Someone has dubbed the plight of Japanese cell phone industry the Galápagos syndrome. Why? Japan’s cell phones are like the endemic species that Darwin encountered on those isolated islands — fantastically evolved and divergent from their mainland cousins.
You might think the lack of global success by the big name players would suggest an opportunity for entrepreneurs to fill that role. I regularly point out to students that the elephants are often too far from the ground to see what is obvious to the ants. Why haven’t we seen advanced hardware designs for mobile phones achieve greater success outside Japan?