Experimenting with form factors
T-Mobile are launching a new handset blatantly designed to blur the line between phone and music player. How good a job it'll do isn't clear, particularly given the fairly measly on-board storage, but it reminds me of what I saw when I went out Japan in August 2000: a massive variety of form factors for mobile devices, seemingly targeted at loads of niches.
At the time, the Japanese operators seemed much more inclined than their European counterparts to experiment with form factors: maybe we're starting to see that attitude drift towards Europe?
On a related note, I *really* need to get out to Japan again.