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Japan's SoftBank to offer Apple's 3G iPhone in Japan

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
SoftBank Mobile Corp., Japan's fastest growing mobile operator, announced Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with Apple to offer the iPhone to its customers later this year.

Given that the carrier operates only 2G and 3G networks, the announcement further supports expectations that Apple is on the verge of introducing a new version of its handset built to run on so-called 3G networks.

SoftBank Mobile Corp, Japan's No. 3 wireless operator, recently beat all of its peers in annual net mobile subscriber growth for fiscal 2007, adding 2,676,500 subscribers thanks to its White Plan featuring lower fees.

As of April, SoftBank maintained a combined subscriber base of 18,779,100, which included 14,453,100 customers on its 3G network and 4,326,000 on its 2G network.

Talks between Apple and the carrier date back nearly two years to May of 2006 when rumors had the two companies collaborating on the then unreleased iPhone.

Apple had also been in talks with NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile wireless carrier, though an agreement between the two has not been announced.
post #2 of 97
SoftBank Mobile currently operates both PDC (Japanese 2G) and W-CDMA (UMTS 3G) networks. SoftBank's 3G network is compatible with UMTS and supports transparent global roaming for existing UMTS subscribers from other countries outside Japan. Subscribers of GSM networks having roaming agreements with SoftBank Mobile can also roam on the SoftBank 3G network by using UMTS handsets.
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post #3 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

SoftBank Mobile currently operates both PDC (Japanese 2G) and W-CDMA (UMTS 3G) networks. SoftBank's 3G network is compatible with UMTS and supports transparent global roaming for existing UMTS subscribers from other countries outside Japan. Subscribers of GSM networks having roaming agreements with SoftBank Mobile can also roam on the SoftBank 3G network by using UMTS handsets.

Simple translation: It only runs 3G GSM phones.
post #4 of 97
I'm pretty stoked by this (glad it's not DoCoMo and it was never going to be AU), so it looks like I'll be moving from AU to Softbank. I was already considering that anyway for my next phone as so many people I know are now on Softbank.

I guess we just need to know what they mean by it coming out "later this year". A Reuters article even states "by the end of the year" which really leaves it open

Dammit I want it this month seemingly like the rest of the world! \
post #5 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Simple translation: It only runs 3G GSM phones.

yes, and it will not be a japan only version... some people think that japan is absolutely incompatible with western phones... but in fact 3G is ok for european an US phones that talk UMTS... @ least with sofbank...
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post #6 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutts View Post

I'm pretty stoked by this (glad it's not DoCoMo and it was never going to be AU), so it looks like I'll be moving from AU to Softbank. I was already considering that anyway for my next phone as so many people I know are now on Softbank.

I guess we just need to know what they mean by it coming out "later this year". A Reuters article even states "by the end of the year" which really leaves it open

Dammit I want it this month seemingly like the rest of the world! \

mid-june should be ok... @ least in the US and europe... japan wcould be a little later...
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post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Simple translation: It only runs 3G GSM phones.

yes and no... since 3G is UMTS, not GSM... GSM is the basis for GPRS/EDGE...
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post #8 of 97
Softbank or Docomo, as long as we get it!

Softbank uses Cameron Diaz for modeling, so we may be in for a treat.

I think they will announce it next week, but availability will be a month or two off.

 

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post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Softbank or Docomo, as long as we get it!

Softbank uses Cameron Diaz for modeling, so we may be in for a treat.

I think they will announce it next week, but availability will be a month or two off.

softbank just announced it on their website... that's why we're talking about this...
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post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

yes and no... since 3G is UMTS, not GSM... GSM is the basis for GPRS/EDGE...

Oh please, not this stupid argument again. It's GSM. That's what the type of phone is called, the family of standards. Just because the original standard was referred to as GSM makes it no less so.
post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

softbank just announced it on their website... that's why we're talking about this...

I realize that.

http://www.softbankmobile.co.jp/en/n...8/20080604_01/

What I meant was I don't mind which carrier got it as long as one did, and that Apple will announce the 3G next week and set availability for later in the year. Sorry, I was typing fast.

My wife almost bought a new Docomo yesterday but I luckily talked her out of it. Now we we both switch to Softbank (currently AU).

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

I realize that.

http://www.softbankmobile.co.jp/en/n...8/20080604_01/

What I meant was I don't mind which carrier got it as long as one did, and that Apple will announce the 3G next week and set availability for later in the year. Sorry, I was typing fast.

My wife almost bought a new Docomo yesterday but I luckily talked her out of it. Now we we both switch to Softbank (currently AU).

i think when apple will announce the new iphone it will be available shortly after...

it's rumored that apple has been shipping 3G iphones in the millions to be able to meet demand mid-june...
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post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

i think when apple will announce the new iphone it will be available shortly after...

it's rumored that apple has been shipping 3G iphones in the millions to be able to meet demand mid-june...

