Softbank says iPhone 3G to start at $215, plans at $68

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Comments

  • umijinumijin Posts: 133member
    First - C'mon you guys. Give the prices in yen - you know the currency that the iPhone will be sold in here in Japan. Prices in dollars are meaningless, as the currency keeps fluctuating and nobody here will be paying in dollars.



    Second, Apple should discourage Softbank employees from hoarding phones for themselves if demand is actually so high. What a piss-poor PR move.



    Third, I don't think we can guarantee a high adoption rate just yet. Except for Mac otaku (nerds), the general public is not as thrilled by the carrier (SoftBank) or the iPhone in general. The monthly cost for service is rather outrageous, compared to what many folks currently have. My wife and I get by with ~¥5300 per month for both of our phones with a family plan from AU. At ¥7000+, this contract is a budget breaker for many. The unlimited data part is nice (if it's actually true), but still quite high.
  • modzmodz Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by umijin View Post


    First - C'mon you guys. Give the prices in yen - you know the currency that the iPhone will be sold in here in Japan. Prices in dollars are meaningless, as the currency keeps fluctuating and nobody here will be paying in dollars.



    Second, Apple should discourage Softbank employees from hoarding phones for themselves if demand is actually so high. What a piss-poor PR move.



    Third, I don't think we can guarantee a high adoption rate just yet. Except for Mac otaku (nerds), the general public is not as thrilled by the carrier (SoftBank) or the iPhone in general. The monthly cost for service is rather outrageous, compared to what many folks currently have. My wife and I get by with ~¥5300 per month for both of our phones with a family plan from AU. At ¥7000+, this contract is a budget breaker for many. The unlimited data part is nice (if it's actually true), but still quite high.



    iPhone 8GB is ¥23000. They mentioned the White Plan (¥980 - free calls to any Softbank phone etc) and ¥6000 unlimited data plan - that's 40% cheaper than their current data plans. I don't know of any DoCoMo plans that are cheaper but I've never even looked at AU. Do they have cheaper plans?



    I have an eMobile 3G USB modem for my iBook - unlimited data/7.2Mbs speeds for ¥5000 - that's cheaper but Softbank's is still slightly less than I thought they'd charge. I think they'll fly out the door at these prices.



    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...6_FORTUNE5.htm



    There's no guarantees of anything but with some marketing, they'd have to expect it to be reasonably popular. Softbank is already the fastest growing of the Big Three carriers, they'd be looking for iPhone to add to that momentum.
  • umijinumijin Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by modz View Post


    iPhone 8GB is ¥23000. They mentioned the White Plan (¥980 - free calls to any Softbank phone etc) and ¥6000 unlimited data plan - that's 40% cheaper than their current data plans. I don't know of any DoCoMo plans that are cheaper but I've never even looked at AU. Do they have cheaper plans?



    I have an eMobile 3G USB modem for my iBook - unlimited data/7.2Mbs speeds for ¥5000 - that's cheaper but Softbank's is still slightly less than I thought they'd charge. I think they'll fly out the door at these prices.



    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...6_FORTUNE5.htm



    There's no guarantees of anything but with some marketing, they'd have to expect it to be reasonably popular. Softbank is already the fastest growing of the Big Three carriers, they'd be looking for iPhone to add to that momentum.



    1. Thanks - I got the yen prices from another site. Apple Insider should get with the program and stop being so US centric.



    2. I don't know unlimited data plans from other providers. Most current keitai users in Japan don't have unlimited plans - they deal with per use packet charges. The iPhone is a moblie phone (not computer or 3g modem), so we should compare phone contracts. A typical phone user would balk at these costs, though I see your point.



    3. SoftBank is the fastest growing b/c they have the most to gain. They are a desperate company that was on the verge of collapsing a couple years ago before SoftBank acquired the mobile phone busines from VodaPhone. They offer attractive incentives to switchers and first time users. But my colleagues tell me it ain't so great monthly. Given their infrastructure is way behind the big 2 in many places here - this might be a huge issue for an influx of many iPhone users. If you remember, when SoftBank started its huge sign-up campaign a couple years ago, their signup system couldn't handle the influx and crashed. People had to way a few days to get their accounts set up and phones activated - unbelievable here in Japan.



