Interesting piece in the NYT on this subject. Man, the things I could say on this.
Followed the development of i-mode etc in Japan back in the day, and was inside at Telstra for a brief moment when they tried i-mode there.
But, most of all, I think the real take-away for Japan's business community is that they need to learn from this.
Japan has long been tagged with the label of follower rather than innovator.
The development of mobile phones in Japan surely led the world and Japan was unable to transfer that knowledge into a competitive advantage internationally. [It was also around this time that Sony really started to lose the plot.]
I have some theories on the whys and wherefores, and they are all fairly ephemeral.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.