Rakuten, the increasingly diversifying Japanese e-commerce giant, is looking to establish its own independent mobile network. The company intends to apply for part of the 1.7GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum rights in Japan when the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications opens applications for those frequencies early next year. Presently, Rakuten operates an MVNO using leased capacity from market leader NTT Docomo. Alongside second and third-place carriers au and SoftBank, the three companies effectively hold control of the Japanese mobile network. Read More
It's a little difficult to find quality Bluetooth headphones in the sub-$100 range, but Jabra's Move Wireless headphones have always been a good bet. For Black Friday, their price has been slashed to just half of theirMSRP at just $49.99. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better pair of wireless headphones for that price. Read More
Having a single WiFi access point in your home is so 2015. You can step into the modern era of WiFi with a mesh router today at a sizable discount. Rakuten has Google Wifi 3-packs on sale for $239.99. That's $50 off the usual price. Read More
Google is slowly but surely expanding its Android Pay platform to more territories. Today Japan gets access - if you're in the country you should be able to download the app from the Play Store for the first time on Android 4.4 or later. Google's retail partners in Japan include McDonalds, Dominoes, Lawson, Mini-Stop, Apita, Family Mart, and Coca-Cola vending machines, along with a handful of Japan-exclusive retailers. Read More
Android Pay made its first Asian appearance in Singapore back in late-June. A couple months later, in August, rumors began circulating that Google was in negotiations with numerous financial companies to prepare for a launch in Japan. Names of the likely partners included: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, East Japan Railway Company, Rakuten, NTT Docomo, and JCB, to name a few. Since then, details have been sparse; but with evidence discovered in the latest update to Android Pay, it's now clear that a deal has been struck with Rakuten. Read More
The LG Watch Urbane is easily one of the most premium Android Wear devices around, as the accessory started out at $349.99 for the cheapest model back when it first launched. Fortunately, you don't have to pay nearly that much right now.
Over on Rakuten, you can get the silver version with a black band for only $199.99.
This number comes following a price drop to $224.99. To get it down to the aforementioned rate, there's also a $25 instant coupon that shows up when you go to checkout. This is the lowest price we've seen the LG Watch Urbane hit yet. Read More
Even if large swathes of people are able to get by just fine with 16 or 32GB of internal storage, I know there are more than a few reading this site who simply find that limitation unbearable. I understand. If my smartphone has all the power and functionality of a mini-computer, why can't it have the storage of one as well? For this reason, many people hold on tightly to devices with microSD card slots, and for them, there occasionally comes a deal like this one. 128GB SanDisk Ultra microSD class 10 cards typically cost upwards of $100. Today shoppers can pick one up from Rakuten.com for just $78.99. Read More
If you're a frequent online shopper, Slice is the ultimate tool you can install on your Android (and iOS) device. By crawling through your email inbox, Slice grabs all the details of your purchases, tracks shipments and your spendings, organizes everything into categories, deduces your shopper profile, and even monitors items for later rebates and recalls. The app has been available for over two years and has made enough of a splash that it just got acquired by Japanese online retailer Rakuten for an undisclosed amount.
Rakuten is often referred to by western media as "the Amazon of Japan." That description seems more and more apt given some of the mega-retailer's recent purchases, including Canadian e-reader company Kobo. Yesterday Rakuten announced that it had purchased Viber, an up-and coming voice-over-IP company with apps on Android, iOS, and Windows, among others, for a whopping $900 million.
Viber is primarily a Skype competitor, though it also offers text and picture messaging, group chat, and cross-communication between mobile and desktop operating systems. Indeed, the company's dedication to being available on as many platforms and in as many locations as possible seems to have been a major plus - according to TechCrunch, the service has 225 million registered users. Read More