I am not sure about you, but now that it is getting colder outside here in the Philadelphia area – the first thing I do in the morning is check the weather. I was recently searching the net and found an interesting trend emerging on the other side of the world in Japan. According to research by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), about 20 percent of Japanese check forecasts on their new or refurbished smartphones. The thing is the people of Japan are not only looking up the weather, but they are now voting on it. Several weather services are competing via the official portals of cell- phone companies: DoCoMo’s i-mode iMenu, KDDI au’s EZweb and SoftBank Mobile’s Yahoo! Keitai. All of those services, provide basic information, such as today and tomorrow’s weather predictions, but the majority of the sites mentioned have a pay-for-service as well.
The most popular of the weather services used by cell phone users is the – DoCoMo’s i-mode iMenu. They rank the weather reports from all services based on votes by its users. The service provides rankings of 13 weather services from least to most popular. The highest ranked site as of now is WeatherNews (wni.jp) which has over 1.6 million paying subscribers. According to Japan Times this is number is higher than the amount of people who currently use Facebook in Japan and Facebook is free.
I am curious to see whether or not services like these will be come popular in the US? I generally use Weather.com for my weather info but it would be interesting to see a line up of different weather sources and their forecasts.