Friday, April 10, 2015

No, lack of maker-branding is not a sign of xenophobia

Android Authority has a posted a shockingly bad piece of click bait by an author who appears to know absolutely nothing about the Japanese mobile marketplace. Either that or this is an April fools joke nine days too late.

His logic seems to be as follows:
  1. NTT docomo and KDDI versions of the Galaxy S6 lack Samsung branding.
  2. Samsung is a South Korean Company.
  3. Therefore Japan is xenophobic.
um, what?

Commenters diligently pointed out that, since the very beginning, Japanese mobile phones have typically lacked any branding whatsoever. It was also brought to the author's attention that NTT docomo model numbers distinguish between makers (e.g., F = Fujitsu, SO = Sony, SC = Samsung, SH = Sharp).

To this, I'll add that maker-branding on phones subsidized by and available from Japanese carriers is a relatively recent phenomena.

Because these facts – facts which the author deftly brushed aside with a brilliant non sequitur about domestic versus international models – are plainly obvious to anyone who has lived in Japan long enough to remember the golden age of galapagos feature phones, the commenters perhaps assumed the author was simply unaware.

It is particularly stunning how a set of observations can be interpreted in a way that leads to such flawed conclusions.


  1. wow, what a grade-a douchebag.
    good job calling him out, although i hate the fact that by looking at that post i gave him extra clicks.
    can't believe android authority has him as a contributer. his fox news style "reporting" does not belong there.

  2. I love it when the writer states:

    2. I have lived in Japan for about a decade. I think it's safe to say that I am definitely NOT racist given that I am here by choice, I date Japanese people, I have lots of Japanese friends, etc. With that said, I can not begin to count how many time I've heard people make disparaging remarks about Korea or China; just Google "Yasukuni Shrine controversy" if you want some perspective on how things are. While anyone is open to disagree, the fact I've lived in Japan for roughly 10 years might suggest that I have a slight bit more insight into things than someone who has visited a few times for travel and seen a very one-dimensional side of the country.

    Really bad reporting on Mobile phones

  3. Lived in Japan for "about a decade"? yeah right. Totally don't believe that. That's like saying JMT has been around for "about" a decade. I mean, this website started in 2009, six years ago, so that's about a decade, right? :)

    "I date Japanese people, I have lots of Japanese friends, etc."

    Whenever someone says that, it 99% of the time means that they pretty much spend their daily life in an English bubble. They get out of it to mix with the natives, but I'd wager this dude's daily life is conduced almost entirely in English.

  4. Just noticed that the 製造メーカー is listed on the docomo home page for all models


  5. Oh that is fantastic !

  6. I live in Japan since April of 2008, I have almost no foreign friends, and I work at a mobile game company that only targets the Japanese Market.

    My boyfriend is Japanese, and almost all of my friends are Japanese, and I'm sorry, but if you are unable to see the Xenophobic reactions against Korea in Japan, you are either blind or do not have enough social interactions.

    My Ex-boyfriend told me how he HAD TO hide the fact that he was half Korean.

    The Xenophobia is not unrequested, since the Korean goverment has pushed for a nationalist ethnic superiority idea, and anti-japanese sentiments.
    In fact, Korea is probably waaaaaasy more Racist and Xenophobic than Japan, but I find it incredible that you have been unable to see the obvious Xenophobia against Korea in Japan.

  7. Um...

    No one here is saying that there are no"Xenophobic reactions against Korea in Japan".

    Our point is that the simple lack of branding on a phone, in and of itself, does not indicate Xenophobia. That doesn't mean that racism does not exist.

    Most of the people associated with this blog are long-term Japanese residents who are very thoroughly integrated into Japanese society on multiple levels. Of course we are aware of the spectrum of attitudes towards the rest of Asia. We also realize when someone is stretching an argument perilously thin.

  8. Well, I'm a Samsung Galaxy user since the first Galaxy S came to Docomo (the good old SC-02B), I even pre-ordered it, and I have had a lot of times people starting to say how much Samsung sucks, because it is Korean, every time they see my phone.

    I've even had people seeing my Galaxy Note 3 and telling me how cool it was, and after knowing it was a samsung product saying "that is a shame".

    So yeah, when I saw that Samsung was dropping their name from all their smartphones, the first thing I thought was that they are trying to hide their company, so that the smartphones do not get the backlash of being Korean.

  9. Any thoughts on the 6-month phone unlocking rules from docomo and au?