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Apple finding it difficult to crack Japanese cell phone market - Page 2

post #41 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Last time I checked we can get these type of phones for free in the US!!! By full email do you mean desktop quality email? push email and Exchange support? and who need a waterproof phone?!

Who NEEDS an iPhone LOL. No one. Didn't say you needed a waterproof phone either. It's simply an included feature of many models. The emails come directly to my phone as soon as someone sends me an email. Why would I need anything else? USA? So then you aren't communicating in Japanese day in and day out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I use the bus, more shaking and short stops, every day and never had a problem typing using the touch screen and both thumps!!

English input is not Japanese input. Japanese can be typed much faster than English due to the nature of the syllabus. If the device detracts from this ability then it's a waste.
post #42 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

LOL you know what I mean.
Btw, OT but Amazon JP rocks the house. I can print out my barcode/order at home in the evening, walk across the street to Seven Eleven, they scan my bar code and I pay cash and receive my Blu-Rays the next day for free. Wicked service. Or I can transfer my funds at the ATM or bank online. Either way I get it next day free.

Wow thats so advanced

We at the US still order online without having to leave home and spend money on gas or transportation. I guess we are so behind here in America
post #43 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This isn't specific to the iPhone. Battery is quickly drained for all phones that use HSDPA 3G.

That is rubbish. There are many 3G phones that can sit around for days without running out of power. If you read the article he said that the iPhone lasted just a few hours without doing anything! He also knows very well how a 3G phone should behave since he has used (and designed) many of them.
post #44 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

You mentioned you're in the US. So then you don't need Japanese input 100% of the day.

English input is not Japanese input. Duh.

You didn't say Japanese input, you said touch screen input. Next time be more specific.
post #45 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I hate to say this, but Japan is an increasingly unattractive, even uninteresting, market for Apple (as it will arguably become for most non-Japanese electronics manufacturers; look at what the article says about Nokia's share in Japan). Mac's shares are declining too.

It has become a chicken-and-egg issue: The potential size of the Japanese market for non-Japanese electronics manufacturers simply does not justify the $$ that would need to be spent given the extent of customization that would be required.

To familiarize people with Apple and the iPhone, they should start a door-to-door introductory campaign to introduce people in the neighborhoods to Apple and Apple's desire to have them as customers. I understand this was the approach taken by one of the American car manufacturers and they consequently did OK with Japanese customers. You can't just advertise and expect action on the part of people there, that approach has not worked at all.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #46 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Wow thats so advanced

We at the US still order online without having to leave home and spend money on gas or transportation. I guess we are so behind here in America

Yeah because driving is such an advanced and economical method of transportation. You DO realize that a well thought out infrastructure of trains is more advanced than highways and gas guzzlers right?

Did you not read my posts? I could stay at home and pay with a credit card but I choose to actually get off my ass and not be a slave to credit card companies. But I'm sure you are talented at building credit card debt and staying on the couch so I see your point.

Btw, I'm from North America so I'm fully aware of what we do or don't have in Canada and the US.
post #47 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

You didn't say Japanese input, you said touch screen input. Next time be more specific.

Are you illiterate too? Next time try reading previous post and following a thread. I've been talking about Japanese input for many posts now. Long before you came onboard.
post #48 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

You knew I had to come on this thread and say "I told you so".

BS reports about the amazing success and debut of the iphone. People lining up. Yeah people lining up. That was it. Lining up, NOT purchasing!!

If you want quick Asian input the iPhone is not for you. I have tried it many times and continue to try it (to convince myself to buy it ) and it just doesn't cut it. I'm not even a native Japanese and the input is too slow for me. I type Japanese quite fast. Like many Japanese I use both thumbs to type even faster.

I can buy a smaller / waterproof / 1SEG TV / efficient input / 4MP camera (which records VIDEO) / SD card / rotating & flip LCD / mp3 capable / full email capable mobile phone for $30-$40 USD on a one year contract.

As I mentioned before my girlfriend works at Soft Bank. She ain't the big cheese but she's pretty high up there as Soft Bank has an empowering environment for women. NONE of her co-workers own an iPhone. Most of them have models from 2007. As they say in her office, 'the iPhone also has poor reception compared with other phones and carriers'. Still better than the current North American nightmare of course. It depends on the phone though. For Soft Bank the Sharp phones are quite reliable.

