Originally Posted by solipsism
My point was that they aren't trying to show horn the American product into other cultures, just their American business model, which apparently works for all cultures with an emerging or established middle class.
Apple has historically tried to shoehorn many of products and they hate having to differentiate their HW. I bet Jobs hate that that different countries have different keyboards. If OLED keyboards become viable I think they will be the first onboard to use them.
I think the iPhone will be a relative success in Japan. Japan is one of the most established markets and the iPhone is missing some key HW features that seem to interest the Japanese, but the touchscreen, as we know, offers countless possibilities for any culture... assuming that the software for Asian characters was developed well.
I wonder if, like in the US, the iPhone was the smartphone for everyone else. We here a lot of talk about how advanced and complex these phones are but is there a population that want something simple to use?
Most Japanese and European manufacturers do the same thing to us. They give us products that aren't designed specially for the US market. I see that all the time.
With the iPhone it's less of a problem, as so much of the phone can be morphed into whatever is needed. As some others have pointed out here, most features on Japanese phones are little used, or not used at all.
As has also been pointed out, Japanese manufacturers are scrambling to come out with lookalikes to the iPhone. They can't really reproduce one, of course, because they would need the far more complex OX, which will take years to program.
I'm not so sure the Japanese will reject the iPhone out of hand. It was predicted that the iPod would never get more than a decent minority percentage in Japan either. But shortly after the iTunes store opened up, it zoomed to the top, shocking everyone there.
I suspect that the iPhone has just enough features to do well, and with the store, and programs, the Japanese may very well find that even more appealing than the myriad of useless buttons and non understandable features some of the phones they are now buying come with.
Just because they have been doing things a certain way doesn't mean that they will want to continue doing it that way.
I tend to doubt that nearly as many Japanese buy the phones some here are saying the y buy. Like all countries with 3G service widely available, most consumers don't actually subcribe to it, but use cheaper services instead.
I remember quite well, about four years ago, the Japanese cell carriers complaining that their customers didn't seem to want the service because of higher costs, and that it was going to take them longer than expected to get a significant number of subscribers on board with it. As of two years ago, I also remember reading several articles that said that the 3G customers were still much below expected estimates.
I think that people who make it seem as though vast numbers of subscribers around the world are using 3G are far off the truth.
Widespread availability does NOT mean widespread use.