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Disney to Enter Japanese Cell Phone Market

Disney to Enter Japanese Cell Phone Market

Disney is currently in the process of pulling the plug on Disney Mobile, its own mobile phone service in the United States: the company announced the shutdown in September, and the service will go dark in December. But now word comes the company is looking to set up a mobile phone business overseas—specifically in the hyper-competitive Japanese market.

According to a statement issued by the companies, Disney and Softbank will work to jointly develop both mobile phones and content services under the name of—you guessed it—Disney Mobile.

Softbank Mobile has seen success in the Japanese market by offering low-cost pricing plans, since buying Vodafone’s Japanese unit in April of 2006. A tie-up with Disney might enable the company to move more forcefully into the premium content market, encouraging users to spend money downloading Disney content, buy handsets with more features, and subscribe to higher-priced calling plans.

The companies plan to offer Disney Mobile handsets in more than 2,400 retail locations throughout Japan beginning in spring of 2008.

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