Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I spilled juice on my phone and had to get a new one. I got a F900iC. It's the first 3G phone with the new FeliCa contactless IC card built in. I just set up my Edy account and downloaded some money to it from my credit card. I think they will let you get money from your bank as well. I can wave it at the garage machine at Tokyo station, or at the cash register at AM/PMs or in a bunch of places inside of the Marunouchi building where I'm hanging out a lot lately. Not sure how nationally rolled out it is. Edy is a e-money system spearheaded by Sony and NTT-Docomo. (Some people joke that "Edy" sounds like a play on "Idei" the Chairman of Sony.) I used to carry an Edy card around with me, but the biggest problem was that I had to go to "charging stations" to put cash into it, and I couldn't check how much money I had left. Now I can see how much money I have and download more money on the phone. Yay! Also, this mobile wallet of mine allows me to create accounts with other systems like Suica. Suica has not yet launched on the phone, but will soon. Suica is run by JR. I currently have a normal plastic Suica that I use for the gate entry/exit and shops inside of JR stations. This Felica system uses a different technology than the contactless IC card that the government was pushing for the national ID system. This is good news to me. The idea of having a bunch of different ID cards in one place but all issued by different commercial vendors sounds better from a privacy perspective that having vendors use your national ID card for digital cash.

My phone also has a nifty fingerprint thing that actually works. It's really fast. To access secure features, instead of punching a pin, I just swipe my finger across a fingerprint pad. It also has the standard 2 screens, 2 cameras, mini SD and a QVGA TFT display.

As a side note, I noticed that when I turned on my Nokia 7600 the other day, both J-Phone and Docomo showed up as available networks. I was able to send and receive SMSs internationally using my US T-Mobile SIM card in my Nokia while in Japan. Some SMSs took days to get to me so it's not perfect yet, but what a change! We have a multi-operator 3G network that allows foreign SIMs and phones! It looks like I have SMS on my Docomo Foma phone, but I can't seem to figure out how I can send international SMSs. Does anyone know how to do or if I can do this?

UPDATE: Reading the manual, it says that I can only send SMSs to other Foma owners only. Which is weird, since my Nokia roaming on the Docomo network using a US T-Mobile SIM lets me send international SMS. Go figure. I wonder what happens if I put the US SIM in this Japanese phone...


what a nice phone.

.CASH is of course censored by ICANN

I've been looking at some of the cool CDMA/GSM phones they are offering in China now. I'm not sure if the CDMA in China though is the same as the CDMA that Verizon is offering in the states.

You spilled juice on your phone? *shakes head*

Have you tried simply replying to the SMS you eventually received from TMO? I take it the usual full number address did not work?

EDY is derived from Euro, Dollar, Yen

CDMA in Japan (KDDI's Au)has the same frequencies as the US but the channels are reversed. Handsets are not interchangeable between the systems.

With a Vodafone Japan USIM, I can send SMS globally with both my V801SA and Nokia 7600. SMS with my DoCoMo USIM only seems to work with other DoCoMo users which suggests it is SMS in name only.

DoCoMo also would not revel the GPRS settings I needed for Internet access with the 7600 using their USIM and went on to say it was impossible to use a non-FOMA mobile with their USIM in Japan. A strange thing to say considering I was talking to them with my very non-FOMA 7600 using their USIM at the time.

This is a nice phone.. but wait until next week. On Wednesday night (17 Nov), NTT DoCoMo will unveil the 901i series, including the new F901iC, which includes all of the above plus a 2 megapixel camera and a mobile version of Apple's iTunes music player. Expected to be on sale in December.

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My F900iC .. now thats a phone from Internet Changes Everything
October 30, 2004 2:14 PM

This is the best phone in Japan right now ... read Joi's comments on his new phone. Joi Ito's Web: My F900iC I spilled juice on my phone and had to get a new one. I got a F900iC. It's... Read More

This is not marketing talk, Joi’s phone is a

  • 3G phone
  • wireless payment device (multi-network)
  • camera (2 of them)
  • biometric reader
  • has mini SD slot
  • works with international
Read More