When you are on a moving train or walking which is what we are doing in Japan when we actually have time to communicate, touch input is not your friend. For the most part, you either have to stop walking or wait until the train stops.

Sorry to say but the iPhone in Japan will always be the phone that's popular for 'westerners' or Japanese who 'just have to have the Apple iPhone'.

As they say on YouTube, 'FAIL'.

*disclaimer* in Japan only.


emoji? Are you one of those foreigners/westerners that has been here for years and still types mainly in English? Anywho...As you said people stop you because yes it is a 'novelty' and the games are 'neat'. They certainly aren't running to the stores after they see your toy to buy it.

Wi-Fi is certainly not easy to find in Japan however cafes are slowly starting to carry it.
Emphasis on slowly.

Michael J. Fox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

LOL you know what I mean.


True

Maybe they're waiting to buy the Hello Kitty app.

Not true. Amazon JP is hugely successful. Main reason for successful Blu-Ray sales in Japan.

Btw, OT but Amazon JP rocks the house. I can print out my barcode/order at home in the evening, walk across the street to Seven Eleven, they scan my bar code and I pay cash and receive my Blu-Rays the next day for free. Wicked service. Or I can transfer my funds at the ATM or bank online. Either way I get it next day free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

I don't use credit cards and Japan is pretty much a cash society. I could use my CC if I wanted to / had them but I don't / don't need. Gotta go out anyway next door to buy groceries so it's all the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Who NEEDS an iPhone LOL. No one. Didn't say you needed a waterproof phone either. It's simply an included feature of many models. The emails come directly to my phone as soon as someone sends me an email. Why would I need anything else? USA? So then you aren't communicating in Japanese day in and day out.

English input is not Japanese input. Japanese can be typed much faster than English due to the nature of the syllabus. If the device detracts from this ability then it's a waste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Are you illiterate too? Next time read previous post. Duh I've been talking about Japanese input for many posts now. Long before you came onboard.

Until the last post I cannot see "Japanese input". You said:

"When you are on a moving train or walking which is what we are doing in Japan when we actually have time to communicate, touch input is not your friend. For the most part, you either have to stop walking or wait until the train stops."

Show me where is the Japanese input phrase please. Maybe you are having hard time keeping up with what you are posting because you keep editing your posts several times. Here is an advice on how to write a post. Think about what you want say, type it, read it once, read it twice, then click submit instead of constantly editing your post, which makes you look like 5th grader.
post #49 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Until the last post I cannot see "Japanese input".
Show me where is the Japanese input phrase please. Maybe you are having hard time keeping up with what you are posting because you keep editing your posts several times. Here is an advice on how to write a post. Think about what you want say, type it, read it once, read it twice, then click submit instead of constantly editing your post, which makes you look like 5th grader.

Wow Nasser, you really are blind.

You even quoted me and you still don't see it? LOL


Quote:
Originally Posted by success

...if you want quick Asian input the iPhone is not for you. I have tried it many times and continue to try it (to convince myself to buy it ) and it just doesn't cut it. I'm not even a native Japanese and the input is too slow for me. I type Japanese quite fast. Like many Japanese I use both thumbs to type even faster.

Do you see me talking about Japanese input now?

Maybe you had trouble figuring out the meaning of my sentences. Maybe by "Asian input" + "me being in Japan" you thought it meant Russian?

Or maybe you thought "I type Japanese quite fast" means that I type Portuguese?

I didn't know editing was a sign of a 5th grader. I think it's a sign of someone who takes care to make sure their posts are correct.

Who looks like the 5th grader now?

I will use a famous word invented by a 5th grader. You just got PWNED.
post #50 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Wow Nasser, you really are blind.

You even quoted me and you still don't see it? LOL




Do you see it now?

did I argue about how efficient is Japanese input on the iPhone?! I quoted a specific part with specific comment on that part. You argued that in trains the touch screen input method is not your friend. You should have said "When you are on a moving train or walking which is what we are doing in Japan when we actually have time to communicate, touch text input in Japanese is not your friend."
Anyone who reads your post will understand that part the same way I did.
post #51 of 156
Give it up Nasser. Now you're just trying to save face. Don't worry. Your ignorance won't be held against you.
post #52 of 156
Yeah just make iPhone $49 in Japan. That's all.
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #53 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Wow Nasser, you really are blind.

