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Apple finding it difficult to crack Japanese cell phone market - Page 3

post #81 of 156
The vast majority of Japanese consumers probably don't even know that the iPhone is available here.
They need to run ads, better yet, viral ones to post on Nico-nico-doga(the Japanese and more high-tech version of You-tube).

Suggestion: Get a bunch of junior & senior high school girls together (preferably cute ones), hand them all iPhones and let them play and text to their hearts' delight. Young females screeching, ahhing and giggling on screen is *definitely* the way to a Japanese consumer's heart (and his/her wallet). [Case in point, the Nintendo Wii commercials on TV and at their website where they showed all those families and friends having fun]

Also, iTS Japan sucks. Their music offerings are limited (many major labels are missing, most notably Sony), there are NO TV shows and NO Movie offerings other than Pixar short films. It's easier and cheaper to rent CDs and just rip those (albeit illegal).

The iPhone camera is also a disaster. Sharp and Toshiba and others have integrated great cameras into their cell phones which can also record lengthy video footage as long as you've got a decent sized mini-SD card handy. The music players aren't all that great and it takes forever to download a song even with 3G, as well as being very expensive even on an unlimited plan, so most people also carry an iPod (and/or other music player). Battery time can easily be lengthened on the run with AA portable battery chargers sold anywhere.

So it's not just emoji, TV availability and Japanese text input.

RE: amazon.jp, if you're going to pay at the 7/11, why not save yourself an extra trip and order at the 7/11 online store (http://www.711net.jp/). They'll email/text you a notice when your purchase arrives at your designated store and you just go in, show them the number (or you can print out a barcode if you really hate trees) pay and receive your DVDs on the spot.
post #82 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

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.

Not to be insulting but a lot of the technology talked about from the Japanese seems to be technology for the sake of technology. I cannot think of many reasons why I would need to watch video and check email at the same time on a 3 to 4 inch screen.

I am curious about some specifics of your phone. All email is not equal and all video are not equal. Most email clients on phones do not render full HTML like the iPhone. Meaning full graphics, pictures, and text. Video can be highly compressed. I wonder the resolution and bit rate your phone is receiving.
post #83 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Not to be insulting but a lot of the technology talked about from the Japanese seems to be technology for the sake of technology. I cannot think of many reasons why I would need to watch video and check email at the same time on a 3 to 4 inch screen.

I am curious about some specifics of your phone. All email is not equal and all video are not equal. Most email clients on phones do not render full HTML like the iPhone. Meaning full graphics, pictures, and text. Video can be highly compressed. I wonder the resolution and bit rate your phone is receiving.

My example of split-screen TV and email is extreme to be fair, it was more an example of the flexibilty of the OS. It uses an 'alt-tab' style button to switch between 2 open activities or split screen both. The screen is a 3.2 inch Wide-Screen VGA LCD, with Aquos technology and looks gorgeous. Internet is full HTML, but flash doesn't always work and videos are a no-no so far in my experience.

So, yes iPhone has a better screen for watching movies and the internet is more impressive, but the way I use the tabbing feature to dart back and forth between apps, with a copy paste feature that will hold 10 elements (an element can be a few thousand words, it's whatever text you've selected), I couldn't replicate on my friends iPhone. Maybe I'm just not used to the iPhone yet, or maybe Apple's firmware isn't quite there yet....

More information on my phone here: http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/en/product/3g/920sh/
post #84 of 156
I really think you are making very pro-iPhone, pro-US comments.

Mobile phone usage in countries like Japan and Korea are very different compared to the US. Some may say much more advanced but I like to say that it's just very different.

Who'd want to watch video and check msgs on a 3 to 4 in ch screen, millions of Asians, that's who. And they've been doing most of the stuff we call innovative for years now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Not to be insulting but a lot of the technology talked about from the Japanese seems to be technology for the sake of technology. I cannot think of many reasons why I would need to watch video and check email at the same time on a 3 to 4 inch screen.

I am curious about some specifics of your phone. All email is not equal and all video are not equal. Most email clients on phones do not render full HTML like the iPhone. Meaning full graphics, pictures, and text. Video can be highly compressed. I wonder the resolution and bit rate your phone is receiving.
post #85 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

So, yes iPhone has a better screen for watching movies and the internet is more impressive, but the way I use the tabbing feature to dart back and forth between apps, with a copy paste feature that will hold 10 elements (an element can be a few thousand words, it's whatever text you've selected), I couldn't replicate on my friends iPhone. Maybe I'm just not used to the iPhone yet, or maybe Apple's firmware isn't quite there yet....

