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Japanese iPhone 3G sales better than reported

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
Despite a widely publicized report that suggested iPhone sales in Japan were less than half of initial expectations, independent data shows that sales are right in line with expectations in a market that is often difficult for Western companies to enter.

An online post published by the Wall Street Journal indicated that Apple was set to fall far short of an expected million unit goal, that Japanese users would avoid the App Store out of a fear of online commerce, and that the iPhone 3G is priced too high for the Japanese market.

The report was not based on actual sales reports from the tight lipped Softbank, Apple's exclusive iPhone 3G partner in Japan, but rather numbers from MM Research Institute, which estimated that 200,000 units were sold over the first two months. The original article also cited unnamed analysts who set minimum expectations of a million units, and predicted actual shipments would only hit half that by the end of the year.

iPhone 3G shipments in line with expectations

However, an independent market research cited in The Australian indicated that iPhone sales were on track. “Gerhard Fasol, of telecoms consultancy Eurotechnology Japan, estimates they [Softbank] shifted between 75,000 and 125,000 units in July. At that rate, he thinks 2008 sales could total between 645,000 and 1 million."

Additionally, the Journal itself presented that the 16GB iPhone 3G in Japan was within $25 of its US price, and that unit and service fees were also in the same range as competing models.

While the iPhone does lack some features common to the Japanese market, Takeshi Natsuno, the inventor of Japan’s i-mode mobile web service and former Senior Vice President NTT DoCoMo, stated in an interview, “I believe the iPhone is closer to the mobile phone of the future, compared with the latest Japanese mobile phones.”

As for Japanese interest in the iPhone App Store, mobile developer Smule has posted usage data that shows half of the top ten cities using the company's 'virtual lighter software' are located in Japan.

Hard market to crack

The fact that the iPhone is well represented in Japan is notable considering the difficulty Apple and other Western companies have had in entering the market. For years, Apple reported disappointing Mac sales in the country, where many users rely on smartphones in place of desktop computers. However, in its latest financial reports this summer, Apple noted that Mac sales have taken off and that the company was seeing growth four to five times faster than the overall market.

Japanese smartphone sales are particularly difficult to crack into because of long term contracts and steep fees to transfer mobile numbers between operators; world leader Nokia has taken less than 1% market share in the country. However, Softbank reported right from the beginning a surge in new activations transferred in from rivals, about which company representatives said, "We believe our large net growth was an iPhone effect."
post #2 of 77
When I saw the title I knew who wrote the story. Just sayin'
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 77
Apple, iPhone FREE from any contract or any telecom company to boost sales, NOW!
post #4 of 77
Reporters that don't do their homework would just repeat Apple's lack of success in Japan. This is good news. The halo effect is now taking Japan by storm. Mac sales are spiking and the iPhone is doing as well as expected. Great news all around. All this without a Mac netbook or a mini tower. Though I would appreciate both from Apple.
post #5 of 77
1) If Takeshi Natsuno, the inventor of Japan’s i-mode mobile web service and former Senior Vice President NTT DoCoMo, stated in an interview, “I believe the iPhone is closer to the mobile phone of the future, compared with the latest Japanese mobile phones.”, then that is a huge win for the iPhone in Japan.

2) I look forward to seeing how Nokia will react to this news. They certainly have the technical prowess to made headway in the Japanese market.

3) This has got to being off their rivals.

4) What can we expect from the iPhone next Summer? A built-in TV over 3G, terrestrial, satellite receiver (or however the Japanese do it), A better camera with integrated or separate barcode reader? HYC G1 can already use standard barcodes for value shopping so I see no reasoning why QR Codes cant be included for the Japanese market.
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post #6 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

When I saw the title I knew who wrote the story. Just sayin'

The original title was: Japanese iPhone 3G sales better than retarded.
post #7 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Reporters that don't do their homework would just repeat Apple's lack of success in Japan. This is good news. The halo effect is now taking Japan by storm. Mac sales are spiking and the iPhone is doing as well as expected. Great news all around. All this without a Mac netbook or a mini tower. Though I would appreciate both from Apple.