You even quoted me and you still don't see it? LOL




Do you see me talking about Japanese input now?

Maybe you had trouble figuring out the meaning of my sentences. Maybe by "Asian input" + "me being in Japan" you thought it meant Russian?

Or maybe you thought "I type Japanese quite fast" means that I type Portuguese?

I didn't know editing was a sign of a 5th grader. I think it's a sign of someone who takes care to make sure their posts are correct.

Who looks like the 5th grader now?

I will use a famous word invented by a 5th grader. You just got PWNED.

So you agree that touch input is not bad even when you are on trains (other than Japanese)?!
post #54 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodyfanning View Post

That is rubbish. There are many 3G phones that can sit around for days without running out of power. If you read the article he said that the iPhone lasted just a few hours without doing anything! He also knows very well how a 3G phone should behave since he has used (and designed) many of them.

Just because he says so makes it true? It would lend more credibility if he'd done a test with a specific phone instead of casual observation.

There have been a number of reports showing the iPhone besting other popular HSDPA 3G phones in battery life.


post #55 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

I don't use credit cards and Japan is pretty much a cash society. I could use my CC if I wanted to / had them but I don't / don't need. Gotta go out anyway next door to buy groceries so it's all the same.

If Japan is largely a cash society only supports the report that online purchasing is not as popular in Japan.
post #56 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I thought one of the reasons iTS was soft there was because people there were already routinely buying their music using their phones, a few years ahead of Apple's music store. Why apps are such a leap beyond that, I wouldn't know.

Here is what is says in the Wall Street Journal report:

"One iPhone feature that is unique even to Japanese users is the App Store, Apple's online clearinghouse for software, such as games and reference guides. The App Store is popular among U.S. users, but hasn't taken hold as much in Japan, where consumers tend to be more cautious about making purchases online."
post #57 of 156
Japanese are unique.... emoji is eww to me but that's only me. I feel Apple should add custom add-ins per market they are in cuz well every market is different and unique. I say if Apple added emoji for Japan they would sell a heck of a lot more iPhones there.
post #58 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

There have been a number of reports showing the iPhone besting other popular HSDPA 3G phones in battery life.

Those other devices also come with smaller batteries than the iphone.
post #59 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I hate to say this, but Japan is an increasingly unattractive, even uninteresting, market for Apple...

You must not have "hated saying it" so much, since you said it!

Folks, this is bull. Japan is still the #2 economy in the world, second only to the US which currently is falling from grace. Indeed, the USA is an "increasingly unattractive, even uninteresting" market to many non-US manufacturers now!

You can sell nearly anything in Japan if you cater it to the Japanese. I mentioned this in my opening post in the previous article on this topic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSwier View Post

I'm an American who got an iPhone from Softbank on day three after the launch. I often cannot pull the phone out of my pocket without someone making a comment about how I have an iPhone and about how great it is.

I've lived in central Japan 14 years and that's been my experience about many things. Japanese people often make kind comments about things which they themselves are not necessarily interested in having. In this particular case, it could boil down to long term cost of ownership. The Japanese are sometimes more intelligent when it comes to calculating this than Americans. For in the USA, every jumped and celebrated about the so-called "lower" iPhone pricing from Apple, when in fact all Apple did was charge you more money per month in your contract, which ultimately makes them and AT&T richer than ever before!

Once again, I pay under $60 a month for 100mbs fiber internet, folks! It's nuts to pay more than than for an iPhone -- an iPhone that isn't even free when you sign up for that expensive monthly service contract. But if I were in the USA, I couldn't do this comparison, as fiber isn't available everywhere like Japan, and where it is available the cost is more than double of what it costs here in Japan.

But again, if Apple caters the product (especially in the area of improved Japanese text input) and pricing more to the likes of many Japanese, it can sell well here (except perhaps to those Japanese who don't like SoftBank over AU due to SoftBank's lackluster network and dropped calls).


Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

I don't use credit cards and Japan is pretty much a cash society.

