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Apple in iPhone talks with two of Japans largest carriers

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple Inc. this month is moving on plans to launch the iPhone across parts of Asia next year, recently meeting with executives from two of Japan's premier mobile wireless carriers, sources are telling both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.

People familiar with the matter told the Journal that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs recently met with NTT DoCoMo's president, Masao Nakamura, to discuss a deal to offer the touch-screen phone and internet device through the top Japanese carrier.

Those same people said Apple has also been talking to No. 3 operator Softbank Corp. and executives from both companies have made multiple trips to Apple's Cupertino, Calif.-based headquarters.

Spokespeople for Apple, DoCoMo and Softbank all reportedly declined to comment on the talks.

For Apple, moving into Japan -- the world's second-largest economy -- is compelling not only because of its strong base of iPod fans, but also because of its nearly 100 million mobile-phone users who buy new phones every two years on average, the Journal said.

"Japanese consumers are also already used to shelling out hundreds of dollars for expensive phones with advanced capabilities such as digital television, camera and music."

While Softbank is reportedly expressing divine interest in partnering with Apple, it's reported that DoCoMo is likely to be the iPhone maker's first choice as a partner because of the strong preference it has shown so far for signing agreements with top mobile operators.

While discussions with both carriers remain active, neither has taken lightly to Apple's demand that it receive approximately 10 percent of iPhone service revenues, Reuters said, citing its own sources.

"If it can't reach a deal with DoCoMo, Apple may turn to Softbank, which has been making an aggressive push to take customers away from its larger rivals," the Journal added. "A person familiar with the situation said Apple doesn't expect to have any difficulty concluding a deal with a Japanese operator."

The same cannot yet be said for Apple's efforts to secure a deal in China, where it also hopes to launch iPhone sometime next year. Multiple reports last month suggested that talks between the company and China's two most popular wireless carriers -- China Mobile and China Unicom -- had so far failed as a result of similar revenue sharing disputes.
post #2 of 37
I was hoping for AU, so on this news I guess I'll be out of luck unless I move networks (which I don't want to).

Maybe they'll do an unlocked one for a reasonable price. And maybe it'll have 32gb of storage. Hey It's Christmas time, I can wish...
post #3 of 37
I'm currently living in Japan. I use NTT Docomo. All telecommunications in Japan are expensive compared to America. I spend at least $100 USD per month for basic calling and email on my phone.

Softbank plays a nasty game to get new customers. They charge upwards of $500 to $600 USD for their phones, and nicely split that new phone cost over the next 24 months on your bill. Then they offer low-cost plans. In the end, it equals out almost with NTT.

Japan's cell networks are much different than others. We have actual email on our phones from the cell provider. Because of how bad the pricing is, I could imagine the data charges being nasty and not unlimited. Also, voicemail isn't a standard feature (at least for docomo). I'd have to pay extra just to get voicemail before possibly having visual voicemail. I'd love an iPhone, but I'm not sure how it will fit into Japan.
post #4 of 37
Anyone think the iPhone will sell well in Japan? They've already got the fastest networks and full-featured phones that easily outdo the the iPhone in number of features including built-in TV tuners. Unless the iPhone is considered so fad or prestige item, I can't see it selling all that well. I know the user interface is probably much better than what is offered on handsets in Japan, but will that be enough? The Japanese love texting and I'm guessing that the virtual keyboard won't satisfy the Japanese at all.

So what's your take on future sales?
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Anyone think the iPhone will sell well in Japan? They've already got the fastest networks and full-featured phones that easily outdo the the iPhone in number of features including built-in TV tuners. Unless the iPhone is considered so fad or prestige item, I can't see it selling all that well. I know the user interface is probably much better than what is offered on handsets in Japan, but will that be enough? The Japanese love texting and I'm guessing that the virtual keyboard won't satisfy the Japanese at all.

So what's your take on future sales?

Have patience grasshopper. we shall all have to wait and see
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post #6 of 37
Yeah, I live in Tokyo too and use Au. I thought it was funny that visual voicemail was so revolutionary for iPhone. I've had that for years, BUT, I can only have 3 voicemail messages! It's not a problem for me as I hardly ever talk on my phone.

I'd like to see the iPhone come to Japan, but would enough of the features and services be in English? Yeah my 3G Sony Ericsson phone might have a ton of awesome features, but they are ALL in Japanese save for the ability to send e-mail and browse the Internet.

So unless the maps features and all that other stuff has an English UI, the iPhone will be just like all the other phones in Japan, super useful, but only if you can read Japanese.

