Instead of doing the “Google Maps is the world standard so screw local cultural conventions” thing, Apple seems to be going out of its way to embrace them:
The maps need to be usable, but they also need to fulfill cognitive goals on cultural levels that go beyond what any given user might know they need. For instance, in the U.S., it is very common to have maps that have a relatively low level of detail even at a medium zoom. In Japan, however, the maps are absolutely packed with details at the same zoom, because that increased information density is what is expected by users.
In Japan Yahoo Japan Maps is the gold standard to beat but it looks like Apple Maps is about to get interesting again.
Sony founder Akio Morita, Steve Jobs’s model hero, had a unique approach with technical problems and product repair centers. Back in the day Sony maintained a large domestic walk-in repair center network in Japan. I repaired my first Sony FireWire digital video camera at one.
Technicians not only fixed customer Sony products they also evaluated the broken parts and feed the information back to the product engineers and designers. But it didn’t stop there. Sony repair technicians also listened to how customers used Sony products and what features they wanted to have.
In short Akio Morita’s Sony used repair centers as an important part of product development. Morita’s successors dropped the practice and Sony’s product development quality declined because of it.
Apple has an opportunity with the iPhone X Suica problem. They could communicate with customers while fixing the problem, find out how they use NFC on iPhone, what they like, what they want to work better. Japanese iPhone X customers could be a great resource that could help Apple build a much better iPhone NFC experience.
Instead we have silence and confused users like this one who doesn’t like the way Suica works on iPhone X and wants to switch to a Galaxy smartphone.
The public beta should be dropping soon and I’m traveling the next few weeks without connections so this public announcement is going out now: if you have an iPhone X Suica Problem unit do not install the iOS 12 public beta. Leave beta testing to developers and fools.
The current iOS 12 developer beta 2 is wreaking havoc on iPhone X Suica problem units with users reporting much higher error rates everywhere, transit gates, cash registers, vending machines, you name it. Stick with the iOS 11.4 devil you know: at least you have a 50% chance of getting through the transit gate without an error. Wait until the official release and then some. You’ll be happy you did.
Despite the Google Pay Japan flop, Huawei made good on its promise to deliver a FeliCa capable Android smartphone for the Japanese market in 2018. The HUAWEI P20 delivers it via a Docomo carrier locked UIM card that incorporates the FeliCa Secure Element. The same approach used in Hong Kong for Octopus Mobile but not Smart Octopus for Samsung Pay.
His latest exploit: recharging Apple Pay Suica while having a phone conversation. Tricky but it does work in case you are really on the run. And if you are wondering, he does it all on what appears to be iPhone 8 Plus not iPhone X. Good choice.