I agree their are different phones for different people. That's a good thing. The iPhone isn't for everyone, their is nothing wrong with that.
post #86 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyp View Post

I really think you are making very pro-iPhone, pro-US comments.

Mobile phone usage in countries like Japan and Korea are very different compared to the US. Some may say much more advanced but I like to say that it's just very different.

I can appreciate that. But to some degree real life practicality comes into play.

Quote:
Who'd want to watch video and check msgs on a 3 to 4 in ch screen, millions of Asians, that's who. And they've been doing most of the stuff we call innovative for years now.

I would be surprised if that were true.
post #87 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by #41 View Post

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.

But then again, Japan is the biggest market for companies like Louis Vuitton! And it's noteworthy enough to Burberry for them to release two Japan-exclusive clothing lineups. Japan was the first non-North American market Apple Stores and Starbucks expanded into. McDonalds outsells native Japanese fast food outlets.

---

To analyze just how successful or unsuccessful the iPhone 3G has been in the Japanese market, let's consider: Have Japanese websites, like Mixi (Japan's Facebook or MySpace) or Mainichi news made iPhone versions of their websites the way CNN has, for example?

The fact Apple didn't drop the 3G name from the iPhone was incredibly naive since every phone has had the capability for a very long time. Moreover, Apple and Softbank are essentially telling people to rearrange their cellphone habits in order to get good use out of it. This isn't practical.

The iPhone's strengths are certainly not a problem! The Safari browser, Youtube, contacts organization, email integration and other applications are welcome features for all users worldwide. But by not including Japan-oriented features, you've essentially alienated this gigantic market. If Apple can special-tailor a Japanese iPhone with infrared-information sharing, wallet functionality, 1SegTV and emoji, then all of the iPhone's strengths and features that set it apart from other phones will become all that much more visible and relevant to the Japanese.
post #88 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

and who need a waterproof phone?!

with as much rain as we get here in parts of Japan, it actually is a useful idea.

 

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."

 

 

Reply

 

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."

 

 

Reply
post #89 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


I would be surprised if that were true.

Sir, with all due respect I recommend a trip to Asia and specifically Tokyo. I moved here from London and how different it is here is unimaginable. It will really make you see the world in a whole new way. I don't mean this in a patronising, or pretensious way, I just can't recommend a holiday here enough. You'll love it.

Anyway, one more thing I'd like to point out, is that the screen on my phone is true 16:9 widescreen. At only 3.2 inches it's smaller than the iPhone's, but if you watch a movie on your iphone in 16:9 with borders, I reckon they're about the same. Anyone know for a fact? It's at least much bigger than the screen on the new Nano or iPod Classic, and they're touted as movie watching capable devices.
post #90 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyp View Post

Who'd want to watch video and check msgs on a 3 to 4 in ch screen, millions of Asians, that's who. And they've been doing most of the stuff we call innovative for years now.

There is no viable business model for mobile tv --- even in Korea and Japan.

http://www.techdigest.tv/2007/10/koreajapan_week_9.html

http://www.telecomasia.net/article.p..._article=10234

The only thing innovative is how they manage to "spin" their press releases.
post #91 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

Sir, with all due respect I recommend a trip to Asia and specifically Tokyo. I moved here from London and how different it is here is unimaginable. It will really make you see the world in a whole new way. I don't mean this in a patronising, or pretensious way, I just can't recommend a holiday here enough. You'll love it.

I can believe its different I'm not disputing that.

But at the same time as people describe how advanced Japanese mobile technology is. I look at the facts. Japanese phones do not dominate world marketshare. Japanesec-centirc mobile technology or software is not widely adopted around the world.

While phone technology and software from Europe and the US are widely used around the world.
post #92 of 156
There may be no viable 'business model' for commercial success with mobile TV, but as I'm sure most of those on this site living in Japan will agree, 1-seg is massively popular. The average commuter train home will have 2 or 3 salary men watching the baseball or a cooking show, kids buy 1-seg tuners for their Nintendo DS, you can buy a USB tuner for your Mac and you can even by electronic dictionaries with a full colour screen and 1-seg. The great thing is 1-seg is FREE, you just buy the tuner, or phone and enjoy digital TV at no charge. It's my understanding that this is why (in Japan particularly) companies can't charge for mobile TV.
post #93 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

and who need a waterproof phone?!