Save for a few models the past year, no phones here have QWERTY keyboards. Everyone hits the same 9 buttons multiple times to enter text. It's easier in Japanese than in English. So even the iPhone's weak touch keyboard would probably be an improvement, at least for English input.
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post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Anyone think the iPhone will sell well in Japan? They've already got the fastest networks and full-featured phones that easily outdo the the iPhone in number of features including built-in TV tuners. Unless the iPhone is considered so fad or prestige item, I can't see it selling all that well. I know the user interface is probably much better than what is offered on handsets in Japan, but will that be enough? The Japanese love texting and I'm guessing that the virtual keyboard won't satisfy the Japanese at all.

So what's your take on future sales?

I think it needs 3G etc to take off in Japan
- but the Japanese keyboard, and romaji, hiragana, katakana, Kanji stuff is really good and intuitive.
- I think it's easier to use than the normal Japanese phone UI
- although on the current iPhone you still have to type in romaji - but I think most Japanese are ok with this - perhaps they'll do a hiragana modes for the release.

- but even as it is, I think an iPhone would be really popular for Texting.
- I've tried my iPod Touch with a Japanese friend, and they thought it was pretty good.

Edit: Actually, I'm only referring to the iPod Touch here - I don't have an iPhone so I don't know if it actually supports Japanese yet! But the iPod Touch does - and it's pretty good, and Nihon-jin friendly.
post #8 of 37
Divine interest? Well they sure think highly of themselves
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcollin3k View Post

Yeah, I live in Tokyo too and use Au. I thought it was funny that visual voicemail was so revolutionary for iPhone. I've had that for years, BUT, I can only have 3 voicemail messages! It's not a problem for me as I hardly ever talk on my phone.

I'd like to see the iPhone come to Japan, but would enough of the features and services be in English? Yeah my 3G Sony Ericsson phone might have a ton of awesome features, but they are ALL in Japanese save for the ability to send e-mail and browse the Internet.

So unless the maps features and all that other stuff has an English UI, the iPhone will be just like all the other phones in Japan, super useful, but only if you can read Japanese.

Save for a few models the past year, no phones here have QWERTY keyboards. Everyone hits the same 9 buttons multiple times to enter text. It's easier in Japanese than in English. So even the iPhone's weak touch keyboard would probably be an improvement, at least for English input.

The iPhone / iPod Touch are pretty good at swapping between Japanese modes & English modes, so you should be ok - probably!
- but you're right - Google Maps will probably come up in Kanji - you'll just have to learn it!
post #10 of 37
I'm using the Toshiba W53T at the moment (on AU as I said before). One of the reasons I chose it is because it's bilingual, so the UI is all in English (save for the GPS software, but I can get around that now thanks to a little help).

Anyway apart from people like me who want my phone to sync and act as a PDA too, I'm not sure it will do too well in Japan unless they add more (hardware) features. After all pretty much every phone now has 1seg TV and a GPS, not to mention felica and other useful goodies. So will Apple end up producing a new iPhone with these features? I'm not sure it's viable.

Plus as others have mentioned the messaging software in japan is a whole different ballgame to other countries, so they can't get away with the standard SMS and Apple Mail software.

We'll have to see though...maybe they have a trick up their sleeve.
post #11 of 37
I wonder which wireless technology the iphone will need. As far as i know, there is no GSM Network in Japan
post #12 of 37
Quote:
I spend at least $100 USD per month for basic calling and email on my phone. They charge upwards of $500 to $600 USD for their phones, and nicely split that new phone cost over the next 24 months on your bill. Then they offer low-cost plans. In the end, it equals out almost with NTT. We have actual email on our phones from the cell provider. Because of how bad the pricing is, I could imagine the data charges being nasty and not unlimited.

Its funny to see these comments and right after people continue to talk about Japan's advanced networks. I think I prefer our slower less advanced network with unlimited data at my current price.

Quote:
Yeah, I live in Tokyo too and use Au. I thought it was funny that visual voicemail was so revolutionary for iPhone. I've had that for years, BUT, I can only have 3 voicemail messages! It's not a problem for me as I hardly ever talk on my phone.

On the iPhone you get to have way more than 3 messages.

Quote:
Google Maps will probably come up in Kanji - you'll just have to learn it!

The iPhone's Maps widget is written by Apple using Google API's. Likely it will be in whatever form of Japanese language Apple normally uses.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post

I'm currently living in Japan. I use NTT Docomo. All telecommunications in Japan are expensive compared to America. I spend at least $100 USD per month for basic calling and email on my phone.

