in most developed countries, 2G phones are reaching the end of the road in some of the more advanced market like Japan and Korea. In fact the 1st country to phase out 2G mobile phones is Korea and now for the 1st time in Japan, retail mobile phone stores are no longer taking any delivery of 2G handsets.

It comes as no surprise as Japan is one of the leading country in mobile technology where 3G adoption had already reached 85% with 60% of the handset shipments delivered in Jan 2008 are equipped with digital TV broadcast capabilities. Currently they are some 20 million japanese watching uninterrupted tv channels on their mobile which major networks are offering as a free service. Despite the success in Japan and South Korea, 3G has caught on more slowly in other countries including China, amid questions over whether customers will pay much steeper prices for features they could find on their home computer.

The US is far from this saying goodbye. Based on industry surveys, only 50% of American mobile users own 3G mobile phones. On the other hand, Western Europe is really far behind with only 10% owning third-generation cellphones.

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