<raises hand>

I had a phone get destroyed once from being in my pocket while I walked somewhere through the rain. I'd guess that water damage due to rain, dropping it in a puddle, etc. is probably one of the most common causes of dead cellphones. Why do you suppose all the phone manufacturers put those "red dot" water damage indicators on the phone?

Getting your phone ruined due to water damage sucks - then you have to either buy a phone at a very expensive unsubsidized price, or you have to go without a phone for up to 2 years while still paying for the service.

If they made waterproof phones stateside, I know I'd consider one.
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Proud member of AppleInsider since before the World Wide Web existed.
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post #94 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I can believe its different I'm not disputing that.

But at the same time as people describe how advanced Japanese mobile technology is. I look at the facts. Japanese phones do not dominate world marketshare. Japanesec-centirc mobile technology or software is not widely adopted around the world.

While phone technology and software from Europe and the US are widely used around the world.


OK, I'm sure someone else will provide a much more knowledgable reply, but I'll be the first to point out that Japanese phones are completely different to those used in the rest of the world and will not even work there.

Only recently have Japanese phones incorporated the slower tri-band networks like those used in the USA for Japanese customers who want to roam. In Japan SMS is also a relatively new feature, but only because Japanese phones use EMAIL. True, push email and haven't needed SMS before. Now SMS is a 'free' service that can only be used between same network users.

When I first moved here I was using a non-colour Japanese vodaphone that must have been 10 years old... I couldn't believe it when I realised I could type in a @hotmail.com address directly into the mail and send instant emails and get replies instantly, just like iPhone and Blackberry have now introduced to the rest of the world.

Take Sony Ericsson as a great example. I'm a big fan of Sony's phones in Europe, but over here they're the next level (excluding the upcoming and awesome looking Xperia1). Here they have SONY Bravia technology for 16:9 TV, GPS and whole host of features that simply aren't suitable outside of Japan, such as barcode readers, meishi scanners...

If Japanese Sony phones were available outside of Japan, you wouldn't believe how different and arguable superior they are.
post #95 of 156
As an example, this article is from April - take a scroll down and look at the specs on all of the handsets:

http://3gweek.net/2008/04/28/spy-pic...series-phones/

Adding the iPhone to this list, it would be interesting to see how it compared.
post #96 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

My example of split-screen TV and email is extreme to be fair, it was more an example of the flexibilty of the OS. It uses an 'alt-tab' style button to switch between 2 open activities or split screen both. The screen is a 3.2 inch Wide-Screen VGA LCD, with Aquos technology and looks gorgeous. Internet is full HTML, but flash doesn't always work and videos are a no-no so far in my experience.

So, yes iPhone has a better screen for watching movies and the internet is more impressive, but the way I use the tabbing feature to dart back and forth between apps, with a copy paste feature that will hold 10 elements (an element can be a few thousand words, it's whatever text you've selected), I couldn't replicate on my friends iPhone. Maybe I'm just not used to the iPhone yet, or maybe Apple's firmware isn't quite there yet....

More information on my phone here: http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/en/product/3g/920sh/

If this screen is typical of the user experience, I am not really impressed.


C.
post #97 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.

I easily get twice the battery life on my Nokia N82 than I do with the iPhone, and this is with wif on constantly, BT running in the background, and a constant connection to a 3G network.
post #98 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

If this screen is typical of the user experience, I am not really impressed.


C.

haha! I think that is from 'easy mode' or something.

I've googled it to try and get a better idea of the screen, this doesn't do it justice but you get a better idea:

http://www.pcvz.com/mobile/UploadFil...1161317823.jpg
post #99 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

If this screen is typical of the user experience, I am not really impressed.


C.

Please remember that Japanese is a different language from English and that the style you see in the pic is definitely appropriate for the Japanese language.
post #100 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireEmblemPride View Post

Please remember that Japanese is a different language from English and that the style you see in the pic is definitely appropriate for the Japanese language.

Agreed. Being English I use more this style, but this is a terrible example, you'll have to imagine it on a crisp VGA LCD. This makes it look terrible!

post #101 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireEmblemPride View Post

Please remember that Japanese is a different language from English and that the style you see in the pic is definitely appropriate for the Japanese language.