If both the rumours of Mac sales growing substantially in Japan are true and the the internet in netbooks in Japan are true then is it possible that were might see an Atom-based netbook making its way to the Japanese market soon?
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post #8 of 77
Wow, if the iPhone managed to penetrate into japan market, then thats something. Oo, I wonder what Ballmer will say next. Im buying freshly stocked popcorn now
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post #9 of 77
Really, who honestly pays attention to what "analysts" say? If they were so good at "predicting" sales, then perhaps they can predict the next series of SuperLotto numbers. Then, they will have impressed me.

I supposed investors want to know or perhaps they want to claim bragging rights should their numbers have been spot-on. However, with no real access to sales figures or any other type of on-the-field leads, these analysts are just self-glorified crystal-ball readers.

These types of articles just encourages more of these wannabe swamis.
post #10 of 77
We need the SEC to start investigating reporters and publications who write article based not on facts but on speculation. Are these people short on Apple stock or do they have a motive to see Apple stock fall if so they are violating the law and should be jailed. Wall street has run amuck with lies and speculative reporting to cause common investors to lose money while these crooks make money from the down fall on business. NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE A STOCK FALLS IN PRICE.
post #11 of 77
When ChessClock first went on sale, 90% of all sales were to US App Store customers. That's been changing substantially over the past month. This past week, the US share was about 10%... yesterday I sold 12 copies, 1 of them in the US. (2 FR, 2 IT, 2 DK, 1 ES, 1 AU, 1GB, 1 MX, 1 US, and 1 DE). The day before yesterday it was 4 IT, 3 US, 2 CH, 2 NO, 2 GB, 1 BE, 1 FR, 1 AU, 1 PH, 1 GR.

I assume any analyst worth their salt is tracking a dozen of the more popular apps to determine where iPhones are really being used.

I honestly don't get many Japanese sales... maybe a couple a week. But Chess is a somewhat Mediterranean-centric game that isn't as popular in the Pacific rim nations, so I don't know how representative that is.

I'll tell you this, though... the authors of Koi Pond are sitting on a gold mine worth of sales statistics...
post #12 of 77
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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post #13 of 77
Funny how the author used old old old data from eurotechnology japan --- which was based on 3 weeks' worth of iphone sales data in Japan.
post #14 of 77
This has to be a running joke.

First it was a smokin' debut complete with gang buster line ups, gazillions of reporters and storm troopers then it was low sales now it's back up.

Which is it? Oh wait...tell us after you made your next buy/sell.

Does anyone actually believe numbers anyway?
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

So what is the SEC going to do to reporters or analysts in Japan?

Sebastian

"An online post published by the Wall Street Journal"

So the Wall Street Journal is in Japan?? I think YOU need a map buddy it is in New York which happens to be in the USA.

American reports and publications who repeat bogus info from some foreigner to create a change in stock prices can not hide behind the fact they just are reporting a foreign source. The SEC should see if the writer or publication stand to gain from a change in the price ( this includes family members)

Look at the original source an "investment bank" yea I am sure they are unbiased, we have found out in the last few weeks what wonderful honest people they are!
post #16 of 77
Well, even if Apple were to only sell 400,000 iPhones, that's a pretty darn good start for a half a year considering it had been said hardly anyone in Japan would be buying iPhones due to the lack of features that come standard on high-end Japanese handsets. I hadn't really considered that the Japanese were also locked into long-term contracts that would slow down the adoption of the iPhone.

If I were a Japanese handset user and were used to using FeliCa and 1Seg, I don't think I'd be in any rush to switch over. I'd like the idea of paying for things using my handset and if I could watch a program on my way to or from work as a time killer I wouldn't want to give that up either. I'd recently heard that emoji use is due to Japanese usage of short text messages and the emoji helps to express a sort of friendliness into the message and it would almost be rude not to accompany a message with emoji. I'm not much of a fan of smilies or emoticons so it's something I'd really have to evaluate.