And more recently, a "swipe" society. Many Japanese phones have a feature whereby you can go to a convenience store and swipe your phone over a device attached to the register to pay for your item. But where's this important feature on the iPhone? Nowhere because the iPhone is currently catered to the Western world, not fully for Japan.

This in no way means the iPhone is doomed here. It just means Apple needs to do something more for the Japanese, which can have a trickle down, net positive impact on iPhone sales in other markets of the world. Important changes for Japan don't necessarily need to be "exclusive to Japan."
post #60 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

and who need a waterproof phone?!

I'd say Japan, it's a notoriously wet country. Rainy and humid at its biggest population centers. By annual rainfall, Tokyo is wetter than the wettest US state. It's about as rainy as the 8th rainiest US city, but 1/4th of Japan's population lives there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Give it up Nasser. Now you're just trying to save face. Don't worry. Your ignorance won't be held against you.

It's a bad idea to tell an opponent to stop - it usually has the opposite effect. I don't know why people say stuff like this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JDW View Post

And more recently, a "swipe" society. Many Japanese phones have a feature whereby you can go to a convenience store and swipe your phone over a device attached to the register to pay for your item. But where's this important feature on the iPhone? Nowhere because the iPhone is currently catered to the Western world, not fully for Japan.

Isn't it just an RFID tag? If it is, then all you need is a special sticker with the tag in it.
post #61 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDW View Post

You must not have "hated saying it" so much, since you said it!

Folks, this is bull. Japan is still the #2 economy in the world, second only to the US which currently is falling from grace.

As though the Japanese economy has been in boom times.


Quote:
I've lived in central Japan 14 years and that's been my experience about many things. Japanese people often make kind comments about things which they themselves are not necessarily interested in having. In this particular case, it could boil down to long term cost of ownership. The Japanese are sometimes more intelligent when it comes to calculating this than Americans. For in the USA, every jumped and celebrated about the so-called "lower" iPhone pricing from Apple, when in fact all Apple did was charge you more money per month in your contract, which ultimately makes them and AT&T richer than ever before!

AT&T charges more for 3G. Apple makes no money directly from that.

AT&T has had to invest billions in building out its 3G infrastructure. So its not as though they are charging more for nothing.

Quote:
Once again, I pay under $60 a month for 100mbs fiber internet, folks! It's nuts to pay more than than for an iPhone -- an iPhone that isn't even free when you sign up for that expensive monthly service contract. But if I were in the USA, I couldn't do this comparison, as fiber isn't available everywhere like Japan, and where it is available the cost is more than double of what it costs here in Japan.

You cannot carry that 100mbs fiber internet in your pocket and access it where ever you go. Fiber and wireless are not comparable like that.

Quote:
But again, if Apple caters the product (especially in the area of improved Japanese text input) and pricing more to the likes of many Japanese, it can sell well here.

Apple has attempted to cater to Japanese text input.

Quote:
And more recently, a "swipe" society. Many Japanese phones have a feature whereby you can go to a convenience store and swipe your phone over a device attached to the register to pay for your item. But where's this important feature on the iPhone? Nowhere because the iPhone is currently catered to the Western world, not fully for Japan.

It seems to be a matter of opinion as to how important this feature is. Studies of the Japanese market have shown many people don't use it.

Quote:
This in no way means the iPhone is doomed here. It just means Apple needs to do something more for the Japanese, which can have a trickle down, net positive impact on iPhone sales in other markets of the world. Important changes for Japan don't necessarily need to be "exclusive to Japan."

You guys want to focus on the hardware features like to miss two important points made in this report.

One it talks about how insular the Asian markets are and its tough for any international manufacturer to break into.

Two is the fact that Softbank is not selling the iPhone at price competitive rates. In comparison to other countries.
post #62 of 156
I don't know why Apple even bothers trying to sell anything in Japan. Let them have their insane emoji-enabled phones and laptops running on JapanOS or whatever, if they're so inclined. It seems to be a very specific close-minded or culturally endemic market that is best served by its own produce.
post #63 of 156
Just ad Emoji. That is what my japanese friends say is missing, the rest is not a problem.
post #64 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDW View Post

\\
You can sell nearly anything in Japan if you cater it to the Japanese. I mentioned this in my opening post in the previous article on this topic.

