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iPhone pre-orders trigger long lines

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I waited at a small branch for nearly three hours. I was among the first few people in line, but Softbank's system froze on the customer in front of me so all I got for my trouble was a ticket saying I could come back and try again the next day. Surely Softbank, with all their experience of having the original iPhone, the 3GS AND the iPad, should have anticipated the demand for this. It was really pathetic the way their system just collapsed. The Softbank spokesman quoted in the story above should have been apologizing for his company's failure to meet demand rather than crowing about the "tremendous response". Just glad I didn't go to the Roppongi store though, as I heard that it was total mayhem there.

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I arrived at the Yokohama Softbank store at 5mins past 5pm and I received a number that was over 100 digits from number being served. After an hour the numbers had only progressed 10 digits, and I did not forsee them getting to my number before closing. Very stupid reservation system. Customers could have completed the application form, provided proper identification, and the store employees could enter the information later in the evening...Softbank's service is not worthy of Apple's technology.

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If it makes you all feel any better, there were apparently similar problems here in the U.S., and the Apple and AT&T site went down a few times, so it's not just Japan/Softbank.

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“This is just showing how out of control this is getting,” said Nagata, who owns both the iPhone 3G and 3GS. “It’s just going to be a huge launch.

I think Nagata is out of control, why do you need 3 iphones? Sucker for marketing.

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Gogogo, he probably just upgrades with each new 2-year contract and then hands on to his old phones -- unlike a typical cellphone, the iPhone makes for a great iPod even without voice capability.

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If you were one of the first iPhone 3Gs customer on June 26th 2009 and that you want to get the iphone 4, it will cost you... more than the iPhone 4 without subscription : 3180 yens X 12 (residue for the iPhone 3Gs, because your 1920 monthly discount is stopped !) =38 160 yens + 2400 X 24 months for iPhone 4 - discount of 1220 yen par month = 28 320 Total = 66 580 yens WITH A 2 YEARS CONTRACT for the iPhone 4, which means, if you want "Iphone 5" in 1 year, you'll have to pay the 12 months residue of iPhone 4 = 2400 X12 = 28 800. You know that the official price is less than 58 000 yens for the 32 Go model ! And I would have to pay 66 580 yens to switch from 3Gs to 4 ? You know what, it's a shame that consumer association have so few power in Japan.... People, let's jailbreak your iPhones and and do tethering with your laptop and iPad! Mr Masayoshi Son, shame on you ! I'm also president of a company in Japan, and I tell you this : it's a shame to behave like this toward your customers.

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If the sales of a gadget becomes such an obsession, there is something very wrong with the sense of reality of these gizmo-boys.

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Soooo, tokyodepth, you pay half the installments of your outdated iPhone and then expect Softbank to take the loss? Why? You buy a Toyota and then the a model comes out the next year and you think that Toyota will take the old car back and give you a new one with exactly the same payments? I think you need a reality check...

I, for one, do not have an iPhone, but am thinking of getting one once things calm down. Or I just might use my three year old cell phone until it dies and save the earth another needle on the haystack of industrial waste...

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Its a great phone, and I will definitely get one, but there is no way im lining up for one. Some people need a life

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@nalhagen : one basic of marketing is : you reward loyal customers and not make them pay 5 times the price of new customers (if a Docomo user take an iPhone 4 today, he'll pay 480 yens X 24 months = 11 520 yens !!!). In the US or Europe, upgrade from 3Gs to iPhone 4 is so cheap ! SOFTBANK IS A FRAUD ! Because if a 3Gs customer get an iPhone 4, he'll still be a Softbank customer and still be an iPhone customer ! So YES, the 1920 yen discount of the 3Gs should still be paid by Softbank for the last 12 months and the customer should pay the remaining 1260 yen X 12 months of his 3Gs, BUT NOT 3180 yens X 12 months ! If you're a frequent flyer on any airline, you get millages and free tickets or free business upgrade ! You don't get to pay your ticket plane 5 times more than the guy who'll fly for the first time with this airline ! Wake up man : this is a huge FRAUD, made by a company who can afford huge advertising campaign to make you think it's normal ! WAKE UP !