    I'm happy if the iPhone does well here and SoftBank gets its act together to provide decent service. But for widespread adoptions across Japan, where the cell phones are superior to 99% of what's available in the US - I would be surprised. And despite what people are saying about the improved iPhone 2.0 text input system, the touch screen system really isn't that wonderful for quick entries. Try typing a response to an email with your iPhone/iPod Touch and see why.
  • umijinumijin Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post


    Sorry, this is just plain wrong. Having typed Japanese on the iPhone, it is a great experience that works well. Plus, Apple is adding an additional input method with the 2.0 software that is said to be even faster than the standard phonetic methods.



    Two problems:



    1- It's not what people are used to here and that really counts for something. You know that if you live in Japan. Or you should.



    2- You just can't type as accurately/quickly with the touch pad as on a tactile phone keypad. I wish it weren't so - but it is.
  • sennensennen Posts: 1,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by umijin View Post


    1- It's not what people are used to here and that really counts for something.



    That's very true. Japanese thumb-speed on keypads is quite amazing. Although a previous poster's anecdotal evidence of Japanese iPhone users in the US shouldn't be ignored either.



    I think it will be interesting to see if the iPhone - with touchscreen and fewer built-in features - will be able to break through from being just a fad to being a big seller in Japan. I'm not going to make any all-knowing statements on that - as I said, it will be interesting to see how it pans out.



    As far as softbank goes, the plan for the iPhone sounds fairly attractive.... I haven't had to worry about it so much, but a friend of mine was also on softbank and was continually frustrated by additional items outside of the plan bumping up his bill every month to much more than Y6k.
  • modzmodz Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    That's very true. Japanese thumb-speed on keypads is quite amazing. Although a previous poster's anecdotal evidence of Japanese iPhone users in the US shouldn't be ignored either.



    Actually - I have to say - *I'M* looking forward to QWERTY input 'cause thumbing english on the Jap phone keypads is dire for me but the times I've switched to Hiragana/Katakana, messaging has been faster. So maybe Japanese may not be so enamoured. We'll see with vers 2.0 software how much it improves. Certainly I've played with the iPod touch enough times to be personally satisfied with the touch screen input.
  • cjlaczcjlacz Posts: 27member
    @cameronj - few phones (under 5-10%) in Japan have T9 input. I had to look hard for one that supported it, but it has been a lifesaver as far as english input. It was worth the effort to find one I liked.



    @RealityCheck - that input method really isn't anything new. It's new to the iPhone yes, but not new to Japan at all. Everyone types on their phones that way. It does have an issue that you press the same key several times to get to the character you want. Fast with a button, but if you have to lift your finger all the way it might be slower on the iPhone. The older beeper input method (almost like coordinate input) might be better suited.



    The standard phonetic method doesn't exist here at all and I'd almost like to see T9 input done on the iPhone. Even though some phones here have it, the implementation isn't great.



    I'm guessing umijin is probably right. Unless Apple manages to tweak their multitouch input, and I do believe it's possible, input is likely to be slower then a keypad. Japanese may be awkward in some ways, but it's surprising well suited to input from a keypad.



    What will really make or break the iPhone will be the software and games available for it and that won't be available right away. People tend to use their phone a lot more here then in the US so battery life is going to be important, especially with music and video functions in the phone. Other things I don't care much about, like the camera, are big things to a lot of users here too.
  • needanewmacneedanewmac Posts: 37member
    Been following this thread, looks like everyone is right. The iPhone will probably not sell to the younger Japanese because they can type as fast with their thumbs as I do on a computer (35 to 40 WPM) so the iPhone is not made for thumb typing speed. The plus point is the iPhone could become a fad. Also, for business people a connection to the new MobileMe could enable them to have access to all important data. So plus points are 1. Trendy fad. 2. Access Data. Minus points are 1. iPhone is not fast for thumb typing. Last but not least Softbanks plan for the iPhone is 2. Too Expensive.



    It just started to sell here so it is all unknown.



