By >Akihabara News Team
Tanaka Takashi Officially Takes on Role as President, KDDI
KDDI’s Takashi Tanaka, 53, officially took the reigns of KDDI Corporation yesterday, after being named as Tadashi Onodera’s successor three months ago. Tanaka was Senior Managing Executive Officer at KDDI and former head of Japanese WiMAX provider and group subsidiary UQ Communications.
In his inaugural speech, Tanaka highlighted KDDI’s forerunner history as the first mobile carrier in Japan to offer 3G service, providing flat-rate data plans and GPS-related services before competing companies could catch up, but admitted that it missed the mark with smartphones, having been overtaken by SoftBank with its iPhone and NTT Docomo with the Sony Ericsson Xperia. KDDI now suffers a profit decline that is expected to continue next year, taking up the rear behind Docomo and SoftBank in the number of new subscribers.
KDDI announced its first smartphone in October, and received over 249 thousand reservations in nineteen days – far higher than Docomo’s Xperia or Galaxy S; the Sharp IS03 marked KDDI’s first serious foray in the Android handset market and was the first smartphone announced in Japan that had domestic features like contactless IC payment, one-seg TV, and infrared comm. KDDI also announced the IS04, IS05, and IS06, to come out in the next two months, and somehow became the sole carrier in Japan with Skype for Android phones – with Skype for BREW handsets also on the way.
Tanaka hopes to increase KDDI’s smartphone market share in the next business year and catch up to the other players in the market, while also building up a tablet device lineup, both with 3G and without. With the company’s holdings in landline broadband, cable, 3G, and WiMAX, KDDI intends to introduce a new business model that involves seamless multi-device and multi-network communications.