Really? That is - I hate to say it -- bu11s*it.

Here's your 'article'. Where do you provide an "example" of how you "can sell nearly anything"?

----Begin JDW's "Article"----
It's therefore hilarious to me that most all of you posting in this thread do not live here in Japan!

SoftBank has Brad Pitt on TV selling their phones and wireless service. I think Apple considered them one of the more trendy carriers here (which I would agree with), and that combined with the fact SoftBank was willing to hand over a considerable percentage of monthly subscription fees was what finalized the deal. However, AU has the most stable network over here, and most of my associates who want the iPhone badly don't quite want it badly enough to change their personal phones to SoftBank. This holds true for people who are already using SoftBank for their office phones. Drop-outs are common with SoftBank, but not so with AU. However, AU is more than double the price on its low end plans than SoftBank, so SoftBank is popular with people like me who are frugal-minded. Ironically though, the frugal-minded consumer is not about to snatch ditch their ¥980/month White Plan for the whopping ¥7,000/month iPhone plan. I myself couldn't care less how dazzling the iPhone is. Am I going to pay ¥1,000 MORE per month than I pay for my home 100Mb/sec fiber optic internet connection? I think not! And I speak as a Mac lover since 1984 here.

As this article states, there are other issues. I think the lack of bar code functionality will be a bigger loss than the stupid emoticons among "adults" (people like myself who are 30 and older). Bar codes are everywhere. I've even see them on TV ads! The Japanese consumer will be forgiving about these little things on this version. But if Apple continues to offer the same "basic" functionality that other phones here have had for years, then subsequent revisions of the iPhone may not sell so well. So while I will agree with this article for sales to date, I remain a bit skeptical to see if Apple can make the iPhone more Japanese. Americans have traditionally failed to do this when selling to Japan, and they've lost a lot of money as a result. I hope Apple can prove itself different in that regard.

------End JDW's "Article"----
post #65 of 156
I can't think why the iPhone would fail in any country, I mean it's got such great features like 3G, which the Japanese have only had for 7 years, here in the UK we've only had it for 5 so its like cutting edge stuff.

Then there's the other great stuff like a Calendar and Weather not to mention a timer, I mean this is real exciting stuff!!! Not to mention a map incase we get lost on our way to work. I mean what would the alternative be, print of directions before you go on a trip?

I think the problem is probably that the iPhone hasn't really added anything other than a nice interface. The apps on the whole are very simple and although they may add better interfaces we've seen most of it before.

What would have been good is a vpn connection on your phone so you can access all your work files rather than repeating email again. Or even something like Back to your mac but on your phone. Wouldn't it be cool if you could access all your files from your home computer from your phone, that way if you havnt transfered a song you want you could just get at it. Instead they seem to just repeating stuff done many times before.
post #66 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

What would have been good is a vpn connection on your phone so you can access all your work files rather than repeating email again. Or even something like Back to your mac but on your phone. Wouldn't it be cool if you could access all your files from your home computer from your phone, that way if you havnt transfered a song you want you could just get at it. Instead they seem to just repeating stuff done many times before.

There are many applications on App Store that does exactly that. There is even a web app that let you access your Mac (open files, take screen shots of your desktop or iSight, run applications... etc) using Safari on the iPhone. Google iPhone remote or look for VPN in the App Store.
post #67 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

If Japan is largely a cash society only supports the report that online purchasing is not as popular in Japan.

Quite a number of Japanese online purchasing sites have options for cash payment such as cash on delivery or bank transfer (which is a fairly popular option). A majority of transactions on Yahoo! Japan Auctions uses the bank transfer method.
post #68 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

What methodology do these analysts use to determine the number of sales?

If SoftBank says they got 215,000 iPhone activations the first month, how is 160k going to be credible?

Softbank has not officially announced the number of iPhone activations only the total number of 3G activations which they release every month. 3G activations are running 200,000 or so a month as Softbank 2G users upgrade. iPhone 3G is only part of that number.
post #69 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

AT&T charges more for 3G. Apple makes no money directly from that. AT&T has had to invest billions in building out its 3G infrastructure. So its not as though they are charging more for nothing.

