Japan hangs up on mobiles in favour of smartphonesBy Anna Watanabe Jan 12, 2013 5:11PM UTC
A survey by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has revealed that mobile phone usage has dropped for the first time in Japan.
The results, which separate mobile phones from smartphones, show that the number of voice calls fell 0.7 per cent in 2011 and total time spent on the phone fell 1.8 per cent compared to 2010.
Accoring to the Nikkei Shimbun this is the first time both the number of calls and total hours on the phone has dropped since mobile phone usage began to be recorded in 1992.
But why has there been a drop in phone usage? A report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), last year there were almost six billion mobile-cellular subscriptions by the end of 2011.
According to the ministry, the results reflect Japan’s sudden infatuation with smartphones.
NTT Docomo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile communication company has had it’s first increase in subscribers in two months, thanks to the company’s introduction of new smartphone models.
But it’s SoftBank, only one of two mobile phone companies offering an iPhone 5 contract, that has been leading subscription sales since January 2012. In fact, according to the Yomiuri Daily NTT Docomo subscribers decline just after SoftBank subscribers increase to a 2012 peak for the release of the iPhone 5.