Panasonic has sent out invites to media for an event on July 30, hinting that it will launch Eluga range of smartphones in India. So far, the company has offered its P and T range of Android smartphones, but the Eluga brand name has been associated with its flagship offerings. Last month Panasonic had teased the impeding launch of the Eluga range of smartphones. Interestingly, Panasonic has stopped making Eluga smartphones in its home country Japan so the India launch is sort of a revival for the brand.
The older a Japanese company is, the more likely it is that the firm has only recently – and begrudgingly – upgraded out of Windows XP. Messages sent by fax are probably still commonplace and innovation is treated as a threat to The Way Things Are. “Venture,” assuming the word even exists in the company’s lexicon, is probably best defined as a tax-break. When Transcosmos, a 48-year old outsourcing and business process improvement firm, started diving into the startup world, eyebrows were raised and polite coughs of dismissal were heard.
HONG KONG: Fans dressed as Transformers, Iron Man and Jedi knights were among thousands at the first day of Hong Kong’s comic and games expo Friday, where Xbox and PlayStation went head-to-head with their new consoles. The Ani-Com show at the city’s harbourside convention centre is one of the biggest of its kind in Asia and was packed with teenagers, many of them in coloured wigs and costumes mimicking their favourite Japanese comic book heroes.
While Uber has hit its toughest regulatory road block yet in Seoul, last-mile delivery service Naldo pushes forward with its plan to upend South Korea’s logistics industry. The company last week received an undisclosed series A round from Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. Tech in Asia soon after caught up with founder Ludolf Ebner to get the lowdown on his startup.
It can be tough getting the attention of airport gate staff. Soon they might have an additional distraction: smartwatches. Japan Airlines (JAL) on Wednesday demonstrated how some of its staff at Haneda airport in Tokyo are using Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 to locate and communicate with each other. JAL officials said smartwatches could help improve the efficiency of how and where airport staff are assigned, and improve passenger service. Attendants at two gates in the airport’s Terminal 1 building were sporting the smartwatches during the demonstration, which involved actual flights to domestic cities.
If Tomoko Namba had followed conventional wisdom, DeNA (TYO:2432) would never have existed. She had made partner – only the third Japanese woman ever- at prestigious consulting firm McKinsey and Company after only ten years. Only three short years later, she left that left behind to found her own company. Initially conceived as an online auction service, DeNA struggled to attract users and profits. But in 2009, DeNA started to explore the gaming industry. One year later, titles like Kaito Royale caught fire and its valuation skyrocketed, giving a Namba net worth of nearly a US$1 billion and propelling her to the upper echelons of Japanese society.
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has signed a deal with Fujitsu to migrate 27,000 email accounts to the cloud, which will improve mobility of on-ground staff serving communities across the state. The Department of Family and Community Services, which supports disadvantaged individuals, families and communities, will migrate its email to Fujitsu’s pay-as-you-go cloud model. This “aligns well with the NSW Government strategy of consuming IT services”, said Albert Olley, Executive Director, Business Services Unit.
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) newest financial earnings report (for fiscal 2014 Q3; or April to June in human time) shows stellar growth in China. Here’s Apple’s break-down (PDF) in revenue across Asia-Pacific for the past quarter :
Greater China (inc. Hong Kong and Taiwan): US$5.94 billion – up 28 percent year-on-year Japan: US$2.56 billion – up 1 percent year-on-year
Rest of Asia-Pacific: US$2.16 billion – up 6 percent year-on-year
VMware and SoftBank Commerce and Service (a SoftBank Telecom subsidiary) have brought VMware’s vCloud Hybrid service to Japan, the first Asian market for the Palo Alto, California, company’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering. For its part , VMware will build, manage, operate and support the vCloud service and provide the primary sales route to market through its ecosystem of partners. SoftBank will contribute its data centers, network and a dedicated sales force, including more than 7,000 re-sellers in Japan.
SEOUL: Line Corp, a Japan-based social messaging service firm, has filed for an initial public offering in the United States, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources. Line’s parent company, South Korea’s Naver Corp, said on Wednesday that Line had filed for an initial public offering in Tokyo. Banking sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that the listing will ultimately be either a dual US-Japan listing or a listing only in the United States.
Tokyo police on Thursday arrested a systems engineer accused of stealing millions of customer names from the computer database of a large education firm to sell them for profit. Masaomi Matsuzaki, a 39-year-old temporary staffer, was arrested for violation of the unfair competition prevention law, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department said. Matsuzaki allegedly copied personal data related to at least 7.6 million customers of Benesse, the parent company of Berlitz language schools in Japan.
Masayoshi Son always has another trick up his sleeve. Despite discussing seemingly everything about the future of his company during the firm’s two-day festival “Softbank World” earlier this week, Son put out a stunning announcement Friday morning. Nikesh Arora, a 10-year Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) veteran who most recently served as its Chief Business Officer, will leave Mountain View and join the ranks of Softbank (TYO:9984), Japan’s most aggressive telco.
Nissan Motor Co chief executive Carlos Ghosn said some car makers remain reticent about working with technology giant Google Inc as it develops driverless vehicles for fear of their brands’ identities becoming submerged. Ghosn, who also heads France’s Renault, said car makers can benefit from collaborating with Google, which offers its Android software for cars and which is building prototypes of self-driving cars. “But at the end of the day, I think all car makers are extremely cautious about maintaining control on their own cars,” he told a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
Setting on an ambitious space business, Japan’s NEC Corporation has opened a new facility for the assembly, integration and testing of satellites at its existing plant in Fuchu City, a suburb of Tokyo, the technology company announced on 14 July. The new “Satellite Integration Centre” adds to NEC’s Fuchu plant’s existing operations, and enables NEC to assemble as many as eight satellites in parallel, the company said in a statement.
Katsuaki Sato, founder and CEO of app monetization startup Metaps, sees no need to hide his company’s global amibitions. Where many young entrepreneurs are content to steadily grow in Japan and then carefully consider international markets, Sato has fought to create an international service since 2010, the firm’s third year of existence. His aggressive expansion has been a success. The priority of the Japanese market has given way to the United States and China’s where Metaps’ have helped local apps monetize.
Thai shoppers, rejoice – popular Japanese chat app Line, which has 24 million registered users in the Land of Smiles, just rolled out a standalone ecommerce app specifically for its fans in Thailand. The move follows the company’s release of a similar app for Japan last March. We took that app for a test drive but couldn’t really get more than a superficial understanding of what it was about due to this writer’s inability to read Japanese. Luckily, however, Thailand’s Line Shop is partially in English, so it’s time to jump iTunes’ fence again and go for a spin.
As part of its agreement with SoftBank VMware will build, manage, operate and support the vCloud Hybrid Service, and provide the primary sales route to market through VMware’s ecosystem of partners. SoftBank will provide datacentres and network capacity for the service, as well as a dedicated salesforce. VMware said its hybrid cloud service, which enables users to extend their VMware-based on premise kit to the cloud, is already available to clients in Japan as a private beta and will become generally available in Q4 of this year.
TOKYO, JAPAN: VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, SoftBank Telecom Corp. and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp. (SoftBank C&S) today announced the expansion of VMware vCloudHybrid Service in Japan – the first Asian market and third in the world to deploy this Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) public cloud solution.
Both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal say this afternoon say they have it on good authority that messaging app Line is set to file for a huge IPO with the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSX). No other details are available. This is contrary to the words of NHN CFO Hwang In-joon last year when he said that the firm was considering listing Line in the US in order to boost its global standing.