    Apple should not overlook the business man in Japan, they could be marketing targets, however they do have a price problem. Have to give it 6 months are so before we really know if the iPhone will sell in Japan or not. For me personally it is a waste of cash, present phone is cheap, however wish I had it, do not really need it though. I also live in the countryside and Softbanks coverage here is non existent, forced to use DoCoMo. If you drive from one end of Japan to the other you will find less dead spots with DoCoMo, other carriers cannot cut it in that regard. The above is just my opinion.



    Forgot one thing, Softbank is the No. 3 carrier in Japan, large sale of the iPhone maybe impossible within Japan.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,776member
    I am glad that the iPhone is being released in Japan. And, I hope it does well there.



    But frankly, I don't think iPhone's fortunes depend much on whether Japanese consumers like it or not - just as a declining Japan market for Macs have not mattered a whit to Apple's resurgence both as a technology leader and as a stock. The same will be true of iPhones.
  • winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by umijin View Post


    First - C'mon you guys. Give the prices in yen - you know the currency that the iPhone will be sold in here in Japan. Prices in dollars are meaningless, as the currency keeps fluctuating and nobody here will be paying in dollars.



    Second, Apple should discourage Softbank employees from hoarding phones for themselves if demand is actually so high. What a piss-poor PR move.



    Third, I don't think we can guarantee a high adoption rate just yet. Except for Mac otaku (nerds), the general public is not as thrilled by the carrier (SoftBank) or the iPhone in general. The monthly cost for service is rather outrageous, compared to what many folks currently have. My wife and I get by with ~¥5300 per month for both of our phones with a family plan from AU. At ¥7000+, this contract is a budget breaker for many. The unlimited data part is nice (if it's actually true), but still quite high.



    Exactly, It drives me nuts when people directly convert "foreign" currencies to US Dollars (or any other currency) to decide who is getting a "better" deal. Obviously, they do not understand the intrinsic problem with doing so. Is there not a legitimate way of comparing prices that actually takes into account relative costs of goods, mean income per capita, and other economic indicators? Are we non-economists stuck with the Big Mac Index or whatever it is called? lol
  • needanewmacneedanewmac Posts: 37member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by winterspan View Post


    Exactly, It drives me nuts when people directly convert "foreign" currencies to US Dollars (or any other currency) to decide who is getting a "better" deal. Obviously, they do not understand the intrinsic problem with doing so. Is there not a legitimate way of comparing prices that actually takes into account relative costs of goods, mean income per capita, and other economic indicators? Are we non-economists stuck with the Big Mac Index or whatever it is called? lol



    Agreed, it's usually USA People living in the USA that request the conversion and nobody else.

    Not putting down my countrymen or anything, but that's usually the way it is. It's stupid to convert in some respects, however if the yen is super strong against the dollar there is always that chance that Apple products may become cheaper here in Japan, of course I've never seen it actually happen, it's always expensive here for an Apple product.
  • dpukyledpukyle Posts: 1member
    All discussions about user interface aside, I am really worried about the iPhone 3G's battery life in Japan.



    Apple is claiming up to 5 hours talk time on 3G and 300 hours standby. They also claim up to 10 hours talk time on 2G.



    But here's the problem... there is no 2G in Japan. Or should I say, in Japan 2G does not equate to GSM, which is the iPhone 3G's low power mode.



    So this means that the phone will only run on 3G while in Japan. Based on two coworkers who have windows mobile phones, this can be a major battery drain. With activestink enabled, my coworkers' SoftBank X02HT lasts only 3 hours until it is completely dead. When my boss visits from Australia, his HTC TYTN also dies within 3 hours. When in Australia, it lasts a few days without recharging.



    I really am looking forward to buying an iPhone, but this makes me think twice. Am I being overly paranoid about this?
  • winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DPUkyle View Post


    All discussions about user interface aside, I am really worried about the iPhone 3G's battery life in Japan.



    Apple is claiming up to 5 hours talk time on 3G and 300 hours standby. They also claim up to 10 hours talk time on 2G.



    But here's the problem... there is no 2G in Japan. Or should I say, in Japan 2G does not equate to GSM, which is the iPhone 3G's low power mode.



