Originally posted by Ireland"McHuman" Where did you hear about that thing? I hope it has an influence on apple's final iPhone design!
LOL...there are numerous flaws with that one, just looking at its buttons, for example. In case anybody's still worried, I have confirmation from Japan that Softbank will be supporting an iPod-containing phone. Basically, Vodafone would be the service provider and Apple will develop the phone itself (that's how it works with Sony, Toshiba, etc).
The only problem to this is that AU has a much better marketing, appeal, target class, and all that. Vodafone is featuritis, at least in the way they advertise themselves. Various providers already have music-centered or more-than-music-capable phones. AU, for example, has probably a few of these, and they have appealing service packages. An Apple phone, no matter how good it looks or feels, no matter with the iPod, even if it were the best thing since cellphones themselves, would face stiff competition, especially from the distinctly more Apple-like (in terms of high-class) reputation of AU. Cell phones in Japan come in all sorts of forms, and some of them are actually quite easy to use (more importantly, people are already used to their own phones' difficulty, so ease of use is not so significant). An Apple phone with music will necessarily need camera functionality (nobody buys a phone without a camera unless you want a phone that works ONLY as a phone), which will in turn require a memory card slot. Standard settings and phone operating software will need to be redone in an Apple way and yet not be too dissimilar to what's out there because people will find it hard to use if, say, ring tones are not found under settings.
Apple is definitely partnering up with Softbank for this. The problem I see is that even in Japan where everybody needs cell phones, it's simply not likely to make much more than a small ripple. If they'd gone with AU (or if AU had started working on hi-speed Internet), then there would be a significantly better chance.