DoCoMo Phones To Be Stripped Down For Lower-Price Options; I-Mode-Free


This is an about-face for NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM), which has always sold on its extra data and content features: the Japanese operator will sell some stripped-down phones without data connections, enabling the handset manufacturers to simultaneously design low-function, low-price handsets for overseas markets, according to Yomiuri Shimbun.

According to the carrier, functions to be removed from operating software will include i-mode, Internet connection services, and FeliCa, an integrated circuit card service that enables handsets to be used for electronic payments. Also, the story says, the company plans to introduce Google-backed Android as its new OS by 2010.

Expect competitors like KDDI and Softbank Mobile to adopt a similar strategy.

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