Phone-wise, we're always going to be the Flintstones to the Japanese's Jetsons. Their mobiles are already providing all the services - email, social networking, sat nav, paying for stuff - that people in the UK find too complicated to set up.
But maybe the gap is closing - consumer trend analyst Future Foundation expects that by year-end, half the population will be using their mobile phones for banking transactions.
"2009 is going to be the year when we see consumers 'switching on' mobile banking in a big way," says Alastair Lukies, CEO of mobile banking specialist Monilink. ‘In the future, it's likely that you will be able to pay for something with your phone in much the same way as you use a debit or credit card today,"
Recently published numbers show mobile banking is going to reach 75% mass penetration by 2020, a much faster rate than internet banking, ATMs and credit cards.
HSBC, Natwest, RBS, First Direct, Lloyds TSB, Alliance & Leicester all offer mobile banking services, and Monilink have already begun discussions with APACS with a view to creating a standardised regulatory framework.
Of course, compared to Japanese techies who already do all this and on phones about half the size of the iPhone, we're but wee woolly mammoths.