KDDI's seasonal phones. The company comes out with a summer line, a spring line and an autumn/winter line each year, with each fashion line containing about 10 to 12 phones. A typical Japanese consumer swaps cell phones about once every 12 to 18 months. People used to swap more often, but the carriers changed pricing structure so it pays to keep a phone longer. Typically, carriers garner about 8,000 yen ($7.25) per customer per month in revenue.
Michael Kanellos/CNET News.com
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Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.