Softbank says iPhone 3G to start at $215, plans at $68

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Softbank Corp., Apple's exclusive iPhone carrier in Japan, announced Monday that the local version of iPhone 3G will start at 23,040 yen ($215) for the 8GB model, around the same price as the version that will be sold in the US.



The 16GB iPhone 3G will be priced at 34,560 yen, or $320. Softbank is expecting customers to pay 7,280 yen ($68) per month for their iPhone service plans, which will include unlimited data transmissions and free air time when talking to other Softbank subscribers for the better part of the day.



That's about 70 percent more than Softbank is accustomed to generating from its customers and is sure to boost the company's earnings, according chief executive Masayoshi Son. As of last quarter, the Softbank saw average revenue per subscriber each month of only 4,310 yen, or $40.



"We expect users who pay a lot to migrate from 'au' and DoCoMo," Son told a group of reporters. "There have been users who were just attracted to our low price, but the main point this time is feature attractiveness rather than price."



Both Softbank and DoCoMo had been in the running for the coveted rights to sell iPhone in Japan, with Softbank ultimately winning the contract. That hasn't stopped DoCoMo from persisting in its negotiations to bring the touch-screen handset to its more than 50 million customers, according to Reuters, which cites the carrier as saying it's still in talks with Apple.







Meanwhile, Softbank is unsure how many iPhone 3Gs it will have to offer its own 18 million+ customers come July 11th, the day the handset is due to go on sale in Japan and 20 other countries.







"We expect the first lot to evaporate instantly. We in the company will probably fight to get one as well," Son said. "Supplies will likely be scarce for a while."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,917member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Meanwhile, Softbank is unsure how many iPhone 3Gs it will have to offer its own 18 million+ customers come July 11th, the day the handset is due to go on sale in Japan and 20 other countries.



    "We expect the first lot to evaporate instantly. We in the company will probably fight to get one as well," Son said. "Supplies will likely be scarce for a while."



    Am I the only one who is worried about this? I know it is possible to keep good buzz going in the face of shortages (see the Wii) but I'm worried that the good buzz of a massive multi-continent turnout could sour if waiting lists mount.



    Also, what if Apple builds massive stockpiles before July 11 to meet demand and it turns out there is a touch screen/battery/chip issue? Before the fix goes into production, there would be potentially millions that need warentee repair... (plus the resulting bad press).



    I just wish they had a rolling introduction schedule over a month or two...
  • Reply 2 of 39
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    Am I the only one who is worried about this? I know it is possible to keep good buzz going in the face of shortages (see the Wii) but I'm worried that the good buzz of a massive multi-continent turnout could sour if waiting lists mount.



    Also, what if Apple builds massive stockpiles before July 11 to meet demand and it turns out there is a touch screen/battery/chip issue? Before the fix goes into production, there would be potentially millions that need warentee repair... (plus the resulting bad press).



    I just wish they had a rolling introduction schedule over a month or two...



    It does appear to be something of a high-wire act. I hope their confidence

    is justified. I'm guessing that they will err on the side of temporary shortages,

    since they have basically gone several weeks without selling version 1 iPhones.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Everyone says how the japanese don't like the iPhone because of this or because of that, so I always wondered if they had some product(s) internally that worked better than the iPhone? Anyone cares to name those?
  • Reply 4 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    This should be a watershed moment for Japanese phone users... a phone they can ACTUALLY use! How will they be able to deal with it?!
  • Reply 5 of 39
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    This should be a watershed moment for Japanese phone users... a phone they can ACTUALLY use! How will they be able to deal with it?!



    A few days ago people were posting that Japanese consumers made their phone

    purchasing decisions based mostly upon the specifications list, regardless of

    whether they actually used all the features. I am looking forward to seeing that

    theory tested by a phone whose features are useful and easy to use (but whose

    specifications may be exceeded by other less friendly phones).
  • Reply 6 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    A few days ago people were posting that Japanese consumers made their phone

    purchasing decisions based mostly upon the specifications list, regardless of

    whether they actually used all the features. I am looking forward to seeing that

    theory tested by a phone whose features are useful and easy to use (but whose

    specifications may be exceeded by other less friendly phones).



    I know what Japanese consumers are used to, and I'm betting they'll be pleasantly surprised with the alternative, even if they end up adding the usual kawaii chotchkes to the iPhone.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otRCw...3202_3289.html







    http://www.strapya-world.com/categor...068d92cfdf2846
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I just wish they had a rolling introduction schedule over a month or two...



    Easy for someone in the U.S. to say when we've been waiting here in Japan for over a year already!



    @Buck I'd say there are no phones that work here nearly as well as the iPhone presumably does. The few smartphones here large bricks, or Blackberry knockoffs that feel totally cheap in hand.



    And the main factor for women under 40 when choosing a phone is (almost unanimously) PURELY how it looks. I've never met any Japanese woman whose main reason for choosing a phone wasn't how it looked. They may have had other reasons, but the main reason was if they thought it looked good.



    All this said, I still won't be getting an iPhone because I'm moving back to the U.S. in January, so still I wait and continue to labor away writing messages by pushing tiny buttons three times each to get a letter on screen.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    My wife is Japanese and couldn't care less about how her phone looks. She needs it for business and demands certain functions.



    I know a few others who are less concerned with looks than with photo/video quality so they can capture their kids' lives in full color and share the moments instantly with their friends. (This might be where the iPhone fails to catch on with Japanese women.)



    There are plenty of them out there.





