Affiliated Organization

Case Western Reserve University, USA


We present a competing claim why the mobile Internet has been widely embraced in Japan but obtained lukewarm reaction in most countries deploying GSM. We extend common contentions for such discrepancy by analyzing commonalities and differences pertaining to the wireless killer application in both the west and the east – short-messaging. A framework is developed to analyze service specifications, service properties and gratifications of messaging and multimedia messaging in Scandinavia and Japan. We find that an architecture which better supports interlinking, integrating and transitioning of interpersonal and data based communications over the service platform and its supporting devices was successfully established in Japan while the disjointed nature of messaging, multimedia messaging and other data services has inhibited Scandinavian users to fully embrace the mobile Internet in interpersonal communication exchanges. In Japan mobile e-mail enabled integration of instrumental and aesthetic service properties on top of the powerful expressive service properties of messaging. Accordingly, instrumental, aesthetic and hedonic gratifications have been augmenting the powerful social gratifications which have initially been driving m-service use in both places. Specific idiosyncrasies identified across services and their integration do not only distinguish between service types but provide insight to significant enabling and constraining factors that shape the further development mobile service ecologies.