New Accessories Help Define Look of Today's Youth
April 3, 2000
Today in Japan about one in three people own a cellular phone. As of the end of February 2000, some 49.9 million people had signed up with a cellphone service, a four-fold increase over four years. In addition to their practicality, these phones have become an essential part of youth fashion. This may be why, along with the amazing growth of the phones themselves, sales of accessories used to decorate cellulars have also blossomed; there are now over 1,000 such products on the market.
Goodbye to Straps
The Utilitarian Age
Another popular device is a ball-point pen that catches signals from a cell phone and flashes to indicate incoming calls. At 780 yen (about 7.09 U.S. dollars at 110 yen per dollar) each, the pens are reasonably priced, and one large accessory store reports sales of up to 100 pens per week.
Stuffed toys that move or emit a sound to alert their owners of incoming calls can also be found on the market. One such item is shaped like the popular animation character Doraemon and plays the character's theme song to signal a call. Though a bit too cumbersome to carry around, it is perfect for use at home, where people generally put their phones down in one place. Yet another fancy accessory is a pair of boots with a cell-phone case attached.
The main ingredients of all of these items are convenience, novelty, and playfulness. These qualities are utmost in the minds of product developers hoping to win over today's young consumers, who are always looking to keep up with the latest fashions and assert their individuality.
Just Watch Where You Use that Thing
Not everyone is happy about the cellphone boom. The results of a recent questionnaire conducted by a railway company indicated that the number-one nuisance on trains is the use of cell phones. Many people are hoping that this is one trend that dies away quickly.
Copyright (c) 2000 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.