Softbank plays a nasty game to get new customers. They charge upwards of $500 to $600 USD for their phones, and nicely split that new phone cost over the next 24 months on your bill. Then they offer low-cost plans. In the end, it equals out almost with NTT.

Japan's cell networks are much different than others. We have actual email on our phones from the cell provider. Because of how bad the pricing is, I could imagine the data charges being nasty and not unlimited. Also, voicemail isn't a standard feature (at least for docomo). I'd have to pay extra just to get voicemail before possibly having visual voicemail. I'd love an iPhone, but I'm not sure how it will fit into Japan.

Wow, all this sounds somewhat primitive and expensive!

Are you sure you're not kidding?! All I hear in these forums is how phenomenally advanced and wonderful and sophisticated the Japanese mobile phone system is.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

The Japanese love texting and I'm guessing that the virtual keyboard won't satisfy the Japanese at all.

Why not?
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcollin3k View Post

..... the iPhone's weak touch keyboard .....

Wow. Where/how did you come up with this confident assessment? (Similar to my question to Constable Odo above).
post #16 of 37
The good news behind this story is that for the iPhone to work in Japan it will almost certainly mean that the Radio is upgraded to 3G (W-CDMA), which is the 3G standard used in Europe by O2, TMobile and Orange. Note DoCoMo was one of the original drives of the 3G (W-CDMA) Standard. It also adds credibility to the other stories that refer to the arrival of a 3G compatible phone. Note the 3rd network in Japan, KDDI, uses a Radio technology that is based on the standard used by Sprint and Verizon, hence why there is no reference to them as one of the Apple Partners. Overall the concerns about speed and features of other phones supplied by Softbank and DoCoMo being more competitive than the current iPhone would be erased if a 3G version arrives. This story if true benefits everybody, Apple in particular.
post #17 of 37
Its not a rumor that 3G is coming Steve Jobs has said so numerous times. He hinted at the time frame of late 2008.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Anyone think the iPhone will sell well in Japan? They've already got the fastest networks and full-featured phones that easily outdo the the iPhone in number of features including built-in TV tuners. Unless the iPhone is considered so fad or prestige item, I can't see it selling all that well. I know the user interface is probably much better than what is offered on handsets in Japan, but will that be enough? The Japanese love texting and I'm guessing that the virtual keyboard won't satisfy the Japanese at all.

So what's your take on future sales?

I think it has far less to do with speed and such than with the User Experience. I think iPhone will sell VERY well there, though it may not conquer the market, I'll give it 18 months to take a 25% share of the market in JP.

"It's the UI, Stupid!"

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wow, all this sounds somewhat primitive and expensive!

Are you sure you're not kidding?! All I hear in these forums is how phenomenally advanced and wonderful and sophisticated the Japanese mobile phone system is.

Sure, as another person wrote, there is 1seg and other advanced technologies for the phone, people use their cellphone to pay tolls on the expressways, etc. I'm just saying that they pay heavily for these features and expensive phone bills is common for everyone. I was pretty shocked that I couldn't have something as simple as voicemail for free. I'm American, so I just expected such a thing would be included.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb07866598859 View Post

The good news behind this story is that for the iPhone to work in Japan it will almost certainly mean that the Radio is upgraded to 3G (W-CDMA), which is the 3G standard used in Europe by O2, TMobile and Orange. Note DoCoMo was one of the original drives of the 3G (W-CDMA) Standard. It also adds credibility to the other stories that refer to the arrival of a 3G compatible phone. Note the 3rd network in Japan, KDDI, uses a Radio technology that is based on the standard used by Sprint and Verizon, hence why there is no reference to them as one of the Apple Partners. Overall the concerns about speed and features of other phones supplied by Softbank and DoCoMo being more competitive than the current iPhone would be erased if a 3G version arrives. This story if true benefits everybody, Apple in particular.

Still, 3G alone only puts it into the Japanese market. Apple would have to add some of the features here in Japan to be really competitive. Did you know I can go to McDonalds and every wrapper has a 3d barcode. I can scan it with my phone's camera and it will open the web browser and take me to a webpage about the sandwich with the nutrition contents. There are lots of things that Apple doesn't have that people just expect their phones to do here. BUT, a while back, my friend said there was a big tv show on about the iPhone and there is hype building in Japan for it.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post

Still, 3G alone only puts it into the Japanese market. Apple would have to add some of the features here in Japan to be really competitive. Did you know I can go to McDonalds and every wrapper has a 3d barcode. I can scan it with my phone's camera and it will open the web browser and take me to a webpage about the sandwich with the nutrition contents.

