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Most Japanese access the Web primarily through their phones, but when it comes to mobile social networking - it is gaming that really drives user interaction. But interestingly enough, it is not mobile games as we know it. Could the future of mobile entertainment be simple games designed for just one finger?
How long will Japan continue to drive technological innovation? For years I have made my pilgrimage here to see the next generation of the cool, the shiny and the super-advanced. Lately, I'm no longer sure. Hanging out in Tokyo is always a strangely mesmerising experience. Like some alien artifact, the city itself is both impossibly futuristic and yet beguiling in its retro contradictions. Beneath tomorrow's gleaming skyscrapers glide yesterday's Toyota Crown taxis, with their 'SuperDeluxe' badging and white lace seat covers. It is a striking contrast. Amid the neon billboards and blinking red lights of rooftops, the freakish and the familiar blend with equal aplomb.In a small outdoor cafe in Shibuya, I caught up with Dr Serkan Toto - who is Techcrunch's Tokyo based correspondent on all things Japanese, mobile and gadget wonderful. We had a terrific discussion about the local market, and a few things resonated with me. Firstly, mobile. With its tiny advanced phones, QR codes, e-wallets and content ecosystem - Japan has led the mobile world for the last decade. That's starting to change. The iPhone, which borrows so much from Japan in its design and execution has, after a slow start, managed to now take nearly 5% of the local market with an estimated 3 million phones.
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