But it certainly is not appropriate for English, French, Spanish or any character-based language.
That screen is a good candidate for the least readable display on a mobile device. And it is bizarre that they chose to feature that screen on their website.

That's perhaps why these devices don't seem to do well outside Japan.

C.
post #102 of 156
They can handle bth writing styles no problem.

 

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."

 

 

Reply

 

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."

 

 

Reply
post #103 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

But it certainly is not appropriate for English, French, Spanish or any character-based language.
That screen is a good candidate for the least readable display on a mobile device. And it is bizarre that they chose to feature that screen on their website.

That's perhaps why these devices don't seem to do well outside Japan.

C.

You're judging that from this poor screen-capture? I'm surprised they used this on their site too.

To repost a line from my first post:
'Most of the comments from those living outside of Japan are totally useless in a topic like this'

post #104 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

But it certainly is not appropriate for English, French, Spanish or any character-based language.
That screen is a good candidate for the least readable display on a mobile device. And it is bizarre that they chose to feature that screen on their website.

That's perhaps why these devices don't seem to do well outside Japan.

C.

How often to Japanese phones come out as-is outside Japan?

With the possible exceptions of phones hitting Korea and Taiwan, not likely.

Even then, a Japanese maker wouldn't be foolish enough to release a phone in the U.S. with text representation like that.
post #105 of 156
I've seen a fair number of iPhones in use here in Tokyo. My take on why the iPhone is not more popular is simply this: it's on Softbank. Even with number portability, most people have no desire to switch carriers just to use a particular model of cellphone and Softbank is saddled with a reputation for poor reception from its Vodafone/J-Phone days --regardless of whether it is or not. Many people receive big discounts for being longtime users. Being an AU user -- but someone who doesn't use all those wiz-bang features of Japanese cell phones -- I must admit reluctance to move to a new provider just to use the iPhone.
post #106 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Breckinridge View Post

Some Japanese analysts are saying it could be as small as 160,000 units. WSJ gets most of it right but there are some missing pieces. In addition to the emoji (which are glyphs that use the Unicode free use area), iPhone does not have the one-seg digital TV reception most handsets have now or the digital wallet function. These are not the biggest drawback however, it is the poor reputation and lousy execution of Softbank.

The Softbank store experience compared to Docomo and AU is poor, the iPhone 3G phone plan is complex and Softbank has lowered the initial tier price for packet data but if you use 3G data much at all, the price has not changed. Softbank should have come out the door with lower prices but all they are doing is reacting to Docomo price cuts which does not look good in the eyes of most people here.

Despite all this there is still interest in the device and hope but only if Docomo signs on. I talked with one journalist who said that Docomo has already agreed to sell iPhone but was waiting for the green light from Apple. There is also reports from analysts that if Softbank does not hit their iPhone sales targets, Docomo will be brought online. There are a lot of Docomo users who have said they are interested in iPhone and Apple would easily hit the 1 million mark in Japan if Docomo comes into play. Will be interesting to see how it develops

JB in Tokyo



I was going to say that although I'm no expert in the Japanese cellphone market, it appears that most of the people I speak with don't care nearly as much about 1Seg, Emoji, or the payment system as much as they just don't like SoftBank. Even with the success of the iPhone in the USA, I guarantee it would be *MUCH LARGER* if the iPhone was also available on Verizon Wireless, which has "the other half" of USA cellphone customers. As much as some people despise their business practices (including me), the fact is that they have good service available in huge swaths of areas where AT&T either provides very poor coverage or no service at all, and especially their 3G service.
At least there is an excuse in the USA, given Verizon uses CDMA2000 instead of UMTS, and that Apple signed an exclusive with AT&T. In Japan, there is NO reason for the iPhone NOT to be on DoCoMo et al.
post #107 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender101 View Post

You're judging that from this poor screen-capture? I'm surprised they used this on their site too.

To repost a line from my first post:
'Most of the comments from those living outside of Japan are totally useless in a topic like this'


I am just a bit sick of hearing how amazing these Japanese devices are. If they were good, they would sell internationally.

When we actually see them, they look like the software is written by a bunch of clowns with no understanding of layout, aesthetics or user interface.

C.
post #108 of 156
well software appears to be japan's weak point. A lot of enterprise software has horrible interfaces.

