Otaku No Cell Phone: Sony Putting Manga On Mobile

    August 22, 2005

Sony announced they are plunging into the downloadable “manga” market for mobile phones in Japan. “Manga” refers to Japanese comic books and video. Japanese users will be able load content onto third generation telephones.

Sony signed deals with 10 well-known comic artists supplying about 300 manga books for their products. The service will cost about $3 or 315 yen as monthly fee with five stories. Users can get additional content for fees.

Apparently, this market is becoming popular and competitive in Japan. Competitors include NTT Solmare and Toppan Printing. According to an AFP Story, competitors are happy Sony has stepped into this market because the hope it will stimulate the growth of this market overall.

“Sony’s entrance to the market will be a good stimulus for growth of this new market,” a spokesman for Toppan Printing, which offers around 50 titles, told AFP

“The market for comics through 3G mobile phone handsets just began to emerge last year, when handsets equipped with clear color and movies on the screen were put on the market. But we expect it to grow more,” he said.

There’s no word on when this type of thing will hit the U.S. Traditionally, the mobile phone industry in the U.S. has lagged way behind the Japanese in technology so it could be a while.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.