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Softbank to launch iPhone in Japan July 11


Softbank Mobile announced on Tuesday it will introduce a new version of Apple's iPhone on July 11. Earlier this month, Apple signed a deal with Softbank Corp's mobile unit to bring the iPhone to Japan, one of the most competitive mobile markets in the world. Speculation has swirled since then on when exactly the highly anticipated iPhone would hit stores.

"I am delighted at this opportunity to partner with Apple," said Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son in a joint statement with Apple. "iPhone has been enthusiastically received around the world, and we think it will be popular in Japan as well."

Apple unveiled an upgraded iPhone Monday priced $200 lower than current models, but with more expensive service. Analysts have said Apple needed to slash the multimedia gadget's price and upgrade it to work over 3G wireless networks to hit the company's target of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008.

An 8 gigabyte model is to sell in the United States for $199 starting July 11. A 16 gigabyte model will cost $299. The devices are to roll out initially in 22 countries.

Apple and Softbank have not said how much the iPhone will cost in Japan.

Tokyo-based Softbank has 18.77 million subscribers in Japan, and is still lagging in third place behind mobile service providers NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp. In recent years, it has been aggressively expanding by offering cheaper services and running catchy TV ads featuring actress Cameron Diaz.

Softbank Mobile hopes that the launch of the iPhone here will further boost its efforts to woo subscribers away from larger rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.

Meanwhile, NTT president Masao Nakamura said Tuesday that his company had no plans for now to offer the iPhone to its customers.

A DoCoMo spokesman had said last week after Softbank first announced a deal with Apple that his firm would continue to study the possibility of offering the iPhone to its own subscribers.

Holding an iPhone handed to him by a television reporter, Nakamura said the model was “a little bit heavy.”

“Models in Japan are now very light,” he said.

Handsets designed by foreign manufacturers have traditionally been unpopular among Japan’s notoriously finicky consumers. But Apple enjoys a high brand profile here thanks to the popularity of its iPod digital music player.

© Wire reports

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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blah blah blah. romulus needs no such thing what with the old wireless, telegraph and phonogram back at his house. ahh yes, well with that said, now a bit of phrenology study and off to bed before its too late.

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start out by showing it's neg. points. so Japanese.

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Is it a phone? Is it an MP3 player? Is it a computer? I want one so I can hold it high on the train and watch all the other people glare in awe of my 'whatever it is'.

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funny comments. It will be interesting to see how many Japanese people buy these though even when J-phones are so much better....

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No for once there is a phone built out of japan that can compete, Well as long as the app store works or savvy people can install 3rd party apps. I was always impressed with what the Japanese made and always felt cheated when I looked for something as good out of the country, but finally there is something that's just as shinny and and aand a hell they just think your packin a ipod touch anyways.

Look for the price being 2 to 3 times higher and the Gestapo running it. oh and forget about getting a seat at starbucks, as long as they have free wifi well you know the rest

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I know a lot of Japanese people with more than one phone, and I'm sure all of the talents and idols will be running to get one, just so they can say they have one. I have never owned a mobile phone or an iPod, so I am thinking that maybe it's time to buy.... But before I invest my hard earned yen, I want to see what kind of two-year contract I have to sign-up for. I may end up just getting a 32g iPod touch instead.

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What a joke... it feels heavy? The new one is 133g, which is slightly heavier than the average Docomo phone but not the heaviest.

I won't dispute that Japanese phones have more features... but they're typically designed by engineers who think that cramming more stuff into it makes it a better phone. The iPhone is centered around the user being able to use all of what it offers easily. (look at mobile Safari, which is able to provide a web browsing experience almost as good as a computer)

There are some really cool Japanese phones out there, but after using an iPhone for a while, I find anything else really frustrating to do anything other than make calls with...

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Yeah so what? Japan has been way ahead of the US in this cellphone game. Ever been in a Verizon wireless store in the US. Shameful. And embarassing to be an American.....My JN wife called it 1990's tech cliche

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I'm a huge fan of Apple.. but I have to admit, the iPhone can't compete with the run of the mill J-phone. Style-wise, it trumps most J-phones, but in terms of features, it's sorely lacking.

GPS, Email, and internet... that's all it's got! Where's the Felica, TV tuner, QR reader and high megapixel camera? So what you have 8gb of memory for music? I'll just pop in new 2gb micro SD and im on my way.

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I have a sidekick and it does the job. I also have an ipod and it does the job. I see no need to buy an all in one cell phone... I mean if it needs to be repaired then im without music! Im over the trends and rages of fashion, society and keeping up with the Jones's (or Sato's). Personally im not 100% satisfied with Apple from my previous purchases and will not trust a the I phone... yet.

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While I agree with most that yes, J-phones are the most advanced in the world, I have to admit, the iphone will make them pale in comparison. I currently run a top of the line sharp model, tv tuner the works. But honestly, how many of you actually use the calendars, QR code readers or mobile manga features on your phones? The iPhone, especially with the smartphone features, MS outlook push, quality GPS instead of the crappy Navitime, wifi and 3g internet access on a beautifully huge screen that still doesnt make it look like a brick Willcomm phone. Im sorry, I love Japan, but the iPhone is where its at.

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12 years later. And predictions happiky boasted about Apple sweeping japan are still not true. Apple has a 19% share in Smartphones in Japan. Samsung a 6% share and huawei a 8% share. Meaning over half are still Jphones. Japan still doesnt trust american tech and I dont blame them for it.

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