the population of Japan is just over 127million this is a very large chunk
of the market.
The first Java enabled phones were shipped by NTT DoCoMo 2 in early
2001 and the subsequent success of these caused a type of Java-based
arms race between these competitors. From the start, Softbank and KDDI
decided to leverage the Kauai Virtual Machine (KVM) provided as part of
the JBlend platform supplied by Aplix 3 and based their offerings on CLDC
1.0 and MIDP 1.0 with customized extensions.
NTT DoCoMo, however, went their own way, jumped in at the deep
end, and developed a proprietary Java ME profile called DoJa. In taking a
path that at first glance appeared to be fraught with risks, they nevertheless
managed to grab the lion's share of the market. This is largely due to the
fact that they have never been bound by the limitations of MIDP either in
business strategy or in the actual technology.
DoJa is analogous to MIDP and sits on top of CLDC just as MIDP
does. In fact there is so much overlap that many class methods in the
respective APIs even have the same names. However they are vastly
different profiles designed with very different aims in mind - MIDP is
a general and minimal specification to provide some kind of common
baseline that is available across a wide range of mobile devices; DoJa is
a business solution to a specific market opportunity aimed at creating,
maintaining, and increasing revenue streams in the Japanese mobile
By choosing custom development, NTT DoCoMo effectively kept the
cross-platform abstractions provided by CLDC while neatly side-stepping
MIDP development altogether (and therefore all inherent technical and
business risks associated with it). By creating their own profile they
managed to achieve complete control over the technology platform they
were using and are therefore not dependent on any third party whether
it be the supplier of a KVM implementation or the creation of new
standards, such as the publicly-driven JCP.
NTT DoCoMo is a leader in research and development creating both
the W-CDMA protocol and the world's first 3G service that uses it,
Freedom of Mobile Access (FOMA), in 2001. Until fairly recently, FOMA
phones have run Symbian OS v8.1b; this gives them the benefits of the
EKA2 kernel but avoids having to deal with the platform security model
introduced in Symbian OS v 9.
This has tremendous benefits to NTT DoCoMo - since the platform
is closed, there's no risk of third parties installing native applications
after market. And since they control all native development in-house,
they can apply their own quality assurance processes and therefore don't
need to get these applications Symbian Signed. However, things are