I and many people hope you are right!

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

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post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

yes, and it will not be a japan only version... some people think that japan is absolutely incompatible with western phones... but in fact 3G is ok for european an US phones that talk UMTS... @ least with sofbank...

WE know they have the same type of radio as Europeans and half the US carriers, but what are teh frequencies for Softbank? Are they the same that AT&T and the EU use so Apple doesn't need to have separate models or some 6-channel device?
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post #15 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

WE know they have the same type of radio as Europeans and half the US carriers, but what are teh frequencies for Softbank? Are they the same that AT&T and the EU use so Apple doesn't need to have separate models or some 6-channel device?

It'll be 2100Mhz. AT&T use 850 and 1900. Europe uses 2100. The iPhone will have 850 and 2100 at a minimum.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands :

Band I (W-CDMA 2100) in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania (ITU Region 1) and Brazil (part of ITU Region 2)
Band II (W-CDMA 1900) in North America and South America (ITU Region 2)
Band IV (W-CDMA 1700 or Advanced Wireless Services) in the United States (T-Mobile USA)
Band V (W-CDMA 850) in America, Canada, parts of South America, parts of Asia (ITU Region 2 and ITU Region 3)
Band VIII (W-CDMA 900) in Europe, Asia, Oceania (ITU Region 1 and ITU Region 3)
Band XII - XIV were added for future use in the 700MHz spectrum auctioned in the United States and Canada in early 2008

So band I and V is a given. I'd say II is next most likely. Band VIII is next off the rank, but they'd be pushing to do a quad band 3G phone. XII should be supported at some stage, maybe next year, by AT&T. IV will basically never be supported because it's such a weirdo band and T-Mobile is small fry.
post #16 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

It'll be 2100Mhz. AT&T use 850 and 1900. Europe uses 2100. The iPhone will have 850 and 2100 at a minimum.

Will Apple use a Quad-band radio (800/850/1900/2100 or 850/1700/1900/2100 ) or will they use a Tri-band radio (850/1900/2100 or 850/1700/2100)?

UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA devices operate in the UMTS frequency bands or MHz:

  • 2100 (downlink) / 1900 (uplink) for Japan, Europe, Brazil and Asia (usually referred simply as W-CDMA 2100)
  • 1900 / 850 (independently, for both the uplink and downlink) for Americas (US, Canada, Latin America and Brazil) (e.g. AT&T Mobility and Rogers Wireless)
  • 2100 (downlink) / 1700 (uplink) for America (e.g. T-Mobile USA)
  • 850 for Australia (Telstra NextG)
  • 800 for Japan (NTT DoCoMo in rural areas)

Apple won't support T-Mobile USA's upcoming 3G network for several reasons, but will they support NTT DoCoMo in rural areas? Does anyone else use the 1700 or 800 bands?
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post #17 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

WE know they have the same type of radio as Europeans and half the US carriers, but what are teh frequencies for Softbank? Are they the same that AT&T and the EU use so Apple doesn't need to have separate models or some 6-channel device?

i think it will be quad UMTS, just like the current iphone is quad GSM-band...

so that would make the 3G iphone 2x quad-band... quad GSM & quad UMTS...
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post #18 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Will Apple use a Quad-band radio (800/850/1900/2100 or 850/1700/1900/2100 ) or will they use a Tri-band radio (850/1900/2100 or 850/1700/2100)?

UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA devices operate in the UMTS frequency bands or MHz:

  • 2100 (downlink) / 1900 (uplink) for Japan, Europe, Brazil and Asia (usually referred simply as W-CDMA 2100)
  • 1900 / 850 (independently, for both the uplink and downlink) for Americas (US, Canada, Latin America and Brazil) (e.g. AT&T Mobility and Rogers Wireless)
  • 2100 (downlink) / 1700 (uplink) for America (e.g. T-Mobile USA)
  • 850 for Australia (Telstra NextG)
  • 800 for Japan (NTT DoCoMo in rural areas)

Apple won't support T-Mobile USA's upcoming 3G network for several reasons, but will they support NTT DoCoMo in rural areas? Does anyone else use the 1700 or 800 bands?

or quintuple... whatever the 5-way solution is called... i doubt apple would limit the 3G iphone to certain providers... so 4-way GSM and 5-way UMTS...
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post #19 of 97
So, Apple really doesn't want to sell many iPhones in Japan. They pick the smallest major carrier, one that has the worst/weakest reception coverage in the country ... although maybe this will push Softbank to do better.

*Sigh* Was hoping for KDDI (AU) really.
post #20 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

i doubt apple would limit the 3G iphone to certain providers...

