At first glance, Japanese cellphones are a gadget lover’s dream: ready for Internet and e-mail, they double as credit cards, boarding passes and even body-fat calculators.
But it is hard to find anyone in Chicago or London using a Japanese phone like a Panasonic, a Sharp or an NEC. ...
The Japanese have a name for their problem: Galápagos syndrome.
Japan’s cellphones are like the endemic species that Darwin encountered on the Galápagos Islands — fantastically evolved and divergent from their mainland cousins — explains Takeshi Natsuno, who teaches at Tokyo’s Keio University.
--Hiroko Tabuchi, NYT, on evolutionary forces in cellphones