May 19, 2006
Product Naming: Vodafone Japan Goes Soft.
Vodafone, Japan has announced that as of October 1 they are changing their name to Softbank Mobile Corp. and their logo will change to that currently used by Softbank Group companies. This announcement comes on the heels of Softbank’s acquisition of Vodafone Japan in April, which had left some of us in the product naming business wondering what Vodafone Japan would be called.
The acquisition gives Softbank entry into the mobile phone market and beefs up its presence in Internet, broadband and fixed line services. Softbank comes into the deal with the leverage of its very well known Yahoo BB broadband service, meaning that now a Softbank customer can carry out Yahoo transactions over the computer and cell phone.
There is an added interest here because, as we noted in an earlier link du jour, Softbank has reportedly gone into partnership with Apple to create the long awaited iPod-cell phone unit that has yet to be named. I assume that the current line of cell phones being announced by Vodafone will be the last to bear the Vodafone name, which makes me wonder if people want to use future cell phones that sounds like they were issued by a bank.
I suppose with both the Yahoo and Apple names in their stable, Softbank can do pretty much what it wants.
Here are some other perspectives from around the web:
- Apple Insider on the Softbank/Apple phone partnership
- Website Services Magazine connects the dots between the Softbank deal and the future of mobile usage, including marketing and search
- JapanConsuming on NTT DoCoMo's plans to compete
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