Published on October 23rd,2009 at 11:03 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Hell Freezes Over, DoCoMo Offers a ROM Update for One of Thier Smartphones

One thing in Japan that pissed me off for years (8 in total) is the lack of ROM updates for Windows Mobile devices… During the pocket PC era, when Compaq, then HP and other manufacturers, provided ROM updates for their PDAs Japanese manufacturers claimed that ROM updates were impossible and pushed you to purchase a new PDA instead… Later on, HTC via DoCoMo and Softbank did the same. If you wanted a ROM update you’d have to invest in new device while in the rest of the world you could get an upgrade… Basically, if you were/are a Windows Mobile user in Japan you’re badly screwed… Operators don’t provide free ROM upgrades on Windows Mobiles devices…

Pissed by this lack of support from Microsoft, HTC and mobile phone operators, a year or so ago I asked Microsoft why? Why can’t we get proper ROM upgrades? Apparently, before the iPhone was launched in Japan, it was impossible for mobile phone manufacturers to provide ROM upgrades (via Push or download) without loosing their phone certification given by the Japanese government… Once a phone is approved here in Japan, the manufacturer isn’t allowed to change it in any way without loosing this certification… Since the certification process is a real pain, everyone gave up on offering ROM updates.

While this certification problem still exists, it appears that iPhones, and now Android phones, in Japan (HT-03A) are immune. After Apple updated their iPhone’s OS several times in the last year or so (Softbank), now the giant DoCoMo is offering an upgrade from Android 1.5 to 1.6 via download (from the device itself)…

Now I’d like to ask to DoCoMo, Softbank, AU, HTC and Microsoft what the hell is going on? Why don’t you offer ROM upgrades, even a paid ones, while others, like Apple and Google, offers them in Japan? Apparently the certification process isn’t that tough, maybe Microsoft doesn’t care much about the Japanese market after all?

Via DoCoMo
Category Phones
              
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Comments
 

  • zzzzz

    Huh? My softbank phone (931SH) regularly gets OTA software updates every couple of months.

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    Your Softbank phones does not have a FULL OS upgrade every month… Core OS udpate, like iPhone or Android as example here.

  • Spinner7200

    I want to know why its so hard to actually get a good smart phone in Japan. The rest of the world gets all sorts of Android phones, for example, and all Japan has is the one crappy HT-03A. I’m sick of the shitty Japanese flip phones that are basically the same year after year after year except for some different flashing lights and color scheme.

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    Japanese People needs and the rest of the World is different for several reasons… But in order to put it simple : First the mobile phone business here is targeted to women and not men. Second, the mobile phone is not considered as a Business tool in Japan… Since women are the top users here and since men rarely travel around for works, their needs for mobility is different.

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    Another interesting things is how Japanese understand flip phones or clam shell, in the the rest of the phone when you want to hang on or hang off you just have to open or close your phone… In Japan no this is not possible simple because of 2 things
    -Japanese cannot associate these 2 action is ON/OFF… They NEED to push a button each time…
    -They WANT to make sure who is calling and need to screen before hanging on… But this make no sense to me since most phones as a secondary display they can screen the phone before opening it…

    Anyway things work like this : There is the World and next to it there is Japan

  • murphytalk

    >Once a phone is approved here in Japan, the manufacturer isn’t allowed to change it in any way without loosing this certification…

    It is not true, when I was using au they provided 3 times ROM upgrades (or more like bug fixing) for my sony erricson phone within half year.

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    Not sure if you understand the concept of ROM update… I am not talking about Patches, but FULL ROM update which means 100% swipe of all your DATA, like if you erased your HDD and reinstalled whatever OS you had before… and not your average update

 

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