    It is also that three clicks with the thumb that the Japanese are very accustomed to; they can type with only one hand, something that is impossible (almost) on the iPhone. My wife has an iPod Touch and can type three times faster on her cell phone. She doesn't even need to look at the screen as the buttons are tactile; she writes and then proof-reads.



    There are also the new novels:



    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/wo...a/20japan.html
  • Reply 9 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    My wife is Japanese and couldn't care less about how her phone looks. She needs it for business and demands certain functions.



    I know a few others who are less concerned with looks than with photo/video quality so they can capture their kids' lives in full color and share the moments instantly with their friends. (This might be where the iPhone fails to catch on with Japanese women.)



    There are plenty of them out there.





    It is also that three clicks with the thumb that the Japanese are very accustomed to; they can type with only one hand, something that is impossible (almost) on the iPhone. My wife has an iPod Touch and can type three times faster on her cell phone.



    There are also the new novels:



    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/wo...a/20japan.html



    My original criticism of the iPhone was that it made one handed operation impossible. Of course, where cell phone use while driving is banned, the point is moot.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Again, the iPhone/Touch is not practical for Asian input.



    Anyone who buys it on hype will soon realize they made a mistake and keep it as an iPod Touch with a phone they never use.



    I'm not even native and I type Japanese feverishly with my mobile using both thumbs and this is simply impossible with a touch screen.



    Might be good as a second phone at home where you don't have to rush replies maybe. Who knows until it debuts.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Pretty much every single Japanese person I know here in Cali, to a person, has an iPhone. It is going to be huge in Japan.



    Screw one-handed typing. The iPhone is giving them a user experience they have never had on a phone. Rather, the interesting challenges will be things like DMB-TV and paying for stuff with your phone, things becoming common in Japan that the iPhone can't do. But I'd bet money that someone is working on an add-on accessory for the universal dock connector that could easily add these features.



    I say the iPhone is going to be a huge hit in Japan.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    Again, the iPhone/Touch is not practical for Asian input.



    Anyone who buys it on hype will soon realize they made a mistake and keep it as an iPod Touch with a phone they never use.



    I'm not even native and I type Japanese feverishly with my mobile using both thumbs and this is simply impossible with a touch screen.



    Might be good as a second phone at home where you don't have to rush replies maybe. Who knows until it debuts.



    Sorry, this is just plain wrong. Having typed Japanese on the iPhone, it is a great experience that works well. Plus, Apple is adding an additional input method with the 2.0 software that is said to be even faster than the standard phonetic methods.



  • Reply 13 of 39
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post


    Sorry, this is just plain wrong. Having typed Japanese on the iPhone, it is a great experience that works well. Plus, Apple is adding an additional input method with the 2.0 software that is said to be even faster than the standard phonetic methods.[/IMG]



    Nice pretty photo. What's that supposed to prove? I didn't say it can't be done. Of course it can be done. It's not fast enough for most. For a lot of hen pecking westerners it's fine I'm sure. Not to mention you do not want a phone like the iPhone to get soaked in all the torrential downpours here. iPhone is too pretty for practical usage. Banging it on the train, downpours, typing like mad when drinking at izakaya with co-workers etc. Good for at home use, playing around on planes, shinkansen etc.



    Not ready for prime time.



    I do hope for success though. I'm definitely getting an iPT.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post


    Pretty much every single Japanese person I know here in Cali, to a person, has an iPhone.



    That must be a lot for you to make a judgment based in Japan lol. A few buddies in Cali for Japanese market research. Great. Oh and let's see... isn't Cali the Apple capital of the world with the heaviest Apple marketing? To date there is very little iPod or any other Apple marketing here. I smell a flop. For a July 11th release only 2 weeks away there's very little mention of it here.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Must. Resist. Urge. To. Argue. With. Troll.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dfiler View Post


    Must. Resist. Urge. To. Argue. With. Troll.



    lol Troll and STFU are my favorite internet words.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    lol Troll and STFU are my favorite internet words.



    Mine used to be ROTFLMAO until I found out "the kids" all just say "LMAO" these days... Bloody noobs.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcollin3k View Post


    All this said, I still won't be getting an iPhone because I'm moving back to the U.S. in January, so still I wait and continue to labor away writing messages by pushing tiny buttons three times each to get a letter on screen.



    You should find someone to show you how T9 works....
  • Reply 19 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    That must be a lot for you to make a judgment based in Japan lol. A few buddies in Cali for Japanese market research. Great. Oh and let's see... isn't Cali the Apple capital of the world with the heaviest Apple marketing? To date there is very little iPod or any other Apple marketing here. I smell a flop. For a July 11th release only 2 weeks away there's very little mention of it here.



    Yeah, imagine that...using Japanese people to gauge the popularity of the Japanese iPhone. Crazy.



    If you knew about Japanese culture, you would understand that it is very faddy and trendy. Based on what I've seen of the Japanese here (who were all born and raised in Japan), I fully expect it to be a popular fad and trend among Japanese people in Japan, similar to here.



    FWIW, I was at an all-Japanese meeting several days ago, and every person except one had an iPhone.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    planktonplankton Posts: 108member
    The new Japanese iPhone has (or soon will have) a Japanese kanji character recognition touch system. Since most e-mail only uses a 100 character subset of the standard Joyo 1945 characters, one or two finger strokes is sufficient to allow the recognition software to identify the likely candidate characters in descending order, which can then be selected by a touch. I think you'll be surprised at how fast the input system is, but it will require two hands--one to hold the phone and one to write.

    Of course, the holy grail is voice recognition. For English, imagine a stripped down MacSpeech Dictate on iPhone but that's a future project.
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