We ♥ web applications!
At mobalean we love to build innovative web services for Japan and the world. Our experience will help transform your ideas into successful online services.
Mobalean is lead by Henri Servomaa, the original founder and mobile developer. At Mobalean we strive to develop services which are loved by our clients and users. By working in an agile manner, quickly adapting to changing requirements, we can deliver quickly and often.
Hailing from Finland, Henri has a long history with computers and the internet. With a background in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, he has worked in Japan as Software Developer and System Admin since 2001. In 2005, he joined a company to develop mobile sites for the Japanese market and has been involved in mobile ever since.
Cleve Lendon is a Canadian engineer who has been contracting for Mobalean. He came to Tokyo in 1994, and has lived here ever since. He has broad experience as a software developer, which includes development of mainframe software, Internet applications and mobile apps (Android and iOS). He is especially skilled at writing Java applications (vd. Simredo 4, Grafikilo 15). When not programming, Cleve enjoys improv acting and studying languages, such as Latin and Esperanto.
Our strength is crafting web services for both Japanese and international markets. We bring our technical and cultural experience to help you adapt your ideas into successful products.
We develop with Ruby on Rails and use the best agile practices and tools, such as test driven development and continuous integration to achieve quality.
We are the leading provider of technical expertise about the Japanese mobile web. Mobalean started when the smartphones were just appearing on the market. Our Keitai Web Technology Guide is a quick starting point for learning about the initial challenges of Japanese mobile development. Although the technology stacks have changed since the proliferation of iOS and Android, some of the idiosyncrasies remain. Most notably, the Japanese market is still very much dominated by the big three carriers: DoCoMo, au and Softbank. Developers can find more technical details in our Keitai-Dev Wiki.
Please contact us with your specific requirements.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you prefer to call us, feel free to do so under +81 (0)70-6251-7245
For users of Skype, please call mobalean
In the past, a mobile site had to be built using carrier-specific markup to properly function for that carrier. However, now it is possible to use XHTML to build a cross-carrier site, as all Japanese 3G handsets support some form of it . Unfortunately, it is not the same dialect of XHTML: Docomo use i-mode xhtml (based on XHTML mobile profile), au uses XHTML basic, and SoftBank uses XHTML Mobile Profile 1.2. Nevertheless, although there are some differences between these versions, they all share a common base, making it possible to make a site that will function more or less the same across all carriers.
Given that not all handsets support XHTML, if you were to build a mobile site using XHTML, what percentage of handsets would it support? I've scoured the web for the answer to this question, but haven't been able to directly find the answer anywhere. However, as the number of handsets subscribing to 3G vs 2G plans are available, if we assume a handset supports XHTML if and only if it is 3G, we can use these numbers to find the answer.
||Percentage of phones that are 3g|
In total, over 95% of Japanese handsets natively support some form of XHTML. Almost all au handsets support XHTML natively and furthermore the au gateway handles conversion of XHTML to HDML (the markup that older au handsets used). As SoftBank will discontinue its 2G service on March 31, 2010, current subscribers will need to migrate to the 3G service (and handsets that support XHTML). Finally, although Docomo has, relative to the other carriers, a large number of handsets that are not XHTML compatible, Docomo claims that i-mode HTML (which older Docomo handsets use), and i-mode XHTML is mostly compatible. Therefore, I would suggest that if you are building a site for the Japanese market, you do so using XHTML.
 Although many Japanese web sites say this is the case, it does not appear to be technically true. According to Docomo, handsets from the FOMA 2051V, 2002, and 2001series do not support XHTML. However, we can assume these handsets are few enough to make this generalization.