Cuttings: ガラケー Garakei Evolution ガラケー Garakei Evolution | Cuttings

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November 29, 2013

ガラケー Garakei Evolution

On the Galápagos keitai.




  • Translation: “Galapagos keitai”
  • Reading: ガラケー (Garakei)

From 語源由来辞典:



ガラケー (Garakei) refers to the mobile phones that have evolved sui generis in the Japanese market.

Garakei is a contraction for ‘Galápagos keitai’.

The Galápagos Islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean, 900 km west of Ecuador, and are unconnected to other islands. Due to such isolation, Galapagos’ inhabitants underwent a singular evolutionary path, and Galapagos’ is thus famed for its wide variety of flora and fauna.

Like the creatures of Galápagos, Japanese phones have undergone a characteristically individual evolution; its technologies that deviate from international standards are said to be afflicted by ‘Galápagos syndrome’.

Japanese phones are multipurpose (1seg, ringtones, calltones, infrared data, electronic money, et cetera) but as they have evolved separately from global standards, they are taken as ‘Galápagos syndrome mobile phones’; the name garakei comes from this.


Note: Read more about Galápagos syndrome.


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