I fail to see how those sentences apply to Japan or SoftBank. We've had 3G networks here in Japan for years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

You cannot carry that 100mbs fiber internet in your pocket and access it where ever you go. Fiber and wireless are not comparable like that.

Try telling that to people who aren't choosing the iPhone here. Seriously. People do what we often think "they can't do." However bad you may feel the comparisons are, people count the costs and make such comparisons.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Apple has attempted to cater to Japanese text input.

And you yourself use that every single day, all day long? Even so, are you going to "convince" the Japanese by making such statements? I fail to see the long behind a statement that does little more than promote the status quo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

It seems to be a matter of opinion as to how important this feature is. Studies of the Japanese market have shown many people don't use it.

Could you provide some links to those studies? And are those studies conducted within Japan by native Japanese? And will your mention of those studies suddenly bring the Japanese into SoftBank shops to buy the iPhone?? (Again, defense of the status quo. Basically you are saying, "what is good for the rest of the world should be good enough for Japan." It doesn't work that way.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

One it talks about how insular the Asian markets are and its tough for any international manufacturer to break into.
Two is the fact that Softbank is not selling the iPhone at price competitive rates. In comparison to other countries.

To save all of you the trouble of pulling up dashboard to figure out what "insular" means: "ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas or peoples outside one's own experience."

Never was there made a more ignorant statement about Japan, it's people or its culture. One may argue that people here are narrow minded at time, but they are most assuredly not insular.

But again, these arguments do nothing to explain the problem here or provide a solution.



Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Really? That is - I hate to say it -- bu11s*it.
Here's your 'article'. Where do you provide an "example" of how you "can sell nearly anything"?

Not sure what you're laughing about since you clearly lack the ability to read and comprehend the English language. Nowhere did I promise anyone "an example" as you improperly indicate. In my post, which you quote in your abusive post, I clearly speak of the disadvantages to SoftBank. I then talk about the lack of features (i.e., lack of customization for the Japanese market); namely, emoticons and bar code reading. I stand behind what I have written.

While your rudeness disturbs me beyond measure, I will provide a couple examples (for I lack the time to provide others, especially to rude folk):

Coca-cola is not a Japanese company, and yet they are very successful here. Yet, where is Pepsi? No where to be found. Why? One significant reason is that many years ago Pepsi tried to use the USA version cola-war ads here in Japan. Coke took a more passive, anti-aggressive (i.e., "Japanese" approach). Coke refrained from acting American (which satisfies Americans but not Japanese) in order to sell it's product here. Coke is now found everywhere here, unlike Pepsi. One may argue there are other reasons at work too, but ultimately it boils down to how well the Coke people catered their strategy to Japan, versus how badly the Pepsi people did it.

McDonald's has been a great success here, as it caters its products and image to the Japanese while at the same time retaining much of its American image and taste. KFC had a hard time here at first, until it followed McDonald's lead in structuring its restaurants and food to Japanese tastes. Burger King and Taco Bell, while successful in the USA, are no where to be found here. (Too bad too because I like BK better than McDonalds.)

Unmodified toys like Barbie Dolls did not do well here at first. Then came some Japanese style Barbie toys that captured the interest of many little Japanese girls.

Understanding the importance of how to properly size-down one's food item packaging has led to the success of some American companies (especially frozen foods) in many Japanese stores.


I could go on, but my purpose in posting about the iPhone was to discuss why it currently has not caught on so well here and what Apple can do to partly address that. Simply put, what may be acceptable in every single country outside Japan is not necessarily what will be accepted here. To argue against such is to argue with the Japanese people themselves, and I would challenge the insular among you to live here a few years in order to give them "your best shot." In the meantime, as an AAPL shareholder, I do hope Cupertino gives Japan a re-think and wows the market over here with something new and "exciting to the Japanese."
post #70 of 156
Hey all, I'm a long-time reader of the forum and today a first time poster.

Most of the comments from those living outside of Japan are totally useless in a topic like this, so living in Tokyo and being a long time Apple supporter, I thought I'd give my 30yen...

I've had the Sharpe 920SH since last October and my house mate has had the iPhone 3G since launch day in Japan. Comparing them side by side often, I just can't justify giving up the stability and features of my Sharpe.