As for the mobile phones, are they still using TRON?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRON_Project
post #109 of 156
Can someone explain to me why Emoji is such a big deal in Japan? From what I've read here it seems to be an important feature, but from what I gather it's just a glorified emoticon system. I mean can't you just write, "雨" in Kanji instead of having the little rain icon?

Or is it just Apple's poor implementation of this that is really the problem? For example, if they weren't going to do emoji, then why not just make it so the software on the phone ignores the unicodes that show the emoji?

As an aside, do grown adults actually pepper their text messages with these silly icons? I'm assuming if this is the case it's a cultural thing, but I can't quite get my head around a middle aged salaryman sending a message with junk like this:
post #110 of 156
Much of this article is BS.

The number of Japanese people that watch satellite TV and use the debit pay thing on their phones is very small compared to the overall number of customers. The iPhone's lack of this is not an issue, as it provides many other desirable features.

The problem with the iPhone is that it's not very Japanese and not a very good phone.

-Text entry in Japanese is a joke compared to what people are used to (tactile and familiar). Yeah, emoticons would be nice, but they differ between phone carriers (my AU icons don't show up on Docomo or Softbank phones, for example).

-The iphone is crappy phone - harder to use and less familiar to Japanese than what they have. And although it's illegal to drive while talking or texting on the a mobile phone - people do it all the time because the cops don't enforce the rules. Without tactile feed back, it's a little harder to do those things with an iPhone than a normal phone.

-SoftBank is still not regarded as a reliable company by most Japanese consumers. And if they have been long-time users or have family contracts with Docomo or AU, their incentive to switch is very low.

-The Japanese mobile market is much more mature and sophisticated than anywhere else - particularly the US. The iPhone just doesn't cut it as a phone for most people here.

-Japanese pop culture and consumerism is boom and bust. The iPhone had it's boom, and although it might not bust all together yet, it'll only be a banner carried by the Mac Otaku here.

I think the iPhone has saturated the market as best it can for now. It is giving smart phones (like some of the Wilcom phones) a run for their money, because the iPhone is a superior mobile internet device. But it's not a superior phone and texting device for Japanese people. One size just doesn't fit all here.

Let's hope they learn their lesson for the second version.
post #111 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I am just a bit sick of hearing how amazing these Japanese devices are. If they were good, they would sell internationally.

When we actually see them, they look like the software is written by a bunch of clowns with no understanding of layout, aesthetics or user interface.

C.

I disagree entirely. Your aesthetic is not the Japanese aesthetic. And they make very good use of limited screenspace with their interfaces.

They usually can't sell internationally, because the systems in most places don't support the features, or the airwave use rules have to be overcome. Hell, it's taken the US years to start making a 3G network available. It's been here since I arrived in 2001. What's up with that? Forget payment systems and satellite TV.

Case in point - I bought a water proof Casio phone (with styling like their G-shock watch line) maybe 3 years ago, and still use it, as it serves me well. This phone is just now making its appearance on Verizon in the US, two years after it was discontinued here. Pathetic!

There are some technologies that just haven't caught on here in Japan. Bluetooth is not as available on phones here (or at least wasn't a year ago when I did a survey) as in US or European phones. Most Japanese people I know tell me it isn't something they particularly want in a phone. So not everything is advanced - just many things.

Please leave the ethnocentric bias at home before you post comments like this.
post #112 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anawrahta View Post

Can someone explain to me why Emoji is such a big deal in Japan? From what I've read here it seems to be an important feature, but from what I gather it's just a glorified emoticon system. I mean can't you just write, "雨" in Kanji instead of having the little rain icon?

Or is it just Apple's poor implementation of this that is really the problem? For example, if they weren't going to do emoji, then why not just make it so the software on the phone ignores the unicodes that show the emoji?

As an aside, do grown adults actually pepper their text messages with these silly icons? I'm assuming if this is the case it's a cultural thing, but I can't quite get my head around a middle aged salaryman sending a message with junk like this:

Emoji is a big deal to some people, but not all. My wife sends me one or two per every 6 messages, for example. But her friends use lots of them. Just like Kanji can represent a word, sometimes they represent a feeling. Emoji is more feeling, allows you write less.

