The Japanese mobile application market is the one to beat for developers who would like to find success in their field of business. Since Japan holds one of the top-grossing shares in mobile device consumption as well as application downloads, developers from any part of the world see this leading market with colossal potential when it comes to huge returns in investment.
For years, Western mobile companies have been trying to penetrate this inward and resistant market because they know how explosive it can get if they do indeed break through the barriers of Japan. The advanced infrastructure in Japan allowed it to produce its own brand of mobile phones and applications that isolated it from the rest of the world. Japanese mobile corporations knew that they could keep the local market happy and restricted with localized applications that catch the attention of users who are more than willing to pay for what they enjoy and benefit from.
It seemed like the Japanese app market was already content with this existing setup. However, global developers did not intend to ever stop as they knew that one day, they would eventually crack this closed system of mobile app fanatics. When smartphones started to rise in the scene with its highly fast and efficient features, the Japanese market began to take notice and responded very well to this popularly used phone in the world. They began to enjoy the diversity and high level of entertainment found in smartphone applications. While Android phones already were widely patronized by the Japanese market, Apple developers finally experienced ultimate success with the iPhone 4S that seems to overtake the Japanese consumer market today.
One of the most successful Apple applications that can be downloaded in iTunes is Sekai Camera produced by Tonchidot Corporation. Instead of the typical taking of still pictures with background or border designs, Sekai Camera found a way to adapt the quirkiness of the local market by enhancing the features of augmented reality in its mobile application. Sekai Camera allows its user to take photos wherever they are and add air tags to express whatever they want to say about the photo. Other users can view these posts if they are in the same location or these can be shared in Facebook or Twitter if they want to.
Augmented reality applications have always been close to the hearts of the Japanese people. They have always supported some type of reality-based games or applications whether virtual or in this case augmented. By featuring real-time applications which are based on the actual environment, reality is merely enhanced with graphics or texts which the user can control for their own enjoyment. Another popular app from Apple is the iButterfly which has caught the attention of Japanese iPhone users with its magnificent graphics. Users can add these beautiful 3D butterflies to their actual gardens or wherever they are.
Countering the success of Apple applications, Android users find solace in Google Play, which features different kinds of applications from e-books, movies, music and more.
Google Play uses cloud services and anyone can access this application thru the Internet from their phones. The amazing benefit from Google Play is that all types of applications are already collected in one place. You won’t have to scour several stores to find what you are looking for, hence, it saves on time and effort. By utilizing the cloud, anyone can enjoy this service wherever they may be as long as they have their android phones or tablets and as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection. There is increased flexibility and efficiency when applications are accessed on the cloud since users won’t have to use up all their phone memory or battery in downloading. The Internet allows applications to store the needed information on the cloud instead of in the actual device.
Most app developers who thrive in Japan can attribute their success to localizing their product to please the specific desires of this elusive market. It is highly crucial to localize the application to suit the particular whims and needs of the consumers. More than translating the language, app developers have to study this resistant market or partner with local developers who already have a clear idea of what could click with Japanese mobile users.
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About the Guest Author:
Rodolfo Lentejas, Jr. is a fulltime freelance writer based in Toronto. He is the founder of the PostSckrippt, a growing online writing business dedicated to producing top quality, original and fresh content. To know more about him, please visit www.postsckrippt.ca. Like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.