Ten years ago, I was settling in Kanazawa. This involved getting a Japanese phone, and more importantly getting it work for me. At the time, I wrote a blog post with some observations on what worked and what did not.
Looking back at the problems I faced at that time is a pretty good indication on why Apple managed to storm that market:
- Contact synchronisation only worked partially
- Todo synchronisation only worked partially
- Music playback was crippled by DRM
- GPRS modem function (tethering) was broken
The Vodaphone 800 had pretty good specifications for that time: it was built by Ericsson in collaboration with Sony. Yet most of the features I wanted did not work. I was using Mac OS X, which certainly did not help: there were Windows, Japanese only drivers available, but even then, integration with computers was an afterthought.
Like many phones at that time, the phone had very different connectors: there was a USB connector, but it was only used for data exchange, not charging. There was not standard jack headphone port, but instead the wide Ericsson connector, for which I had a charging dock and a special headset. I never used it because of the crippled audio playback. The phone had a Sony Memory stick slot and an infrared port (which I never used).
One aspect of the phone I liked was that it supported many Bluetooth profiles:
- Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
- Headset Profile (HSP)
- Object Push Profile (OPP)
- Serial Port Profile (SPP)
- Dial-up Networking Profile (DUN)
- Synchronization Profile (SYNC)
- Generic Access Profile (GAP)
- Object Exchange (OBEX)
- File Transfer Profile (FTP)
- Basic Imaging Profile (BIP)
- Human Interface Device Profile (HID)
For comparison my iPhone only supports the following profiles:
- Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
- Advanced Audio Distribution Profile Source (A2DP)
- Audio/Video Remote Control Profile target and controller (AVRCP)
- Personal Area Network (PAN)
- Serial Port (SPP)
- Device Identification (DID)
- Generic Access Profile (GAP) – Low Energy
- Battery Service – Low Energy
- Current Time Service – Low Energy
While some profiles have replaced others, for instance Personal Area Network (PAN) replaces Dial-up Networking Profile (DUN), with the added advantage that PAN actually works, I miss some of the old profiles, in particular Object Exchange (OBEX) which let me push a file from my laptop to my phone and vice-versa and Human Interface Device (HID) which let me use my phone as a mouse, very convenient for presentations.
Having left Japan, I never managed to sim-unlock the device, so it rotted away in a drawer…
Vodafone 802SE (Sony Ericsson V800) mobile phone © Episteme – Public Domain