Why not? They did it from the getgo and they still have revenue sharing in place. If they support the 1700 band then T-Mobile USA can hop on board (when they get their 3G network up) and thus lose revenue sharing to more unlocked iPhones on their network. Even before the 3G network is up people who prefer T-Mobile will wait it out, but if the next iPhone doesn't support 1700 then most will move to AT&T because 3G speeds weigh heavier than carrier loyalty for most people. (that is an assumption I've made based on people I know on T-Mobile USA)
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post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

i think it will be quad UMTS, just like the current iphone is quad GSM-band...

so that would make the 3G iphone 2x quad-band... quad GSM & quad UMTS...

Having more chips increases the size and the cost of the device. And aren't the chips for GSM quite a bit smaller than chips for UTMS? I think quad-band 3G at most. I have never even heard of a chip in production with more.
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post #22 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

or quintuple... whatever the 5-way solution is called... i doubt apple would limit the 3G iphone to certain providers... so 4-way GSM and 5-way UMTS...

There a very few tri band 3G phones and no quad bands. Apple may come out with a quad band but a quintuple band is outside the realm possibility just now. My guess is that they will come out with a 3G 850/1900/2100 phone.

Keep in mind that someone has to engineer this stuff and radio frequency engineering is considered a "black art" of which there are relatively few who are good at it. Stuffing multiple radios and antennas into a small box just makes it more difficult.
post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Why not? They did it from the getgo and they still have revenue sharing in place. If they support the 1700 band then T-Mobile USA can hop on board (when they get their 3G network up) and thus lose revenue sharing to more unlocked iPhones on their network. Even before the 3G network is up people who prefer T-Mobile will wait it out, but if the next iPhone doesn't support 1700 then most will move to AT&T because 3G speeds weigh heavier than carrier loyalty for most people. (that is an assumption I've made based on people I know on T-Mobile USA)

officially they limited who sells it, but not which GSM-providers the iphone can roam on! or that the hacked iphone is able to use an GSM-provider, no matter what GSM frequency...
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post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

officially they limited who sells it, but not which GSM-providers the iphone can roam on! or that the hacked iphone is able to use an GSM-provider, no matter what GSM frequency...

Do you think it makes since for Apple to add a band that is ONLY used by T-Mobile in the US and will do nothing but hurt its revenue sharing, thus losing the company money? Adding 1700 makes absolutely no sense, except to those that want a device that can be everything to everyone, but Apple has never followed that plan.
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post #25 of 97
I'm just waiting for the explosion of games on the App Store from japanese developers. I hope to
see:

Loco Roco
Patapon
Hot Shots Golf
Turn-based RPGs
Katamary Damaci
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post #26 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Will Apple use a Quad-band radio (800/850/1900/2100 or 850/1700/1900/2100 ) or will they use a Tri-band radio (850/1900/2100 or 850/1700/2100)?

UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA devices operate in the UMTS frequency bands or MHz:

  • 2100 (downlink) / 1900 (uplink) for Japan, Europe, Brazil and Asia (usually referred simply as W-CDMA 2100)
  • 1900 / 850 (independently, for both the uplink and downlink) for Americas (US, Canada, Latin America and Brazil) (e.g. AT&T Mobility and Rogers Wireless)
  • 2100 (downlink) / 1700 (uplink) for America (e.g. T-Mobile USA)
  • 850 for Australia (Telstra NextG)
  • 800 for Japan (NTT DoCoMo in rural areas)

Apple won't support T-Mobile USA's upcoming 3G network for several reasons, but will they support NTT DoCoMo in rural areas? Does anyone else use the 1700 or 800 bands?

1700 and 800 are just too obscure. 1700 is US specific, 800 is Japan specific, as are others like a Japan 1500.

If Apple do a quad band phone it would have to be 850/900/1900/2100. 1800 in 2G doesn't serve a purpose in 3G because there is 2100. It might be 700/850/1900/2100 but that would be a very early call and be quite US specific whereas 900 is growing in Europe and Australia (Nokia has already started releasing 900 3G phones).

Apple always go for one version for scale, covering as many bases as possible. My money is on 850/1900/2100 tri band or 850/900/1900/2100 quad band.
post #27 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Do you think it makes since for Apple to add a band that is ONLY used by T-Mobile in the US and will do nothing but hurt its revenue sharing, thus losing the company money? Adding 1700 makes absolutely no sense, except to those that want a device that can be everything to everyone, but Apple has never followed that plan.

i have to admit that doesn't make much sense since the 1700-band is t-mobile USA only and not used anywhere else in the world... i think i get confuesed a little... quad band UMTS should be enough then, but we never know, maybe the gold3h chip by infineon is capable of doing that... we will soon find out...
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post #28 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

1700 and 800 are just too obscure. 1700 is US specific, 800 is Japan specific, as are others like a Japan 1500.

