Japan

  • Will Nintendo's 3DS catch on as an e-reader?

    Can the popular 3DS handheld become a reading device? One publisher thinks so.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Can Nintendo's 3DS handheld become a powerhouse e-reader? Japan's biggest printer, Dai Nippon Printing, thinks so. The company, which is a big player in domestic publishing here, announced it will launch 300 titles for young readers this fall for Nintendo's popular portable console.

    Dai Nippon is already selling e-books and manga through conventional e-readers, MORE

    Jul 8, 2013 10:53 AM ET
  • Japan: The world's new star in solar power

    China and Germany have new competition at the top.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Until recently less than 1% of Japan's electrical power output came from renewables. But following the catastrophe of Fukushima and the power blackouts that followed, Japan has seen an explosion in investment in alternatives. Solar, in particular, in this averagely photon-blessed country, has seen a seismic rise of late and is this year poised to become the MORE

    Jun 11, 2013 6:24 AM ET
  • This is the suburb of the future

    Panasonic is on course to finish a "smart town" from scratch this year.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Despite its high-tech reputation, Japan has some of the dumbest homes and communities among rich nations.

    Profoundly unintelligent electricity grids deliver power down streets of unsightly utility poles and their sagging, exposed electric lines to homes with little or no thermal insulation. Housing and offices themselves are regarded as the ultimate in throwaway culture MORE

    Jun 7, 2013 10:35 AM ET
  • Break up Sony? It's harder than it looks

    Until recently, takeover bids were rare in Japan, where private equity and hedge funds have been traditionally viewed as vultures.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Sony's best selling TV, the Bravia, translates as "ferocious, savage, wild, untamed" -- the very adjectives that are probably on the minds of Sony executives as they consider the latest bid from gaijin, or outsiders, to upset the highly ordered decorum of doing business in Japan.

    The MORE

    May 16, 2013 7:37 AM ET
  • How the iPhone conquered Japan

    Despite its more-or-less mundane technology, Apple's device won over women.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick, contributor

    FORTUNE -- The Japanese were using their cellphones to watch TV, navigate with GPS, download music, make movies, pay bills, and check their emails years before American consumers were doing the same. Japan also had touchscreen phones eight years earlier than iPhone -- the Pioneer J-PE01. And yet it is no surprise that Apple's iPhone was the best-selling MORE

    May 6, 2013 12:05 PM ET
  • Japan: Where medical miracles are waiting to get out of the lab

    Japan has one of the world's oldest populations. So why aren't more medical innovations seeing the light of day?

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- The world's first sterilizable, flexible organic transistor; mobile apps that can measure your pulse just by imaging your face; X-ray machines that capture not just bone but cancer tissue, too. These are just a few of the technologies being developed in Japan now, where an industry has MORE

    Apr 8, 2013 7:20 AM ET
  • Google's haunting Fukushima Street View images

    Google is archiving photographs and video of before and after the Fukushima disaster.

    By Matt Vella, senior editor

    FORTUNE -- Google's Street View has come to one of the most desolate spots on earth. Namie-machi, a small village in the Fukushima Prefecture, has been a ghost town since shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. The city was evacuated of surviving residents due to the radiation created by one MORE

    Mar 29, 2013 2:26 PM ET
  • Apple's controversial cash cow: Free apps that sell extras

    In-app purchases set records in February: 76% of U.S. App Store revenue, 90% in Asia

    FORTUNE -- The floodgates officially opened on Thursday Oct. 15, 2009. That's when Apple (AAPL) sent a letter to iPhone developers telling them they could adopt a new business model: Give away their apps and make their money selling extras -- new characters, faster cars, better weapons, stronger magic, more gold, etc.

    The model was so successful MORE

    - Mar 29, 2013 8:25 AM ET
  • Japan: Where the iPad is changing lives

    Apple's iPad is a revolutionary device, yes. But Japan has embraced it in unusual ways.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Best-man Toshiyuki hands out two iPads at a Japanese wedding reception. He's something of an early adopter while some of the older guests are unfamiliar with touch screens, despite their country's tech-savvy reputation. But the tablet's intuitive quality wins them over as they begin happily perusing a slide show of images MORE

    Mar 25, 2013 5:00 AM ET
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  • Japanese manufacturers finally take on the iPad

    Japanese - yes, Japanese - electronics manufacturers have gotten the memo about what customers really want. And they're finally fighting back against the iPad.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Stung badly by soaring sales of foreign-made smartphones and tablets, Japan's electronics makers are fighting back with a bevy of hi-tech tablets they hope will turn the tables on the dominant Apple iPad.

    Sony (SNE) is setting its hopes on the svelte, bantam-weight, MORE

    Mar 13, 2013 5:00 AM ET
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