I miss living in Japan, and their super cool gadgets. J-list side blog gives us a glimpse of what it's like to walk into a Japanese cell phone store. Pictured here is Sony Ericsson's Beauty x Beauty series with snowflake patterns lighting the exterior. So kawaii!
"The new offerings included a music phone that you could dock with an external subwoofer, a "dual style" phone that could be opened horizontally or vertically, and a phone made specifically for video chatting. Since the Japanese are very design oriented, many phones existed almost entirely for aesthetic reasons, like the "beauty x beauty" series with an exterior surface that lights up with snowflake patterns when a call comes in, or Toshiba's "Drape" concept, built around the keyword of "Emotional Electronics." The recently launched Wanseg system that allows you to watch TV on mobile devices was found in several phones, too. I had fun checking out what names they'd given the colors, like "stillness silver" or "moonlit black." As usual, there was nary a Smartphone in sight, despite many gaijin like me who would kill to have even a first-gen Treo they could use here, but since the phone system Japan uses is incompatible with the rest of the world, and since syllable- based Japanese can be quickly entered with a normal phone keypad, there's not much demand for phones with (admitedly ugly) QWERTY keyboards."