Since the introduction of the au Design Project mobile phones into the market, more attention has begun to be paid to design issues. The release of the iPhone in the USA and Europe during fiscal 2007 has added further stimulation to the design debate. Also in terms of function, NTT DoCoMo introduced the 2in1 service, which allows flexible exchange of persona, further highlighting the need for consideration of design of everything, right through to software. Competition between products and services in the market generally moves toward maturation with the focal point shifting from quality to technology, then to function, and finally to design. Historically, mobile phones appear to be following a similar pattern, and it is thought that the market has matured into the final stage. At the same time, there are issues that have not yet been sufficiently considered amid market competition, such as mobile phones' role as a form of media, or universal design that will contribute to the making of a better communications tool. There is certainly room for further consideration of the shape of the media, which has possibly become buried in the competitive environment.
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