Why have the Japanese always accessed the internet more by mobile phone?

“While the rapidity of the Internet penetration rate has been remarkable, that is not to say that the actual PC penetration rate for Japan is high. It remains lower than for some other developed countries. This has no bearing on Internet access, though, because Japan has led the world in the use of mobile phones to access Internet sites…NTT’s Do-Co-Mo … had grown to be Japan’s leading Internet Service Provider… only a year after the 1999 launch of the i-mode technology” Language and Society in Japan pg 134

Reasons for this:

1. The technology was developed first in Japan

2. When it was invented a lot of people didn’t have PCs, perhaps because they still had dedicated word processors from the previous boom (caused because Japanese language typewriters were virtually impossible for ordinary people), or because until laptops became standard a lot of people lacked the space at home

3. People don’t spend a lot of time at home and do spend a lot of time on trains

4. There is still often just one computer and television in the house, so people escape to their bedrooms with their mobile phone for both of those functions


  1. Dbb said,

    October 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Please delete me from your blog distribution which I find to be 80% fiction.

    Many thanks

  2. alexcase said,

    October 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

    If this is 80% fiction you can blame the author of the very respectable academic book for Cambridge University Press, not me! What bits do you disagree with?

    I don’t seem to be able to unsubscribe people. I’m guessing you can do it by clicking on a link in the email.

  3. crella said,

    October 19, 2011 at 4:01 am

    I always have to wonder at some of these pompous posts on this blog. They never say *what’s* inaccurate, do they? You’re more patient than I would be, Alex… :-D

  4. alexcase said,

    October 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    With over 5000 comments on this and my other blog, I think that’s the first time anyone’s ever written “Please cancel my subscription”. Reminds me of the letters in the satirical UK publication Private Eye, so I actually have a soft spot for it!

  5. crella said,

    October 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm


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