Study suggests most of Japan not bonkers over iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The Japanese aren't lusting over iPhone to the same degree as Americans and fellow Europeans across the pond, according to a local study commissioned shortly after regional wireless carrier SoftBank Mobile said it would offer the Apple handset later this year.



The survey, conducted by iShare over a relatively small sample size of 402 Japanese wireless subscribers, found that as of earlier this month slightly more than 91 percent held no plans to purchase one of the updated touch-screen handsets following its announcement.



For SoftBank, the good news is that more than half of the respondents who said they planned to purchase the new iPhone are currently subscribers of a rival carrier's service and would need to make the jump to legitimately obtain the device. Overall, 39.8 percent of participants in the study said they were enrolled with NTT DoCoMo, 26.9 percent with KDDI's "au," 22.9 percent with SoftBank, and another 6.5 percent with other providers such as Willcom and Emobile.



Of particular concern to Japanese mobile users was the ability to replace the battery in their cell phones. Approximately 77 percent said they'd "prefer replaceable batteries," while the remainder said they didn't care if the battery is replaceable or not. However, 88 percent of those people who had replaced a battery in one of their previous phones said they'd prefer to have the same option going forward.



iShare noted in its report that the lack of a replaceable battery in the iPhone could be a deal breaker in Japan. It also noted that intent on the part of Japanese consumers to buy one of the Apple handsets appears to have dropped considerably between July 2007 and today.



Those sentiments on the part of Japanese consumers may have changed in recent weeks, however, given that iShare conducted its survey from June 5th through the 6th -- shortly after SoftBank announced plans to carry the handset locally, but before the phone's $199 maximum entry-level cost was announced. That's likely half the price most consumers had grown to expect.



For Apple, the stakes surrounding its iPhone 3G launch in Japan and other international regions are extremely high. The Cupertino-based company has made a considerable wager in effectively 'subsidizing' the cost of each unit, or sacrificing revenues estimated at around $200. The company hopes to make up for a lack of shared revenues over an extended period of time through sales of high margin services and software to an incrementally larger user base.



In a report issued Wednesday, investment bank Morgan Stanley said they like the company's odds and expected iPhone sales to more than double from 12.9 million units in 2008 to approximately 27 million units next year. Should one out of every 2 iPhone owners buy one application from the company's App Store at $9.99 each year, and 8.5 percent also sign up for its MobileMe service, it would help drive Apple's revenues in excess of $42 billion, the firm said.



However, should Apple continue to see sales of Macs rise while selling 30 million iPhones, two apps to each user, and MobileMe to 30 percent of iPhone customers, 2009 revenues could surge to nearly $48 billion.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 163
    This is not much of a surprise. Japan is usually inundated 24/7 with the newest and cutting edge in technology. Sure, the iPhone is nice but nothing worth going crazy over.
  • Reply 2 of 163
    ouraganouragan Posts: 423member
    Quote:

    For Apple, the stakes surrounding its iPhone 3G launch in Japan and other international regions are extremely high. The Cupertino-based company has made a considerable wager in effectively subsidizing the cost of each unit it sells by an estimated $200. The idea is to make that much back and then some over an extended period of time through sales of high margin services and software to an incrementally larger user base.





    This is a false assumption. Apple doesn't subsidize the retail sale price of an iPhone.



    A 4 GB Sandisk USB flash drive is sold for a retail price of $29, complete with the U3 software. How much do you believe than an iPhone costs to manufacture?





  • Reply 3 of 163
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    I own an iPhone and I'm not bonkers about the iPhone 3G either. It's not HSDPA, it's 3G. The camera is still 2MP, 3.2 would have been nice. And if the camera had a little flash it would being absolutely superb. Though the rumored front-facing camera for video calls was not necessary. No copy & paste still? WTF? Still no A2DP? WTF again? Can't say I blame Japan, though most of them have yet to see the UI in action, so that will sell some when they do.



    Side note though; if only 5% of Japan were interested and bought the iPhone Apple would sell 6.3M iPhones to them
  • Reply 4 of 163
    cam'roncam'ron Posts: 503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I own an iPhone and I'm not bonkers about the iPhone 3G either. It's not HSDPA, it's 3G. The camera is still 2MP, 3.2 would have been nice. And if the camera had a little flash it would being absolutely superb. Though the rumored front-facing camera for video calls was not necessary. No copy & paste still? WTF? Still no A2DP? WTF again?