The problem with Emoji here, is that you can't use them between different phone systems. My AU emoji don't work with Docomo's and vice-versa, for example. So, their use is hampered by this limitation (you have to have same phone provider and know that your friend has it).
post #113 of 156
"'ve seen a fair number of iPhones in use here in Tokyo. My take on why the iPhone is not more popular is simply this: it's on Softbank. Even with number portability, most people have no desire to switch carriers just to use a particular model of cellphone and Softbank is saddled with a reputation for poor reception from its Vodafone/J-Phone days --regardless of whether it is or not. Many people receive big discounts for being longtime users. Being an AU user -- but someone who doesn't use all those wiz-bang features of Japanese cell phones -- I must admit reluctance to move to a new provider just to use the iPhone."
\t

Totally agree on these points point. Since my wife and I both have AU, we get cheaper service and some things are free - like text messages between us. For both of us to switch, just because I want an iPhone (she wants nothing to do with one) would be expensive.
post #114 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post

<raises hand>

I had a phone get destroyed once from being in my pocket while I walked somewhere through the rain. I'd guess that water damage due to rain, dropping it in a puddle, etc. is probably one of the most common causes of dead cellphones. Why do you suppose all the phone manufacturers put those "red dot" water damage indicators on the phone?

Getting your phone ruined due to water damage sucks - then you have to either buy a phone at a very expensive unsubsidized price, or you have to go without a phone for up to 2 years while still paying for the service.

If they made waterproof phones stateside, I know I'd consider one.

I need one here in Japan. I'm a diver, in the field for research, and have had one ruined by rain. You CAN get a CASIO waterproof from Verizon - just saw an ad for it somewhere. This is the same tough phone I bought 3 years ago and still use today.
post #115 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiseki View Post

The vast majority of Japanese consumers probably don't even know that the iPhone is available here.
They need to run ads, better yet, viral ones to post on Nico-nico-doga(the Japanese and more high-tech version of You-tube).

BS - they know it's here if they have a TV or use the train. Everyone I know has heard of it, and I know people from a broad spectrum.

It's just not on everybody's radar, and to be frank this is not a very good phone. A great internet device, but not a good phone here.
post #116 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.

You are partially correct. Apple was doing very poorly here because it's notebooks were TOO BIG (5lbs!). With the release of the MacBook Air, the weight issue isn't a factor, but the form factor is. The last I checked, their sales had improved. I've seen more mac laptops in use in labs and on the trains - not And in the last year, all the electronics dealers are devoting more space to Macs.

One big issue is the prices are a bit higher here than in the US, even when currency exchange rates are decent. So, they may regard Macs as being overpriced. Another thing is that not everyone like the Japanese input system used by the Mac OS. My wife hates it, prefers what's there on Windoze. I've heard the same thing from many of my colleagues and friends.
post #117 of 156
So let me get this, Nokia who sell the most phones in the world can't even get a 1 percent share in Japan and people want to complain about Apple and their iphone, oh the irony.
post #118 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

They usually can't sell internationally, because the systems in most places don't support the features, or the airwave use rules have to be overcome. Hell, it's taken the US years to start making a 3G network available. It's been here since I arrived in 2001. What's up with that? Forget payment systems and satellite TV.

Most people don't realize that the reason it took that long for GSM and 3G to reach US is because the US is huge (26 times larger than Japan) and for one carrier to cover the whole country they need a lot more money. Sure it will pay off but it is not easy to get the money immediately to make the new network available to everyone. I think that AT&T and T-Mobile done great job in implementing GSM network here in the States. However, they still have a lot of work to do.
post #119 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Good luck destroying that myth as obviously you are still an outsider. There are many avenues Japan is pursuing with their Asian counterparts that go unannounced...that's how the Japanese do it.

so what is this secret technology of which you speak? i've been in tokyo 5 years and whilst i was initially impressed by full-colour screen phones when i arrived here i have since been envious of the nokias friends back in the uk have. at least it seems like someone made an effort to design an interface for them. and i doubt they have to listen to beeps for almost a minute whilst my keitai tries to connect to the overloaded networks and can't even get a signal at all if i'm anywhere out of the way

but i guess if i wasn't an outsider i wouldn't have these problems, eh?
post #120 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

-The iphone is crappy phone - harder to use and less familiar to Japanese than what they have. And although it's illegal to drive while talking or texting on the a mobile phone - people do it all the time because the cops don't enforce the rules. Without tactile feed back, it's a little harder to do those things with an iPhone than a normal phone.
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The iPhone is crap because its not tactile, unfamiliar to Japanese, and won't allow them to text while driving.
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