While not directly browser-related, this news is Japan and Unicode-related, so is tangentially interesting.
Markus Scherer, Mark Davis, Kat Momoi, Darick Tong (Google Inc.) and Yasuo Kida, Peter Edberg (Apple Inc.) are proposing to add 674 characters to the Unicode standard in order to support emoji in Unicode.
As of December 2008, there are 110.4 million cell phone users in Japan (about 87% of the population), and about 90.6% of the cell phones are 3G-enabled for internet use. Emoji are widely used, especially by people under 30. However, a June 2007 survey of 13,000 users — 80% of whom were 30 or older — found that even among this older group, 78% “often” or “sometimes” used Emoji in emails. Respondents reported using a wide variety of Emoji, including Emoji for faces, emotions, weather, vehicles and buildings, food and drink, animals, etc. Especially among younger users, email is mostly or exclusively used on cell phones instead of computers. Among cell phone users, 90% use email primarily on cell phones, and 60% use email exclusively on cell phones. Emoji have been used on Japanese cell phones for 10 years, and there is no evidence that use of Emoji is decreasing.
I know this data to be true and yet it’s still a stunning fact: 60% of cell phone users in Japan use email EXCLUSIVELY on cell phones and 90% of cell phone users in Japan use email PRIMARILY on cell phones. This is a stunning fact, and the key is that mobile carriers in Japan do not support SMS. Mobile phone messaging in Japan is email.
It’s interesting to see Google and Apple cooperating here as both Google and Apple have a need with the iPhone and the Android device that’s planned to be launched by NTT DoCoMo this year for emoji support.
via What Japan Thinks.