QR-codes (QR =Quick Response) seem to be everywhere. Amazon.co.jp has an i-Appli, which reads the ISBN from the barcode on the back of a book and takes you directly to the Amazon.co.jp i-mode site to order the book instead of buying it in the bookshop.
People in the mobile industry have QR-codes on their business cards:
Amazon.co.jp introduced a barcode reader i-Appli (JAVA application for DoCoMo’s i-Mode phones), with which shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores can directly compare the prices with Amazon.co.jp’s mobile webstore prices. If the shopper prefers, he/she can order directly by i-Mode mobile phone from Amazon.co.jp online while still standing in front of the shelves of the brick-and-mortar store.
With this barcode reading mobile phone application (i-Appli), Amazon.co.jp is directly taking the competition into brick-and-mortar stores, battling on the same ground.
User interface of Amazon.co.jp’s barcode reading i-Appli – click to scan:
The customer can directly scan the barcode with his/her Docomo i-Mode phone, and the Amazon.co.jp barcode i-Appli:
On the next screen Amazon.co.jp’s i-Appli shows the same product’s page in the Amazon.co.jp mobile store. The customer can directly order with one click if he/she prefers Amazon.co.jp’s offer instead of the brick-and-mortar store, where he/she is currently shopping. This i-Appli allows Amazon.co.jp to catch customers from within traditional stores.
Read our QR-code report for in-depth analysis and lots of applications of QR-codes and bar codes in Japan.
More Chaku-Uta mobile music downloads by KDDI in Japan than by Apple’s iTunes globally
Turns out that music is a killer application on mobile – we are working on a number of projects in the mobile music field. We just completed our “Mobile Music Japan” report.
With an incredibly much smaller potential customer base KDDI/AU delivered more downloads of 20-30 second songs (chaku-uta) than Apple’s i-Tunes. Motorola reportedly announced a mobile phone incorporating i-Tunes at the recent CES show in Las Vegas. KDDI/AU‘s tremendous success with chaku-uta indicates that combining Motorola phones with i-Tunes will be very successfull indeed. AU reported 1 million Chaku-Uta-Full downloads within the first 48 days of service (chaku-uta-full started on November 19, 2004).