The software for reading those 2D barcodes can be added to the iPhone without much of a problem, so that's not much to overcome. 1Seg could be replaced on the iPhone by a specialized programming stream and it shouldn't take up that much bandwidth. The only thing that so far can't be replaced without hardware is the FeliCa chip.

I was looking at the Sonic Lighter app and saw that of all the cities and countries that have users, Japan is leading by far for the most lighter ignitions. I'm puzzled over that fact.
http://app.smule.com/soniclighter/sonicnetwork/
So even though the Japan's iPhone density shouldn't be very high, the lighter use is three times that of most cities in the world. Maybe the Japanese have been promoting the use by word of mouth or over the internet. It would be nice if this app were to drive iPhone sales in Japan.

Regardless of current sales in Japan, it may just take time for more Japanese users to switch, especially if there were some games geared to Japanese iPhone users. Apple should promote app development in Japan and see how creative they can be with the iPhone SDK.

I wish Apple had an app that automatically tracked all iPhones and you could see all the users on a world map. I'd want to see if there were any users in outer-Mongolia or deep in the Amazon rain-forest. There was one user way up in Northern Alaska. That's way off the beaten path.
post #17 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Funny how the author used old old old data from eurotechnology japan --- which was based on 3 weeks' worth of iphone sales data in Japan.

Hey iphone hater how are you, Apple and the iphone will keep feeding your trolling self humble pies, going on different forums to hate on a phone, what a bloody joke.
post #18 of 77
To think that the only one that really knows how many iPhones Apple sells is Apple? Wow!
post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

When ChessClock first went on sale, 90% of all sales were to US App Store customers. That's been changing substantially over the past month. This past week, the US share was about 10%... yesterday I sold 12 copies, 1 of them in the US. (2 FR, 2 IT, 2 DK, 1 ES, 1 AU, 1GB, 1 MX, 1 US, and 1 DE). The day before yesterday it was 4 IT, 3 US, 2 CH, 2 NO, 2 GB, 1 BE, 1 FR, 1 AU, 1 PH, 1 GR.

I assume any analyst worth their salt is tracking a dozen of the more popular apps to determine where iPhones are really being used.

I honestly don't get many Japanese sales... maybe a couple a week. But Chess is a somewhat Mediterranean-centric game that isn't as popular in the Pacific rim nations, so I don't know how representative that is.

I'll tell you this, though... the authors of Koi Pond are sitting on a gold mine worth of sales statistics...

You must be excited about the iPhone going on sale in Russia.
post #20 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirasaw View Post

NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE A STOCK FALLS IN PRICE.

Huh? Forget about options and short sales and such: Would you then ban all stock trading?

In every trade, there is, by definition, an ex-post winner and a loser. For instance, if I bought a share from you expecting the price to go up and the price went up, I gained and you lost; if I sold you a share expecting the price to go down and the price went down, I gained and you lost.

(Of course, I am assuming that you would only sell when you expect the price to go down, and only buy when you expect the price to go up. I'd like you think about the fact that, if you did so, you are guilty of the same behavior that you would seek to ban!)
post #21 of 77
deleted
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I was looking at the Sonic Lighter app and saw that of all the cities and countries that have users, Japan is leading by far for the most lighter ignitions. I'm puzzled over that fact.
http://app.smule.com/soniclighter/sonicnetwork/
So even though the Japan's iPhone density shouldn't be very high, the lighter use is three times that of most cities in the world. Maybe the Japanese have been promoting the use by word of mouth or over the internet. It would be nice if this app were to drive iPhone sales in Japan.

This is absolutely no surprise. Japanese are the most chronic smokers IMHO. The Sonic Lighter stat is simply a per capita statistic.
post #23 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

iPhone 3G shipments in line with expectations

However, an independent market research cited in The Australian indicated that iPhone sales were on track. Gerhard Fasol, of telecoms consultancy Eurotechnology Japan, estimates they [Softbank] shifted between 75,000 and 125,000 units in July. At that rate, he thinks 2008 sales could total between 645,000 and 1 million."