I'll save you & apple the bother - MacDonalds - content - mechanically recovered crap off semi-putrid carcasses.
- there, didn't need no fancy barcode to tell me that!
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wow. Where/how did you come up with this confident assessment? (Similar to my question to Constable Odo above).

I came up with that confident assessment after trying to type on a friend's iPod touch and having no success at all with two thumbs or even just a single finger tip. To my knowledge the keyboards are identical on the touch and iPhone, right?
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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post

I think it needs 3G etc to take off in Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post

I wonder which wireless technology the iphone will need. As far as i know, there is no GSM Network in Japan

IT NEEDS 3G to take off or even work in Japan. They only have 3G, at 2100Mhz plu another one I think in the 700 or 800's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rb07866598859 View Post

The good news behind this story is that for the iPhone to work in Japan it will almost certainly mean that the Radio is upgraded to 3G (W-CDMA), which is the 3G standard used in Europe by O2, TMobile and Orange.

At last, someone notices the most significant point of the WSJ story for the rest of us. IF they're negotiating now, we can conclude that the there should be a 3G iPhone around mid year. Also GSM 3G standard is used world-wide, only in different frequencies. 2100 is common almost everywhere except the US where 850 is used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Its not a rumor that 3G is coming Steve Jobs has said so numerous times. He hinted at the time frame of late 2008.

I think he was suggesting a much later date to stop people from putting off purchases, looks like June to me.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcollin3k View Post

I came up with that confident assessment after trying to type on a friend's iPod touch and having no success at all with two thumbs or even just a single finger tip. To my knowledge the keyboards are identical on the touch and iPhone, right?

Right.

Your friend must have a defective iPod Touch and/or (seriously, no offense!) you must have unusually gargantuan fingers and thumbs.

This runs contrary to all that I have seen/heard/read on the topic, as well as my own experience since June 29 (of course, that is only one data point, just as yours is).
post #25 of 37
[QUOTE=jcollin3k;1185511]
So unless the maps features and all that other stuff has an English UI, the iPhone will be just like all the other phones in Japan, super useful, but only if you can read Japanese.
/QUOTE]
You're living in Japan ? Then learn.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post

Still, 3G alone only puts it into the Japanese market. Apple would have to add some of the features here in Japan to be really competitive. Did you know I can go to McDonalds and every wrapper has a 3d barcode. I can scan it with my phone's camera and it will open the web browser and take me to a webpage about the sandwich with the nutrition contents. There are lots of things that Apple doesn't have that people just expect their phones to do here. BUT, a while back, my friend said there was a big tv show on about the iPhone and there is hype building in Japan for it.

Yes, but scanning your burger wrapper with your cell phone to get nutritional info is insane.

I realize that the Japanese, they are different from us, but some of the stuff I hear about the Japanese market just seems like random tech for random tech's sake. I get the feeling that our concept of feature bloat and competing on yard long bullet point lists doesn't even begin to cover the Japanese lust for convoluted gizmo madness.

So, it will be very interesting to see how a phone with a very well defined, somewhat basic feature set, which nonetheless has an excellent UI (not to mention a certain cachet for the iPod inclined) will fair in that market. Maybe there are some Japanese consumers that don't actually want to scan their burger wrappers, but would welcome a great user experience, uncluttered by ray guns and metal detectors and bio-scanners?
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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Maybe there are some Japanese consumers that don't actually want to scan their burger wrappers [using their mobile phone]....



I think most Japanese would qualify!
post #28 of 37
Quote:
I came up with that confident assessment after trying to type on a friend's iPod touch and having no success at all with two thumbs or even just a single finger tip. To my knowledge the keyboards are identical on the touch and iPhone, right?

Virtual buttons take some getting used to. People were not automatically perfect typists when phones began to use tiny keyboards. People had to learn to use them and got used to it.

Your fingers and thumb are not perfectly symmetrically round. Part of your finger/thumb will touch the surface before the other parts and it may not be the part you expect. You have to learn what part touches the surface first and that will be the part the button responds to.

Quote:
I realize that the Japanese, they are different from us, but some of the stuff I hear about the Japanese market just seems like random tech for random tech's sake. I get the feeling that our concept of feature bloat and competing on yard long bullet point lists doesn't even begin to cover the Japanese lust for convoluted gizmo madness.

