Japanese Tech Stock Weekly Summary

by: IRG Ltd

The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:

Media, Entertainment and Gaming

• According to media sources, Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) has plans to create an Internet phone function for its PlayStation Portable [PSP] game player in cooperation with eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) unit Skype. Sony’s PSP has been trailing Nintendo’s (OTCPK:NTDOY) DS handheld gear in sales since the devices were launched. Under the offering, clients can download Skype's software, which is expected to become available as early as this month. The software will enable PSP users to make free web-based phone calls with other PSP users and the users of PCs equipped with Skype software.


• According to Dentsu, in 2007, the Japanese online advertising market was projected to be worth between US$3.4 billion compared to the US$4.1 billion projected by PricewaterhouseCoopers. By 2011, Dentsu estimates that Japan's online ad market value will be worth US$6.8 billion. In the same period, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the country’s online market will be slightly above US$7 billion. Dentsu notes that search spending accounted for 27 percent of Japan's online ad marketing in 2007 compared to 40 percent in the U.S. and 60 percent in the U.K. The Dentsu Group tracks online advertising in three areas, search ads, mobile ads and fixed Internet ads such as banner, email, rich media and text advertisements.


• NTT DoCoMo Inc. (DCM) announced its decision to terminate its personal handy-phone system [PHS] service, following what appeared as a continued decline of its subscriptions during the past decade. Subscriptions to the DoCoMo’s PHS service dropped to about 155,000 as of December compared to the 2.1 million subscribers it has registered during its peak in 1997. With DoCoMo leaving the market, Willcom Inc. remains as the sole provider of PHS service. In a separate development, Willcom disclosed its plan to introduce new PHS technology that is expected to make available higher communication speeds in 2009.


• Oki Electric Industry Company Limited and Fujitsu Limited (OTCPK:FJTSY) announced their collaboration in developing next-generation ATM [Automated Teller Machine] software. The two companies said they have finished the development of a prototype of the software using a web-based architecture. The product will be released in Japan beginning April 2008. Oki Electric and Fujitsu said their goal is to create a new industry standard for ATM application software, in which services can be rolled out industry-wide at low cost, replacing the conventional system in which each financial institution developed application software separately. A key feature of the next-generation ATM software is its fee structure, which charges per transaction. In addition, it will be managed on a central server, thus enabling financial institutions to easily change and add software, as well as enhance internal controls and security by managing transaction data centrally.

Disclaimer: IRG is not responsible for the accuracy of the news compiled within this article, which is based on publicly available information.