    So this means that the phone will only run on 3G while in Japan. Based on two coworkers who have windows mobile phones, this can be a major battery drain. With activestink enabled, my coworkers' SoftBank X02HT lasts only 3 hours until it is completely dead. When my boss visits from Australia, his HTC TYTN also dies within 3 hours. When in Australia, it lasts a few days without recharging.



    I really am looking forward to buying an iPhone, but this makes me think twice. Am I being overly paranoid about this?



    Many 3G phones have really terrible battery life, consistent with your anecdotal reports, but I think the iPhone will be much better. Heck, if it can really get 5 hours of UMTS talktime and/or data, that would be really good. Unfortunately, a dramatic reduction in power consumption of HSPA chips probably won't happen for another 2-3 years. I'm also unsure of whether LTE/HSOPA cellphones will get better or worse batter life than UMTS/HSPA phones..
  • sennensennen Posts: 1,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DPUkyle View Post


    Based on two coworkers who have windows mobile phones, this can be a major battery drain. With activestink enabled, my coworkers' SoftBank X02HT lasts only 3 hours until it is completely dead. When my boss visits from Australia, his HTC TYTN also dies within 3 hours. When in Australia, it lasts a few days without recharging.



    I really am looking forward to buying an iPhone, but this makes me think twice. Am I being overly paranoid about this?



    if it is already such a problem with existing phones, why would it be perceived as any more of an issue with the iPhone?
  • badmigrainebadmigraine Posts: 2member
    I don't need the 6000 yen/mo. data plan at all. Is there anything special about Softbank's iPhone that would prevent me from getting an unlocked 3G iPhone elsewhere, then just inserting my current Softbank SIM card?



    Does the Softbank 3G iPhone have some special firmware for Japanese input that is different from just selecting Japanese as the system language on any other iPhone/iPod Touch? If not, then it doesn't matter where the handset comes from. All existing Japanese input/language options should be there.



    A simpler option would be to sign up for the Softbank iPhone, then just cancel the contract and continue to use the handset with my existing Softbank SIM card. The cancellation fee should be close to the unsubsidized handset price. That's got to be less than the 175,000 yen (24 mo. x monthly data+handset fees) that you'd pay over the 2-year contract, even without having made a single phone call.
  • samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    When you cancel your softbank contract, they ask you to return the SIM card.



    Also, you won't get the special pricing for the 6000 yen data plan. You are going to pay 10000 yen for the regular price data plan.
  • badmigrainebadmigraine Posts: 2member
    I already have a live Softbank SIM card that I would transfer to the iPhone after returning the iPhone SIM. I wouldn't sign up for any data plan. The curret SIM card's cheaparse White Plan is enough for my 2-3 calls per month and maybe 4-5 short texts.



    I'm blessed with WiFi and landlines, 24/7. I want the handset, I don't need the service except for emergencies or receiving calls (free in Japan).
  • winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by badmigraine View Post


    I already have a live Softbank SIM card that I would transfer to the iPhone after returning the iPhone SIM. I wouldn't sign up for any data plan. The curret SIM card's cheaparse White Plan is enough for my 2-3 calls per month and maybe 4-5 short texts.



    I'm blessed with WiFi and landlines, 24/7. I want the handset, I don't need the service except for emergencies or receiving calls (free in Japan).



    It's *very* unlikely that there would be much of ANY difference to the iPhones provided in different countries, other than related to the baseband for locking to certain networks. All the higher-level OS and application stuff, including language input, should be common among all devices. There is no reason for it to be otherwise, and would only add complexity and hassle for distribution...
  • stevemcgee99stevemcgee99 Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post


    Sorry, this is just plain wrong. Having typed Japanese on the iPhone, it is a great experience that works well. Plus, Apple is adding an additional input method with the 2.0 software that is said to be even faster than the standard phonetic methods.







    THAT is the layout I prefer for Japanese. It's very fast. I hope it has intelligent kanji/word completion like other phones.



    My question is, if I plan to leave Japan before my 2-years is up, what will I face when trying to switch from Softbank to AT&T?
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