I wholeheartedly agree. Apple has not stated it wants to go to Japan and dominate the entire market. Of course there will be a good number of Japanese who will appreciate what the iPhone offers. While others may not.
post #29 of 37
About the iphone's keyboard in japanese, i've tried using the japanese keyboard on my touch, and it is a HORRIBLE experience...

I have a Hermes windows smartphone which has a qwerty keyboard, and the english keyboard on the touch is good enough that I would rather type mails on it than on my Hermes. This is due to the quick automatic error correction and just overall snappiness of the interface. On the other hand, the japanese version is PURE CRAP. They try to use the same automatic error correction, but it just doesn't translate to typing Japanese with a qwerty keyboard... When you try to input letters, it LAGS and LAGS and LAGS... So much so, that the next letter you try to put in gets mistaken nearly always, and then you have to back up and retype (because unlike the english keyboard, if you mess up a word's kana spelling, it's apparently IMPOSSIBLE for the japanese keyboard to get you the right kanji...), and experience the lag again. It is an exercise in frustration.

This lag is caused by the conversion system used for turning kana into Kanji (the chinese symbols,) being that searching for the input kana word and displaying the options takes time and processing power. None of which the iphone/touch lacks, it's just that it's not activated yet.
That doesn't even touch the fact that the conversion from kana to Kanji is just at such a basic level that it's can't handle inputing more that ONE WORD AT A TIME... To put that in the english users' perspective, imagine typing an english word and having all the accented versions of the word pop up, and having to touch the version you like to have it accept. Now imagine having to do that for every single word, number, punctuation, or ANYTHING that you input... It slows your input to an unbearable crawl... Couple that with the slow input, and the iphone keyboard is just not ready for the japanese market yet.

While i do take pleasure in writing english mails on the touch, i've only written 3 japanese mails, and then i've given up. The japanese keyboard is now relegated to just calander updates, and even those are a pain...

Here is one place where Apple should take a cue from the microsoft OS's, Their own desktop OS, or any of the plethora of Japanese cellphones on the market... Let the user input a full sentence, push a conversion button, and then try to seperate and convert each word from that sentence. Any other method (including the continuous instant method used now) takes too much processing power and unnecessarily frustrates the user... You listening Apple...?
post #30 of 37
and to the guy who complained about the Japanese cellphone market, Softbank's actually trying to get prices lowered over here. On average, cellphone rate plans are higher in Japan than the rest of the world, that's understood... But I also pay around $100 dollars a month for service, but that's because I have unlimited internet for my smartphone, which costs $60 by itself.

This is expensive, but note that this is HSDPA, and that on my hermes the hardware limit is 1.6Mbps. If my phone could do 3.6, I could use that. Docomo already has 7.2Mbps phones lined up for release with their new 705x series. All phones have push email, which is something that people here don't even think about....

(SMS is there, but if EVERYONE, even the most basic of the basic phones, has push email, and you can do that email not only between phones, but to home computers and the like, why would you even use SMS or MMS...)

If Apple can help lower the price of Softbank's unlimited internet plan for normal phones and smartphones, that would be awesome...

Taking into consideration that softbank already has a plan where you can pay $10-20 a month, get no monthly minutes, but have unlimited calling (except for 9pm-1am) or 1 min for 40cents. That's a horrible plan as is, but in time it is expected that the time limit on that will disappear, making the plan very nice on the whole. Considering the $20 a month plan, if your signifigant other, friends, family all use softbank, you could get by with that $20 a month and 20cents a min for those who don't. Who do you acutally mainly call anyway...

And about the cellphone pricing, isn't that what people are screaming for with the iPhone anyway? The phones that softbank is selling right now are locked, but it's been in the news that the system for getting new phones from softbank is broken up between buying your phone and paying for service, the phones will then start to be unlocked.

Up until now all phones (inherently 3g) were all locked and ther was NO WAY to get them unlocked. Now, all phones will have to be unlocked by 2010 or so, and the cellphone industry is in a transition period. Softbank is actually at the forefront of that, so for that, I give them credit...
post #31 of 37
everyone who says the japanese are crazy for adding tech to cellphones, and that features and all are unnecessary, think about this.

In japan, nearly every adult has a cellphone, or maybe it just seems that way. many grade schools have them as well, with models at the big carriers made specifically for children, with safety alarms and gps systems that can be activated by said alarms or the child wandering out of a set area. Privacy concerns aside, in a nation where pretty much any and EVERY adult you speak to is seemingly carrying a cellphone of some design (now decidedly 3g,) i think that it makes sense to make the uniform device that all adults carry do all the things that people would like tech to do. If you leave the house here, you take your cellphone.

