Thursday, August 03, 2006

Japanese Mobile Commerce To Be Worth More Than World Economy In 2030

My Chemistry teacher would not be impressed. I remember being told in no uncertain terms that drawing a graph with a few points in the bottom left and then extrapolating those across the rest of the paper with your ruler in a long straight line was Very Bad Science. Obviously no-one told AlwaysOn this.

(Guesstimation: following the extrapolation the size of m-commerce in Japan is multiplying by 10 every 5 years. The world economy is currently $34,000bn rising to $140,000bn by 2056. So Japanese mCommerce overtakes the world sometime in the late twenties)

As an aside, it's very dangerous to try to draw parallels between the Japanese mobile market and the rest of the world - this is something I want to go into properly in a future post as I've been spending a long time working on the Japanese market recently, but in brief DoCoMo launched iMode on a market with very low PC/internet penetration and from that point on owned the connected experience for a lot of consumers. Combine that with sensible revenue share models (unmatched in the short-term greedy West) and a rigid control of the handset from spec to UI, and you have a very mobile-friendly market lacking the hideous usability issues plaguing everyone else. It will be many years before gaijin will be in a position to benefit from this ubiquitous access and the operators show every sign of not caring.