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DoCoMo Claims 3D First

NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) just has to be first, doesn't it? Not happy with simply being first with 3G (in a WCDMA sort of way), now it says it's going to be first with 3D. November 16, says the Japanese trailblazer, will see the introduction of a new handset for its 2G picture messaging service, i-shot, to which 2.5 million people subscribe. The camera-phone, snappily [geddit?] called the SH251iS, features a three-dimensional color screen (or liquid crystal display, LCD, to those in the biz). How exciting is this? Well, when you think about the amount of image depth you are likely to get on a mobile phone screen, it may not seem like the catalyst for an impulse purchase. In Japan, though, any new technical innovation inspires a spike in handset sales, so DoCoMo can expect a few net gains to its subscriber base as well as the migration of some current users to the i-shot service. "From a marketing point of view this is a good move," says IDC analyst Tim Mui, who specializes in smart handheld devices. "My guess is that this will be for gaming -- that's the main reason for having a 3D screen. When a company such as DoCoMo launches something like this, they usually focus on one specific application or feature. The main issues with such a device are resolution and the complexity in switching from 2D to 3D mode." There is also a cost factor. "For handheld devices, such as PDAs, the extra cost of having a 3D screen is about 50 percent more on that single item alone, and then you may need more costly components within the device," says Mui. And there's something else for users to consider. "It's likely you will only be able to see the 3D image from a certain viewpoint, but that shouldn't be too much of an issue for games playing." As for the phone's manufacturer, Sharp Corp., it believes the screen is the key to success for any device. At the CeBit tradeshow in Hanover, Germany, earlier this year, the CEO of Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH, Helmut Engel (who sports a neat line of headwear, as his name suggests), told a press conference that LCD technology would be the make-or-break feature for all mobile products. This, he added, is because screen design is vital for the proper delivery and display of more sophisticated content. So, all we need now is the sophisticated content. But let's get back to the new Sharp device, which sounds like a pretty funky handset (no price has been announced). The inbuilt camera "allows users to record and store up to 50 ten-second video clips, while approximately 1,000 still images can be stored in normal mode. In addition, the camera is capable of taking six still images per second." How long before they simply manufacture a camera you can use as a phone? While still clearly a mobile phone, there are definitely moves within the vendor community to differentiate their embedded-camera handsets from the standard voice devices. Only last week, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was trying to convince Unstrung that the The Nokia 7650 Imaging Phone is not a mobile phone, and will not be regarded as such by the average punter on the street. "The 7650 is an imaging device, not a mobile phone," said Nokia Mobile Phone's VP of communications, Kari Tuutti (see Pics'n'Prices: The Nokia Set). "If we have this conversation two years from now, the public will not think this [7650] is a mobile phone," he predicted. That's one helluva sophisticated consumer market Nokia has in mind, we reckon.

Talking of predictions, DoCoMo has egg on its face again regarding its previous projections for subscriber uptake to its 3G service. The operator says it is likely to have signed up 320,000 subscribers to its FOMA service by the end of its fiscal year on March 30, 2003. Compare this with its forecast in May 2002, when the company predicted that improvements to network coverage, handsets, and services would result in a FOMA user base of 1.4 million by next April (see Japan's 3G Needs a Kick Start). Telecom analysts in Japan were less confident but still believed that 1 million WCDMA converts was achievable. Even 320,000 might be pushing it. At the end of September DoCoMo had only 135,700 3G customers, having added just 46,300 in six months. By contrast, it now has more than 42 million subscribers to its 2G i-mode service To add to DoCoMo's 3G woes, it also saw its profits nearly disappear in the first half of this financial year to September 30. Although revenues were up, albeit by just 2 percent to ¥2.38 trillion ($19.8 billion), net profit dropped by 95 percent to ¥4.17 billion ($34.7 million), compared with ¥89.2 billion ($743 million) in the same period last financial year. The figures were decimated by writedowns on overseas assets that DoCoMo unveiled last month (see DoCoMo Takes a $4.7B Hit). All this as KDDI Corp. breezes past the 3 million subscriber mark for its au-branded CDMA2000 1xRTT service that was launched on April 1. It claims it had 3.29 million au subscribers on October 2 (about 40 percent of which use handsets with either embedded or attachable cameras) and expects to reach 7 million by next March. KDDI's net profit for the first half of the financial year to September 30 was ¥20.45 billion ($170 million) from turnover of ¥1.39 trillion ($11.6 billion). It has more than 17 million mobile subscribers in total. In December, J-Phone Co. Ltd., part of the global network of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) operators, plans to launch its 3G service based on its WCDMA network. J-Phone, which has more than 13 million subscribers in Japan, has been trialing and testing the network since late June (see Investors Fire Up Lamina Ceramics). — Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com
lrmobile_eltdg 12/4/2012 | 9:19:42 PM
re: DoCoMo Claims 3D First Don't worry, this won't require any Russian surgery... If you want more info, just go to the following site:
http://k-tai.impress.co.jp/cda...

Anyway, I bet that this small wonder won't be available before 5 years in Europe... and in the US... well, better forget about it!
drcarey 12/4/2012 | 9:21:12 PM
re: DoCoMo Claims 3D First is is done with ventricular venting. one eye will see one image (the, say, left eye view) and the other eye will see the other eye view (the, say, right eye view), thus accomplishing a pseudo parallax.

we did this in minimally-invasive surgery in 1994 at Circon Corp. Some russians held most of the original patents.

SO, pixel "depth" per se' does not matter. what matters is where your head is relative to the screen and whether or not you have a "normal" range of diopter (how far apart your eyes are from each other, ranging from "clarence the cross-eyed lion" on out to "frog boy")

doug
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