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Apple unveils upgraded iPhone

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very cool... unfortunately Steve Jobs is not looking so good...

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Says it's coming out in Japan July 11th, wow, by by docomo I'm gonna get one. Wonder what the pricing will be in Japan.

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It was said in the keynote that the US$200 price for the 8gb model would be the maximum worldwide. See the quote from Jobs at 11:40am in the following URL:

http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/06/liveblog-steve.html

So expect about 20,000 yen plus a 2 year contract from Softbank.

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I'd love to know the story behind why NTT DoCoMo and KDDI are not offering the iPhone. Did some old executive think it was not Japanese enough? Is there some Japan-style corporate fixing going on with the major carriers that Apple would not participate in?

Interesting!

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With KDDI it is entirely simple - their network is not compatible.

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I spoke with a friend at DoCoMo who stated that the biggest reasons for no deal with Apple were: 1. Apple wants profit from the service. 2. Not compatible with their 3.5 G network. 3. they believed that it was too bulky to sell well as noone would be able to text with one hand and they weren't convinced the qwerty layout would be convenient for kanji input. Ultimately it was more trouble than it is worth so they passed. Softbank though is desperate for a higher market share and is willing to do anything to increase it's marginal share....including picking up a phone that will be only popular with a niche market.

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a phone that will be only popular with a niche market

All markets were niche markets at some point in time. It will be interesting to see if the iPod effect will boost the popularity and change people's habits. Simply being perceived as a niche product will drive sales amongst those who like to feel they are different from the crowd. If marketed with this in mind (if!) then Softbank could have a winner on their hands. There's already significant momentum behind the Apple brand, so they have a headstart.

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