What's so dumb about Japanese phones?
One big difference to the "dumb"phones anywhere else seems to be that in Japan, devices have been optimized for mobile mailing from the start.
Blackberry? Sneered at. Smartphones? Nobody gets the point.
A whole generation of Japanese have learned to type blazingly fast on mobile phone keyboards and many people do not even have other email addresses than the one tied to their mobile phones.
While everybody has been ridiculing or roundly ignoring WAP, the Japanese providers have quietly build their own solutions which cater to every (carnal) demand of their users whilst allowing them to roam the Internet freely as well.
Japanese phones have been loaded with an astomishing number of features over the time, none of which seems to have made it off the island however. Examples include mobile digital TV, radio, wireless payment and lately apparently even car key functionality (Nissan smart key).
Summing up, it's always been another world over here. Plus, there's the Japanese tendency to incrementaly improve and tune an existing system until there is positively NO way to get more performance/functions/money out of it.
So...the question is, whats so smart about *smart*phones.