The majority of the articles that Prince McLean writes are garbage, iPhones are better than expected because someone estimated something, and something thinks something.

I bet the competitors are scared because of that...
post #24 of 77
There are a few things Apple could do in software quite easily to boost iPhone popularity in Japan, such as including emoji (which are essential in Japanese email messaging), and the ability to read those square barcodes which are absolutely *everywhere* in Japan. To be honest it's at best stupid and at worst ignorant and rude to have not included these in the Japanese iPhone in the first place.

I don't think 1Seg is a big deal as not many Japanese seem to use it, at least from my experience in Tokyo, and the reception on it is crappy anyway.

There is one factor which Apple is in a tight spot over though - fashion. Japanese phones are all flip phones, and they all look identical. It doesn't matter which manufacturer is behind a phone, it will look exactly the same as ever other JP flip phone. Herd mentality I guess, everyone uses very tall flip phones in Japan and anything else seems to hold little interest.

One more thing - everyone in Japan, from tired old salarymen to hyper fashionable school girls have little bits of junk dangling from the side of their keitai. The iPhone has no little loop to hang stuff from. Sounds silly but you should see how many little cute anime characters and the like people hang from their phones in Japan. It's bordering on ridiculous.
post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

The majority of the articles that Prince McLean writes are garbage, iPhones are better than expected because someone estimated something, and something thinks something.

I bet the competitors are scared because of that...

I agree, this article is disappointing. Regurgitated questionable second hand source stuff, no hard numbers or analysis. Useless.
post #26 of 77
Just like Bush and Mc Cain told us up until last week that our Economy was Strong and Sound. Believe and trust Quality always. Get your news form trusted credible sources that have a track record that speaks for itself - Like Apple.

Now if only we could get portals and news sources to certify their sources and writers, get graded accordingly and publicly based on the QUALITY and credibility of what they put out there...

That and consumers that actually reward quality, demand substance and ignore trash we might get back to sanity and smarten up again from the dumbed down gluttons that we have become - believing in any mass hysteria and ignorant gossip.

Here's another good example of substance which really goes to the heart of illustrating Quality:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8__aXxXPVc
post #27 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

Hey iphone hater how are you, Apple and the iphone will keep feeding your trolling self humble pies, going on different forums to hate on a phone, what a bloody joke.

Funny that not another single individual in this thread actually believe this article.
post #28 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

This has to be a running joke.

First it was a smokin' debut complete with gang buster line ups, gazillions of reporters and storm troopers then it was low sales now it's back up.

Which is it? Oh wait...tell us after you made your next buy/sell.

Does anyone actually believe numbers anyway?

But are these conflicting reports from the same groups? Don't tie together unrelated entities just because the numbers are made by people with the same job title. I think it's most likely that analyst A says up, B says down, C says up, and you're suggesting that they are all the same people when the reality is more complicated than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirasaw View Post

We need the SEC to start investigating reporters and publications who write article based not on facts but on speculation. Are these people short on Apple stock or do they have a motive to see Apple stock fall if so they are violating the law and should be jailed. Wall street has run amuck with lies and speculative reporting to cause common investors to lose money while these crooks make money from the down fall on business.

I think they need probable cause, I don't think these articles qualify. Without probable cause, it's just advocating an abridgment of first amendment rights.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) If Takeshi Natsuno, the inventor of Japans i-mode mobile web service and former Senior Vice President NTT DoCoMo, stated in an interview, I believe the iPhone is closer to the mobile phone of the future, compared with the latest Japanese mobile phones., then that is a huge win for the iPhone in Japan.

2) I look forward to seeing how Nokia will react to this news. They certainly have the technical prowess to made headway in the Japanese market.

3) This has got to being off their rivals.

4) What can was expect from the iPhone next Summer? A built-in TV over 3G, terrestrial, satellite receiver (or however the Japanese do it), A better camera with integrated or separate barcode reader? HYC G1 can already use standard barcodes for value shopping so I see no reasoning why QR Codes cant be included for the Japanese market.