Even if you're going to the ubiquitous convenience stores. If you're going to the convenience store, and you're pretty much garunteed to take your cellphone anyway, why not make it into something that can pay your bill by just swiping the back at the register... Like an rfid credit card.

Being able to watch(and record to sd) 1seg satellite tv, granted a luxury(you know you want it lol), but over here, now becoming standard. Almost every single AU phone released recently can watch it.

A former luxury that becomes just another standard feature. Isn't that just the way tech progresses?

And about the burger info thing, think about it like this. All cellphones are 3g, all have web browsers, and nearly all have cameras. All cellphones are then net connected devices(computers) with visual input. Does it not make sense to treat them as such? If you take a picture of a word or business card and can have the info automatically input into your addressbook, why not let a health concsious person use a id pic on their food to check their calorie/fat intake?

When androids first get built they will be a rich person's toy and everyone will oogle over them. When they become common enough that they are in most middle income homes(tvs, computers) and city street sweepers, people won't twice when they pass one by...
post #32 of 37
Boy that would suck on Docomo or Softbank... AU/KDDI is the new kid on the block and they are MUCH better.

I'm sure KDDI must be trippin' cause they are recently enjoying stealing all of the competitors' customers. AU is cheaper and their service is much better. So is their reception. Most of my Japanese friends have made the switch too.

Whoever gets the iPhone gets my business; I just wish it were KDDI.

Yeah and Japanese input on an iPhone? I'm pretty quick with regular keitai but I think it would be a chore on an iPhone.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Boy that would suck on Docomo or Softbank... AU/KDDI is the new kid on the block and they are MUCH better.

I would go for that too. I actually chose Softbank because I liked their phones but the user experience is bad and so is their network. From I've seen, AU has the closest spirit to Apple's way of doing things simple and effective.
post #34 of 37
The prices for cellphone plans for all the companies, save for willcom. are the same. There is NO, and I mean NO, varience in prices. One company does a deal, and the other companies do the same deal in short order... That's cool since the signs are pointing to the beginning of an all out price war, but before it was frickin awful due to no changes in price that almost felt like collusion...
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Anyone think the iPhone will sell well in Japan? They've already got the fastest networks and full-featured phones that easily outdo the the iPhone in number of features including built-in TV tuners. Unless the iPhone is considered so fad or prestige item, I can't see it selling all that well. I know the user interface is probably much better than what is offered on handsets in Japan, but will that be enough? The Japanese love texting and I'm guessing that the virtual keyboard won't satisfy the Japanese at all.

So what's your take on future sales?

not only the japanese but most of asia mobile users prefer text messaging over making a phone call. they'd text message back and forth between friends before they'd make a phone call. the later is well below the bottom of their list for mobile communication. text messaging reigns supreme in asia, and i wager that the asian market will respond extremely well to the iphone's interface for text messaging. so, this would be interesting to see how the asian market will respond to the visual voice mail feature.

i think this would make a fun marketing study
post #36 of 37
They don't call it text here. It's メール (me-ru). Full email of course, not SMS text.

Bringing full email capability to Japan is no big deal in terms of functionality. The moderate hype is for the name and touch of course. And with the amount it rains in the summer you'd have to be careful with that device.

The new AU/KDDI camera is 5.1 MP and fully waterproof with full (non laggy) 1SEG digital TV. (free btw).

It would be nice to see the iPhone here but I'm sure it would be at least the equivalent of $600.00 USD.
post #37 of 37
I'm outside Japan now, but should move in in March 2008, need a smartphone with a 100% internet browser, that’s the thing not a single phone on the Market has, as far as i know... Take Info Bar 2, latest, and the best phone from KDDI, I tried it in November, browser sucks, mobile opera and really unfriendly, Ntt DoCoMo - same there, Soft Bank - few models from HTC and hell of a slow Toshiba, functionality in Japanese phones is actually an illusion, it is friendly and exiting in comparison when you live in Europe, they have nice interfaces with flash like menus, but actually Nokia N81 can do much more than the most hi-end end phone, except for tv, but i don’t think it is a big deal, I even think you don't need it if you have a youtube... things like translating kanji you see though camera on your phone or bar codes, that’s nothing special and just a bit a of a software needed... In Japan functions just apprehended in different way, you know it is all about the provider, every single function on the phone has something to do with the service provider, very closed platforms, very thinking inside the box pattern, and much of a disappointment.

I wonder is it a problem to use your phone with 60 USD unlimited internet as a modem when you come home...
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