I won't go into all the features, but an example of something I can do on my Sharpe: I flick it to widescreen view, live digital TV and browse the OSD TV guide. There's nothing on I particularly want to see, so I play highlights from the Olympics which I had recorded previously. Whilst watching I receive a mail, so I flick to split-screen view. This give me live TV on the left, and my new message on the right of the screen - instantly. The message is in Japanese and there are 2 Kanji I don't know. So i select the passage and copy it. I then close the mail and switch to my internet bookmarks. I head to excite translator, paste the Kanji and translate it. I flick back to the mail, relpy and return to full-screen TV. All of this is pretty much instant, no lag, no TV break-up, full internet.

The iPhone's movie playback / screen, iPod player and App Store are all fantastic, but they're not yet enough for me to switch (down-grade). I love Apple and I want to have an iPhone, but it's simply not good enough in Japan yet. I'll get one when it has:

Copy and Paste,
Video Recording and full MMS,
Emoji's (for foreigners writing in Japanese these are almost essential to confirm emotions when using ambibous language),
a battery that will last 2 days even with reasonable use,
Yahoo! keitai functionality for weather, GPS maps, cinema times etc,
Faster Japanese text input (i beat my housemate EVERY-time here)
A real camera (over 3.2mps, auto focus, light)

For now, I think i'm going to get a new touch and wait for the 3rd gen - does anyone know why the new touch isn't in retail stores here yet?

Also I wanted to post this link, which breaks down more of the features lacking from the iPhone:

http://asiajin.com/blog/2008/07/08/f...se-cellphones/
post #71 of 156
I will always maintain that features are of little importance compared to the interface/operating system. Without a good interface, all features of any consumer electronic are basically useless; all you have is an expensive piece of junk that you can brag about to your friends.

You may have the most powerful computer in the world, but if you are running some archaic "operating system" from 1976 that can only address 1kb of ram and it requires you to write all your own programs, you would probably trade that supercomputer in for a standard iMac running OSX in a heartbeat.
post #72 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

You knew I had to come on this thread and say "I told you so".

emoji? Are you one of those foreigners/westerners that has been here for years and still types mainly in English?

I am not.
post #73 of 156
[QUOTE=fender101;1309592]Hey all, I'm a long-time reader of the forum and today a first time poster.

Most of the comments from those living outside of Japan are totally useless in a topic like this.

>>Well said and cannot agree more.

For now, I think i'm going to get a new touch and wait for the 3rd gen - does anyone know why the new touch isn't in retail stores here yet?

>> Any WiFi device has to get government approval and the new iPod Touch is in the process now. Stores list the Touch being available the first week of Octobr, most likely October 4th weekend.
post #74 of 156
Ahh thanks Joel, naruhodo ne...

If the phones and 3G weren't so good in Japan, maybe we'd have more need for decent Wi-Fi coverage to actually use this functionality on the Touch!

3G is good enough though I guess when Hikari internet at home is going up to 160mbs this month!
post #75 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

Ahh thanks Joel, naruhodo ne...

3G is good enough though I guess when Hikari internet at home is going up to 160mbs this month!

>> I was talking with WAN Optimization equipment resellers. They are having trouble selling because the internet infrastructure is so good here, it is also cheaper to just add another hikari internet line and add bandwidth than buy expensive IT infra equipment.
post #76 of 156
[QUOTE=Joel Breckinridge;1309653]
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

Hey all, I'm a long-time reader of the forum and today a first time poster.

Most of the comments from those living outside of Japan are totally useless in a topic like this.

>>Well said and cannot agree more.

For now, I think i'm going to get a new touch and wait for the 3rd gen - does anyone know why the new touch isn't in retail stores here yet?

>> Any WiFi device has to get government approval and the new iPod Touch is in the process now. Stores list the Touch being available the first week of Octobr, most likely October 4th weekend.

a few month test drive in the Akihabara would prevent all the problems... don't need the hot phone, just the prototype of touch and feel, plus few key features... someone skipped a key step of market testing... http://wikitravel.org/en/Tokyo/Akihabara

Remind me the right side drive US car sitting in the japanese display window many years ago...
post #77 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDW View Post

I could go on, but my purpose in posting about the iPhone was to discuss why it currently has not caught on so well here and what Apple can do to partly address that. Simply put, what may be acceptable in every single country outside Japan is not necessarily what will be accepted here. To argue against such is to argue with the Japanese people themselves, and I would challenge the insular among you to live here a few years in order to give them "your best shot." In the meantime, as an AAPL shareholder, I do hope Cupertino gives Japan a re-think and wows the market over here with something new and "exciting to the Japanese."