If Apple do a quad band phone it would have to be 850/900/1900/2100. 1800 in 2G doesn't serve a purpose in 3G because there is 2100. It might be 700/850/1900/2100 but that would be a very early call and be quite US specific whereas 900 is growing in Europe and Australia (Nokia has already started releasing 900 3G phones).

Apple always go for one version for scale, covering as many bases as possible. My money is on 850/1900/2100 tri band or 850/900/1900/2100 quad band.

i think 850/900/1900/2100 UMTS (HSDPA/HUSPA already confirmed) is a safe bet....
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post #29 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

i think 850/900/1900/2100 UMTS (HSDPA/HUSPA already confirmed) is a safe bet....

That's if they can pull off a quad band phone, which is questionable. I'd say 850/1900/2100 is more likely.
post #30 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

That's if they can pull off a quad band phone, which is questionable. I'd say 850/1900/2100 is more likely.

It's definitely more likely. Tri-bad chips are already widely used, they presumably cheaper and smaller, and they cover all the known carriers we are aware of.

But can we deduce that Apple will need a quad-band phone in the not to distant future that would make adding such a chip now financially beneficial?
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post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's definitely more likely. Tri-bad chips are already widely used, they presumably cheaper and smaller, and they cover all the known carriers we are aware of.

But can we deduce that Apple will need a quad-band phone in the not to distant future that would make adding such a chip now financially beneficial?

i just looked it up: "Less than 1000 mm² for a dual mode HSDPA
(triband) and EDGE (quadband) modem
solution"

source infineon: http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/X-GOLD6...1957c66fee3850

so it will be a tri-band UMTS, quad-band GSM 3G iphone...!

so this discussion is over...
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post #32 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's definitely more likely. Tri-bad chips are already widely used, they presumably cheaper and smaller, and they cover all the known carriers we are aware of.

But can we deduce that Apple will need a quad-band phone in the not to distant future that would make adding such a chip now financially beneficial?

If you assume they'll come out with a new model same time next year, then risks are on trying to stretch the technology. 900 and other lesser frequencies are not that popular on the scale of things, so not losing that much market. But having a phone that doesn't work quite right because they reached forward too far is a different story. As you can see with the first version they went with the tried and true quad band 2G phone, minimising technological risk.

So tri band now and quad band in 2009 or 10.
post #33 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

i just looked it up: "Less than 1000 mm² for a dual mode HSDPA
(triband) and EDGE (quadband) modem
solution"

source infineon: http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/X-GOLD6...1957c66fee3850

so it will be a tri-band UMTS, quad-band GSM 3G iphone...!

so this discussion is over...

Thank god for that. Sounds pretty convincing to me. We can all move on now.
post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Thank god for that. Sounds pretty convincing to me. We can all move on now.

yeah, if the manufacturer of the actual chip doesn't know what he's talking about, then who is??? ;-)
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post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

yeah, if the manufacturer of the actual chip doesn't know what he's talking about, then who is??? ;-)

Nice find!
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post #36 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nice find!

the chip was discovered way back by zibri (www.ziphone.org)... i had read the inf. pdf, but i didn''t pay attention to the quad/tri thing back then....
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post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

the chip was discovered way back by zibri (www.ziphone.org)... i had read the inf. pdf, but i didn''t pay attention to the quad/tri thing back then....

I spent the previous hour or so looking for information on the Inferion chip. I fancy myself a pretty good researcher and all around internet gumshoe but could find it.
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post #38 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I spent the previous hour or so looking for information on the Inferion chip. I fancy myself a pretty good researcher and all around internet gumshoe but could find it.

infineon gold3h will bring you closer when goggeling...

or PMB8878 as it's called in infineon lingo....
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post #39 of 97
OT and for appleinsider crew:

zibir just posted that he found out that the 3G iphone will not have internal GPS! good news for all of us that love to have long battery runtime!!!

but it will have a bluetooth GPS stack!!! so people like me with a bluetooth GPS can connect to them and use them with google maps or other s/w....

quote: "The patents for the iPhone2 (and firmware 2.0) are out.
As you can see from the images above, FLASH and
WindowsMedia content will be finally supported.
In figure 53D you can also see how the
new welcome screen will look like.
Again there is nothing in the patent about
an embedded GPS (as I previously said).
External bluetooth GPS will be supported and
managed by the "locationd" daemon." source: http://www.ziphone.org/
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post #40 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

infineon gold3h will bring you closer when goggeling...

or PMB8878 as it's called in infineon lingo....

That is what I was using. I found the PDF to the S-GOLD3H chip, but not to the X-GOLD 608.

edit: I forget they had changed the name. I think it was no more than a couple weeks ago I even posted that information about the name change.
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