    HSDPA is, essentially, 3G (more 3.5G) and yes, the iPhone is HSDPA capable.
  • Reply 5 of 163
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Being conservative the iPhone costs about $130 to produce. Despite the outrageous claims by those analysts that is costs about $100. Then you have to add on shipping, marketing and selling costs. Apple's making money on the iPhone, but they are building a user base more importantly. And they are getting an amount from each carrier too, you could bet your life on that.
  • Reply 6 of 163
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cam'ron View Post


    HSDPA is, essentially, 3G (more 3.5G) and yes, the iPhone is HSDPA capable.



    Well true HSPDA is 7.2MP right? The iPhone only does 3.2
  • Reply 7 of 163
    Okay, well, since the Japanese are portrayed as a cell-phone culture, what exactly is the most popular cutting edge smartphone in Japan?



    Maybe I'll dump my iPhone and get one of those instead.
  • Reply 8 of 163
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post


    Okay, well, since the Japanese are portrayed as a cell-phone culture, what exactly is the most popular cutting edge smartphone in Japan?



    Maybe I'll dump my iPhone and get one of those instead.



    Good argument but it's just not that simple. I'd bet the whole 2MP camera thing alone would put off most Japanese, not to mention that most like live mobile TV and other things which the iPhone doesn't have. I'd rather the iPhone too, but you and me aren't Japanese.
  • Reply 9 of 163
    It seems to me that the Japanese use their cell phones a whole heck of a lot, replace them frequently, and buy all kinds of ring tones, wallpapers, screensavers, short videos, etc. I don't think out of the gate the iPhone is meant to play into the Japanese Cell Phone Experience, so they won't be doing the usual things they may be used to. My point being it's a pretty unique market.
  • Reply 10 of 163
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Still no A2DP? WTF again?



    Having never had A2DP, I am totally clueless about how well the technology works. Obviously it's better than a bluetooth headset (since it's stereo), but is the sound quality really worth bothering with? There's so much angst over it missing. Patrick Norton, who represents himself as an audiophile, dissed A2DP as bad sounding on any phone in a recent podcast of his.



    Does bluetooth have the bandwidth for good audio quality? Is the digital delay that bluetooth headsets introduce into cell calls an issue with bluetooth stereo headsets?



    Genuinely interested, as I don't like iPhone/iPod cords dangling around my neck and torso to catch on things, but not if the audio quality isn't up to snuff.
  • Reply 11 of 163
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post


    Having never had A2DP, I am totally clueless about how well the technology works. Obviously it's better than a bluetooth headset (since it's stereo), but is the sound quality really worth bothering with? There's so much angst over it missing. Patrick Norton, who represents himself as an audiophile, dissed A2DP as bad sounding on any phone in a recent podcast of his.



    Does bluetooth have the bandwidth for good audio quality? Is the digital delay that bluetooth headsets introduce into cell calls an issue with bluetooth stereo headsets?



    Genuinely interested, as I don't like iPhone/iPod cords dangling around my neck and torso to catch on things, but not if the audio quality isn't up to snuff.



    I don't use it, but there a lot of people craving for it for ages, they should have added it.
  • Reply 12 of 163
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Good argument but it's just not that simple. I'd bet the whole 2MP camera thing alone would put off most Japanese, not to mention that most like live mobile TV and other things which the iPhone doesn't have. I'd rather the iPhone too, but you and me aren't Japanese.



    Actually, I wasn't making an argument for the iPhone. It was a serious question, and would have been a nice bit of info to add to the article. Something along the lines of "the Japanese are so enamored of their --insert cellphone mode here-- devices that the iPhone just doesn't interest them."



    I like my iPhone, but I'd gladly chuck it for something that does what it does better and offered up more features (like mobile tv as an example).
  • Reply 13 of 163
    elliots11elliots11 Posts: 270member
    How do we know that there will be no mobile TV? Is it a hardware thing, or could it be updated through the appstore or a firmware update?
  • Reply 14 of 163
    Until VERY recently, if you look at Japanese cars (and they may still be this way for the home market,) just as a national characteristic, it seemed that the dashboard was extremely cluttered and busy, with as many buttons and switches as they could possibly get in there. The iPhone's simple and elegant interface, which Americans and Europeans lust after enough to overlook some other shortcomings, may be a negative in Japan. (Not dissing Japanese culture--every country has different tastes.) The Blackberry, with its thousands of unworkably small keys, is very popular there, right?
  • Reply 15 of 163
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ouragan View Post


    This is a false assumption. Apple doesn't subsidize the retail sale price of an iPhone.



