A report from the Japanese publication Nikkei is claiming that Apple will be extending its digital bookstore into Japan this month. The report claims that the Apple iBookstore could be rolled out in Japan as early as January 2013. The report also indicates that Apple has signed up with a number of big Japanese publishers.
Toyota has new cars rolling off the assembly line in Japan this week, launching both the 2013 Crown Royal and Crown Athlete. Judging from the press shots we see below, the new cars in the Crown series look pretty sleek. Toyota even made a point of drawing our attention to the grills of the cars in its announcement, which it says were "based on the shape of a crown."
The folks at Panasonic have been tipped to be smartphone-bound for years; today they've basically confirmed the idea that they're making a big effort in 2013 with the P-02E. The FCC listing appearing today has everything the Panasonic ELUGA had and a whole lot more, upping the ante from what was tipped this Autumn without a full confirmation from an official source - the FCC is just about as good as it gets!
While players in North America and Europe have been enjoying their Wii Us for a little while now, the newest Nintendo console only launched in Japan this past weekend. We're now hearing the first numbers from the Wii U's Japan launch, with statistics from Media-Create putting the Wii U's launch weekend sales at 307,471. That certainly isn't bad, with Nintendo selling 400,000 Wii Us during the console's North American launch week (which just so happened to be the week leading up to Black Friday).
Japan has unveiled the prototype to their new maglev train that promises speeds of around 310 MPH. After more than five months of beginning work on the new train, the Central Japan Railway Company has finished the prototype and are ready to begin testing. Due to go into service in 2027, the train will be first used on a route between Tokyo and Nagoya, where it will travel 160 miles in just around 40 minutes.
Kobo has announced that two of its ereaders are slated for release in Japan: the Kobo Glo and the Kobo Mini. As its name suggests, the Kobo Glo features a glowing display, while the Mini is said to be "the world's smallest full-featured eReader." The Kobo Glo is currently available for pre-order, while the Mini won't be available for a bit longer.
Nintendo has introduced yet another 3DS XL variant that will probably never see the light of day outside of Japan. While we're okay with that most of the time, we have to say this latest 3DS XL - which features an image of Charizard on the outside - looks pretty snazzy. Thing is, even if you live in Japan, you're still going to have a hard time getting your hands on one.
Apple and Samsung's patent battle continues to rage all around the world, with one company picking up wins here and another coming out on top there. Today, we can chalk one up for Apple, as a Tokyo court has declared that the iPhone is not infringing on a pair of Samsung-held patents. The Asahi Shimbun reported the news this weekend, saying that two different verdicts have been handed down - one in September, and one earlier this month.
With a single statement that's no more than three sentences long, AT&T has given what essentially amounts to a fair warning to U.S. regulators that they will not have an easy time approving of Softbank's acquisition of Sprint. Having failed at their own acquisition of T-Mobile in the USA earlier this year, it would appear that AT&T isn't going to let the Japanese carrier Softbank work with Sprint without letting them know they're watching them closely. With what AT&T says here, a clear message is sent directly to the FCC saying how the USA doesn't take kindly to outsiders buying up their market - so to speak.
This week its becoming clear that the Japanese wireless service provider known as SoftBank is ready and willing to take a giant stab at the US marker with Sprint as is readies 23 billion dollars in borrowed cash for a bid. By acquiring Sprint, SoftBank has been tipped to be gaining favor with a variety of hardware manufacturers, this allowing them to grab high-tiered smartphones and tablets for their own brand in Japan. Meanwhile it would appear that the deal is "a must-do deal" for Sprint while for SoftBank it simply isn't so - this idea coming from Yasuo Sakuma, portfolio manager at Bayview Asset Management in Tokyo, adding "it's going to be very difficult to turn Sprint around."