Stories by Joe Ashbrook Nickell and Michele Yamada

A roving 'i'

On every street corner and underground rail platform in Tokyo, people can be seen peering and prodding at tiny mobile phones. They are connected to the Web through a service called i-Mode. Everyone from teenagers to grandparents uses the phones, occasionally to send e-mail or read news, but mostly to entertain themselves with such offerings as cartoons and astrology. The creator of i-Mode, NTT DoCoMo Inc., now wants to conquer the world by making its service just as popular on the streets of Europe and America.