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Portland, OR, 97209


The silent cell phone

James Kellerman

Everyone in Japan has a cell phone, and most often they are in peoples hands, but so far I have yet to hear one ring and seen very few people talking on them. Most people appear to be typing/reading on their cell phones. The form factors are generally different as well. In a land know for its miniaturization of technology, they are huge by the standards of the west. You don't see many razr sized phones, just flips with huge screens and a multitude of opaquely labeled buttons. In the UK there has been a debate about extending cell phone coverage into the underground, the principal concern being its very annoying hearing everyone shouting, " I am in the tube". On my 90 minute ride from Narita airport, not one cell phone rang and I am pretty sure no one used it for voice comms. This despite the fact that about 50% of the people on the carriage had their phones open and in their hands.