Out of curiosity, are there similar examples that involve electronics companies making major, lasting inroads in Japan?
post #78 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

TV is one of those things that Apple will never join in if the solution is pulling out a terrestrial antenna that I have to position to get a good signal It's all a bit lame; I haven't had to do that since 1981 when my neighbor had cable put in. I'd rather have it sent over 3G or have my videos on the device.

Sony's A910??? has digital televsion capabilities and the antenna is built into the player. I played with one in Akihabara and could only saw...wow.

The one issue that these companies don't understand is that overall Japan is a hard market to enter because the folks there are loyal to Japanese products (Korea was even more like this when I was last there). Look as video games...the xbox is on its death bed with sales hardly reaching 1 million after three years.
post #79 of 156
Sharp having a 25% share of the mobile phone market in Japan doesn't shock me in the slightest.

The Japanese economy has always leaned towards the xenophobic side of things -- foreign companies, even ones who tailor their business model to Japanese wants/tastes, are always at a gigantic competitive disadvantage in Japan.

The American-made Xbox was a huge dud in Japan as well -- it consistently was the worst seller of any major console for its entire lifecycle and never came close to numbers posted by Japanese competitors Nintendo and Sony.
post #80 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDW View Post

I fail to see how those sentences apply to Japan or SoftBank. We've had 3G networks here in Japan for years.

Earlier you accused Apple and AT&T of colluding charging more for 3G.


Quote:
Try telling that to people who aren't choosing the iPhone here. Seriously. People do what we often think "they can't do." However bad you may feel the comparisons are, people count the costs and make such comparisons.

I'm not sure what you are talking about. As no phone can use 100mbs internet. You pointing that out has nothing to do with the iPhone nor any other phone.

Quote:
And you yourself use that every single day, all day long? Even so, are you going to "convince" the Japanese by making such statements? I fail to see the long behind a statement that does little more than promote the status quo.

Your logic is confusing. Are you saying because I don't use Japanese on the iPhone means it isn't there?



Quote:
Could you provide some links to those studies? And are those studies conducted within Japan by native Japanese? And will your mention of those studies suddenly bring the Japanese into SoftBank shops to buy the iPhone?? (Again, defense of the status quo. Basically you are saying, "what is good for the rest of the world should be good enough for Japan." It doesn't work that way.)

Japans Mobile Wallets Fail To InspireYet

No, I'm not saying the technology isn't useful. I'm saying its reported to not be as widely used as people make it sound.



Quote:
To save all of you the trouble of pulling up dashboard to figure out what "insular" means: "ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas or peoples outside one's own experience."

Never was there made a more ignorant statement about Japan, it's people or its culture. One may argue that people here are narrow minded at time, but they are most assuredly not insular.

This is the reason why the XBox 360 has done so well against the Playstation 3 in Japan. Or the reason why Sharp owns the largest share of the mobile phone market in Japan.

Still anyway not my words, I got it from the Wall Street Journal article that this AI post is based on.

"More than 10 domestic handset manufacturers compete for a slice of Japan's cellphone market, one of the world's largest with annual sales of 50 million phones. Nokia Corp., the industry leader in global shipments, has less than 1% share in Japan. Instead, Sharp Corp. leads the Japanese market, with about 25% of shipments. The global market is more than one billion phones.

Still, expectations had been high that if anyone could break into such an insular market, Apple would with the iPhone 3G because of its strong brand name and popularity of its iPod players and Macintosh computers. The original iPhone wasn't sold in Japan."




Quote:
But again, these arguments do nothing to explain the problem here or provide a solution.

The problem was explained in the Wall Street Journal article.

Their may be no solution. Apple may be content to sell a few hundred thousand phones in Japan. Which will equate to hundreds of millions in revenue. That may be good enough.
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