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and I forgot @nalhagen : if you're a Docomo customer taking an iPhone 4, you'll pay 480 yens X 24 months = 11 520 yen If you're a loyal Softbank iPhone 3gs customer (took it on the launch day on June 26th 2009) you'll pay 3180 yens X 12 months = 38160 yens + 1180 yens X 24 months (=28 320 yens) for your iPhone 4. It means not only you'll pay the remanning of the 3gs without Softbank discount (while you're still Softbank and iPhone customer) BUT THAT YOU'LL PAY YOUR IPHONE 4 MORE (28 320 yens instead of 11 500 yens for a "new" customer). So my friend, YOU need a reality check ! WAKEEEEE UPPPPPPPP !

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ThonTaddeo: Impossible since the iphone comes out each year, it would mean he would have 2 contracts going all the time... why would you need a second iphone to use as an ipod when you have a first phone to use as an ipod?

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Tokyodepth, you're rigtht! SoftBank is showing contempt for their existing customers. They are using their exclusive distribution rights(ie monopoly) to charge whatever they want. Consumer protection and anti-competition watch dogs should be all over this but they're not. Perhaps because there is little sympathy for the people who have phones that are no more than 12 months old and want to upgrade to the latest device the day it is released.

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"employees could enter the information later in the evening" EXACTLY. Softbank Service Sucks. To signup it took me nearly 2 hours. And where is any information regarding costs, plans, etc? Can't find them anywhere. If I am on a 2 year plan are they allowing the upgrade for free like AT&T in the US? I don't think so.

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I'm in total agreement with tokyodepth.

As a loyal customer with ANA for many years I have received very good rewards from them. Heck even Yodobashi Camera give great points in return. As a customer with Softbank for a few years, I have received pretty much nothing as reward, in fact, I will be charged fully (as if a brand new customer) if I wish to switch from my iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4. I find this pretty much outrageous.

In six months or a year the iPhone 4 will be 0 yen. Therefore proving the model itself is of very little to no value, in fact the monthly usage/charges fees are far more profitable to Softbank. And so why can they not AT LEAST give it to the current iPhone users for free, or with say, a 50% discount? They do not want to. They want to milk the public, including their own loyal customers.

insert very rude language here

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I was very lucky to have finished my previous contract with softbank in June 2009, so during that month I upgraded to the 3gs, however it was cheaper to get a new number than to keep my number. I dont understand how that can be possible. A new connection is cheaper than upgrading when your contract ends?.

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I keep a piggy bank here and feed in coins equivalent to the amount of money that would be otherwise wasted on purchase and use one of those odious things. It's amazing how much it comes to in the course of a few months. When the bank is full I treat myself to a fine meal or something I need for the house. Another satisfied non-owner!

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Jurgen Habermas, the renowned German philosopher has a wonderful word that's most apropos here: "Techno-Peasants"

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I like the $50 AT&T refurbs. The original iPhone cost me $400 +2yrs. And my 3g was $50 +2yrs. Audio Jack failed on my first iPhone. The monthly fees are closer to $80 a month now from $65-70.

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I'm happy enough with the 3Gs, no need for the 4. If you can get through Jobs' "Reality Distortion Field", you'll realize you don't really need the latest and greatest. Those that do have to pay the price.

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Somewhat related... some humor to lighten up the mood here.

What it's like to own an Apple product - http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apple

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Come on JT, how much is Apple paying you? Not a single article on other even smarter phones like the HTC Desire and Sony Xperia? HTC Desire is soo much better than the IPhone but unfortunately it is not receiving some well deserved publicity...

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Complete morons...Steve Jobs is a genius. These crazies will gobble up anything with a picture of an apple, and an "i" in front. After they get this phone, there will just be another next year. And all those people who bought ipads (giant iphone), are the looniest of them all. I saw this guy actually bring his ipad to a movie theater while waiting for his film to start. He was playing a driving game, and looked ridiculous tilting his screen from left to right as if he were turing a steering wheel, while playing the game.

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