    A 4 GB Sandisk USB flash drive is sold for a retail price of $29, complete with the U3 software. How much do you believe than an iPhone costs to manufacture?



    It's $199 with a 24-month subscription. The device's IMEI is being tied to a user and their CC. You better believe it's subsidized. If you don't believe me look at the international plans and the price variances for contract and without among the retailers.



    The components or the manufacturing are only one aspect to a device's wholesale or retail price.
  • Reply 16 of 163
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Well true HSPDA is 7.2MP right? The iPhone only does 3.2



    HSDPA comes in different download speeds with the upload being 384Kbps. According to the rumours?which I believe to be true, but won't know until we crack it open?the radio chips in the 3G iPhone is capable of 7.2Mbps.
  • Reply 17 of 163
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post


    Having never had A2DP, I am totally clueless about how well the technology works. Obviously it's better than a bluetooth headset (since it's stereo), but is the sound quality really worth bothering with? There's so much angst over it missing. Patrick Norton, who represents himself as an audiophile, dissed A2DP as bad sounding on any phone in a recent podcast of his.



    Did you ask this question on MacOSXHints.com earlier this week? I tried looking into it. It appears that better than 320Kbps audio can be sent, but the info wasn't enough to warrant an answer to the person asking the question. (I don't mind posting rumours and speculation here, but on their forums I try to be factual and to the point)
  • Reply 18 of 163
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Good argument but it's just not that simple. I'd bet the whole 2MP camera thing alone would put off most Japanese, not to mention that most like live mobile TV and other things which the iPhone doesn't have. I'd rather the iPhone too, but you and me aren't Japanese.



    The HW issues*, like the camera Mpx, and the OS X iPhone system issues, like the inability to cut an paste, maybe a turn off, but mobile TV can be had by a 3rd-party app on the device.





    * The Japanese seem to really buy on specs, not on usability, so the lack of HSUPA may be a turn off despite Japan just starting to roll it out this month.
  • Reply 19 of 163
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,608member
    The sooner people understand that the iPhone is not so much a cell phone or smart phone as it is a mobile computing platform with smart phone capabilities, then the sooner will they realize how much Apple has changed the game and that no one out there has all the skill components (software, hardware, brick&mortar retail savvy, online retail savvy, networking, and the all-important cool factor) that are needed to come up with a product that can compete with the iPhone. No one, nada, nicht. Not Nokia, not RIM, not Microsoft, not even Google. Not Sony, not Samsung, not LG, not Moto, not Donner, nor Blitzen.



    David Pogue wasn't exaggerating when he said the iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 are big. Like really big. I mean bigger than the fat-lady-who-sings-at-the- end-of-the-show big.
  • Reply 20 of 163
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post


    The sooner people understand that the iPhone is not so much a cell phone or smart phone as it is a mobile computing platform with smart phone capabilities, then the sooner will they realize how much Apple has changed the game and that no one out there has all the skill components (software, hardware, brick&mortar retail savvy, online retail savvy, networking, and the all-important cool factor) that are needed to come up with a product that can compete with the iPhone. No one, nada, nicht. Not Nokia, not RIM, not Microsoft, not even Google. Not Sony, not Samsung, not LG, not Moto, not Donner, nor Blitzen.



    Your post reminded me of something I have been thinking about for a few days...



    Oddly, it looks like the GPS manufactures are the closest to having anything that could rival Apple's OS and UI. They already have Windows and Mac apps for updating their software and adding map packages from a portal within the app itself (akin to iTunes). And they have a robust touchscreen UI that, I think, has been in place longer than any cellphone's touch UI. Plus, they only focus on their touch UI and not other types of GPS devices.



    it doesn't look like TomTom is getting into the cellphone manufacturing game, but Garmin is, and they closer than anyone else at this point. Garmin's prototype is pretty nice for a first attempt; I hope they succeed.
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