The Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) recorded 88,536,000 keitai subscriptions in Japan in July 2005. The NTT DoCoMo Group led the market with 49,429,600 subscriptions, KDDIs au mobile came in second with 20,122,700, third place Vodafone K.K. had 14,966,600, and Tu-Ka Group came in fourth at 3,556,700.
In a country where nearly 70 percent of the population is said to own at least one keitai, technological advances become critical not only in supplying user demand for enhanced content, but also in creating market demand for new hardware so as to maintain healthy keitai product cycles. The strategy appears to be successful: according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), Japanese mobile phone shipments in June 2005 were up 105.8 percent over June 2004, at 4,289,000 units. Of those June 2005 shipments, 3,003,000 keitai were 3G (third generation) units. By 2007, JEITA estimates that 77 percent of overall keitai subscriptions will be 3G units.
Todays keitai applications can be roughly divided into e-mail and voice communications, Web-browsing functionalities, downloadable content, news alerts and updates, advertising and promotions, GPS navigation and e-wallet functionalities.