The bar code reader or QR code reader would likely just be an app.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The bar code reader or QR code reader would likely just be an app.

I didn't even notice any of the rampant typos in my post and I have absolutely no idea what my 3rd point is. I think I should stop replying with my iPhone while mobileSafari still crashes as often as it does.
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post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I didn't even notice any of the rampant typos in my post and I have absolutely no idea what my 3rd point is. I think I should stop replying with my iPhone while mobileSafari still crashes as often as it does.

I hear you. I don't know what other people's experiences are, but mobile Safari is the least reliable web browser I've ever seen. What's the half-life anyway, ten minutes?
post #32 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I hear you. I don't know what other people's experiences are, but mobile Safari is the least reliable web browser I've ever seen. What's the half-life anyway, ten minutes?

mobileSafari in OS X v2.x has been very unstable for me, but from about v1.0.3 to v1.1.4 I recall as being very stable, but my memory may be askew..
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post #33 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

This has to be a running joke.

First it was a smokin' debut complete with gang buster line ups, gazillions of reporters and storm troopers then it was low sales now it's back up.

Which is it? Oh wait...tell us after you made your next buy/sell.

Does anyone actually believe numbers anyway?

Yes the serious flaw in the WSJ story is the premise that Apple expects to sell 1 million phones in its first quarter of sales. Apple never released these sales projections. Looking at sales of other foreign phone makers in Japan is a pretty unrealistic goal. Then the article goes on to say selling less than 1 million phones shows demand for the iPhone is slower than expected.

Essentially it sets up an unrealistic and unsubstantiated premise to then prove its central point.
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

mobileSafari in OS X v2.x has been very unstable for me, but from about v1.0.3 to v1.1.4 I recall as being very stable, but my memory may be askew..

I agree I would say Safari in v2 is less stable than v1. I agree it is annoying.
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The bar code reader or QR code reader would likely just be an app.


There already is a bar code reader program called NeoReader. It works with the square bar codes called 2D codes. It shows that there is no reason why the phone can't do what any other phone can do with these. It's no biggie.

UPC codes require special lenses, which the iPhone, and most other phones don't have.
post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Yes the serious flaw in the WSJ story is the premise that Apple expects to sell 1 million phones in its first quarter of sales. Apple never released these sales projections. Looking at sales of other foreign phone makers in Japan is a pretty unrealistic goal. Then the article goes on to say selling less than 1 million phones shows demand for the iPhone is slower than expected.

Essentially it sets up an unrealistic and unsubstantiated premise to then prove its central point.

The WSJ article didn't say that Apple expects to sell 1 million iphones. The article said that analysts originally thought that Apple could sell 1 million iphones.
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

The WSJ article didn't say that Apple expects to sell 1 million iphones. The article said that analysts originally thought that Apple could sell 1 million iphones.

That's my point the analysts came up with the 1 million figure, not Apple.

The analysts decided Apple should sell 1 million phones in Japan. Then decided iPhone sales are slow when it doesn't. They have no idea what Apple actually expected to sell. They don't even know the actual number of iPhones sold.
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

That's my point the analysts came up with the 1 million figure, not Apple.

The analysts decided Apple should sell 1 million phones in Japan. Then decided iPhone sales are slow when it doesn't. They have no idea what Apple actually expected to sell. They don't even know the actual number of iPhones sold.

I didn't see anyone here questioning the analysts' initial estimates.

It's a little too late to now question their estimates.
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

I didn't see anyone here questioning the analysts' initial estimates.

It's a little too late to now question their estimates.

Why would their be a time limit on questioning their estimates?
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Why would their be a time limit on questioning their estimates?

I can see samab's point though. Accepting a prediction that favors "your side" is something that people tend to do. Generally only scrutinize if it's not in favor of their position. Questioning a prediction only after it's turned out to be false doesn't take any foresight.
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