Even if I-mode is "faster than WAP", does this really matter? Does associating I-mode with WAP generate any sort of resonance with customers? Are the public at large sitting at home desperately wishing that WAP were faster? I think not.
Coincidentally, yesterday I paid a visit to some chums in Slough and saw I-mode for the first time, and it looks very interesting. I can't put my finger on why - the whole just seems like more than the sum of it's parts. And they've managed to get a decent-looking handset out of NEC, which is massively impressive too.
I'm NDAd so can't talk about one of the aspects of it that really got me excited, but the I-Mail product - which I believe will let content providers message I-mode customers using email and avoiding per-message charges - knocks aside one of the fundamental assumptions us mobile folks make when we're thinking of services and opens up a whole raft of opportunities.
Even if I-mode itself doesn't generate massive subscriber levels, it might push the rest of the UK mobile industry in the right direction.