Japan's Net users soon to break 100 million barrier

The number of Internet users in Japan is expected to rise to 104 million in 2005 from 39.8 million last year, due mainly to a rapid growth in mobile phone usage, according to IDC Japan. That number would represent more than 80 per cent of the estimated total population that year, compared with a ratio of 31 per cent in 2000.

The number of Web-use accounts comprising overlapping accounts -- which might occur when a single user accesses the Web at home, at work and by mobile phone -- reached 66.30 million in 2000.

Of that total, the number of users accessing the Internet at home via personal computers topped 24.1 million, followed by 23.4 million using mobile devices such as the popular i-mode phones provided by NTT DoCoMo Inc.

IDC forecasts the total number of Internet accounts will grow 28.5 per cent annually to top 230 million in 2005, with the number of accounts held through mobile devices surpassing those from home by 86.3 million to 93 million.

IDC also expects the number of online shoppers to grow to 92 million in 2005 from 19 million in 2000. Excluding overlaps, the figure in 2005 will be 41 million, representing 32 per cent of the total populations.

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