Softbank Mobile, the iPhone's Japanese carrier, will begin a program tomorrow that will provide a free 8GB iPhone to customers who sign up for a two-year contract. The "iPhone for Everybody Campaign" will last until May 31. Softbank will also reduce the price of the 16GB iPhone from ¥34,560 ($350, £245) to ¥11,520 ($117, £82). …
Giving away is the norm here
Don't know about outside Japan but giving away phones with a two year contract is pretty standard here. I paid for my iPhone and Japanese think it looks kinda cool, but it is just not that great a phone here. The Camera is useless, it can't read QR codes printed here (which tend have a lot info in them so you need good camera resolution). It does not integrate with the carrier serices like automatic back of user data over network, it is big, and it is not as nice for speed typing Japanese. Most Japanese use their phones as their main email.
iPhone created a lot of interest in Japan when it was released, but there are some stunningly similar devices from China which took the lion's share of the market, copyright laws being somewhat different I believe.
It's simply not Japanese.
iPhone isn't Japanese, and Japanese people are loathe to buy foreign electronics.
iPhone in Japan hasn't been marketed correctly to appeal to Japanese people either.
Free Is My Kind Of Price Point
I would have one for free, but I still think I would go with a high end Nokia N series over it.
More: It's simply not Japanese.
Not only is it not Japanese, it doesn't even look like it would appeal to the japanese. Their phones are pretty crazy things technologically, and stylistically its simplistic style flies in the face of hello kitty cartooned phones. The Japanese like a bit of colour and "cheese" on their phones.
Bullshit. Japanese loves foreign electronics, for example, the IPod.
As for the iphone, lol, the thing is outdated the moment it arrived. Apple, get this, if you want to market your phone to the far east you need a stylus. People there are used to handwriting recognition.
Also don't make your phone so lame. The resolution is too low, the speed too slow and it lacks such basic technologies like cut & paste, front facing camera, good back camera, usable operating system etc.
I third anon and Grant, Also Apple are a major brand in Japan you'll see them everywhere and in most drama where a computer features in a cool/smart persons house it'll be a mac or or in one case linux (Bloody Monday's main main characters used linuxs.)
Iphone got an okay opening becouse just like everywhere else there were people dying to get their hands on them first, gadget and mac freaks. But after that when you put the iphones specs against a local phone it's just pants, does it even work with docomo?
Any as an Asian market phone it's kind of on the same level as our mid low range phones unlike here where it's a top spec device.
As far as I can remember, the iPhone still can't do cross carrier emoji - only within carrier. (It may have got this in the last update - but it certainly didn't have at launch.)
This is a very big deal. You and I may not think it is important, but to the Japanese it is. That is the feedback I get from my Japanese friends and colleagues when I show them my iPhone.
It does not have what is considered here-abouts to be basic functionality.
Why look for complex explanations for failure when there is a simple one?
I don't get it, Aren't the 8GB's free in the UK with a 2 year contract as well? and the carrier here just orgasmed all over the press about the profits generated by it's free iPhone sales.
Japanese love iPhones
Looks like the japan doesn't like iPhones rant is going on again due to typical journalistic blundering.
Yes, Nobuyuki Hayashi is the same man quoted by Brian X. Chen in his hit-piece and/or hit-whoring piece for Wired today that's headlined, "Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone."
It seems Chen used an old article to quote Hayashi thusly, "Hayashi's cellular weapon of choice? A Panasonic P905i, a fancy cellphone that doubles as a 3-inch TV. It also features 3-G, GPS, a 5.1-megapixel camera and motion sensors for Wii-style games."
The none-too-happy Hayashi reports, "My cellular weapon of choice, of course is an iPhone... I can't agree with what Brian's article had to say and here is how I view the iPhone market in Japan."
Read Hayashi's full article
iPhone Mattters today also has a related report, "The Japanese hate the iPhone so much they start four iPhone magazines."