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Softbank reaches deal with Apple to sell iPhone handsets in Japan this year

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Can't wait to get my iPhone.

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coulda had one a year ago if you lived anywhere else

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-wrote this on an iPhone. Since the iPhone thru AT+T allows unlimited data use it will be interesting to see what that costs in Japan. Voice use is where they get you, unlimited data, 500min calls, 5000 min Nights+weekends. ~$60

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At least, by the time it gets here, all the bugs should be out of the sytstem. When I lived in Hawaii, one of my realtors just HAD to have one. And 2 months later she got her first bill. Yes, she was one of those that experienced the "bill of 200 pages". Damn thing arrived in a BOX!

Took me 2 hours to quit laughing. And then.... the lowered the prices during that particular debacle, and she just broke down crying.

But, I got to say, she let me play with it. I like it. Web browsing is awesome on the thing.

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If this is true bye bye Docomo I'm first in line to get one of these, after owning an ipod touch I find the functionality of an iphone great.

I wonder why apple didn't release a press release about this as well?

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I don't think it will do too well!! Does not offer the ubergeeky features the J-males want and the touchscreen is highly inconvenient to type on for kawaii J-chicks with long decorated fingernails!!

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Given the issues with Japanese language input, and the fact that the novelty of the touch screen is kind of moot in this market now (thanks to Apple's own i-touch model iPod and touch-screen phones from other manufacturers), I think the "wow" factor has pretty much been diluted by now, at least for Japanese users. Services and pricing plans will be the key--can Softbank successfully port all of the data, media, and application services it provides on its other phones to the iPhone platform???

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I agree.

Don't see the I-Phone making such a splash vs other smart-phones already on the market. Yeah, the Mac-Yuppies will cobble it up. I expected Softbank to get the deal vs NTT, etc.

Also more and more high-tech gadgets don't sell that well as I have seen a trend where people prefer lower-end stuff rather than paying for a gadget with features they won't use.

Got a bit of inside info as my last company sold and adjusted overseas products(Software) to the local market.

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Can't see it being big business here either. Sure a couple of nerds will buy it but Japanese phones are way more advanced than Western one and I still only use them to phone and send email. For music I love my nano - great in the gym which I go to to escape the phones and email...

No upgrade for me. Last reason - I like the AU service area, much better than the others...

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Re Zer00: "Does not offer the ubergeeky features the J-males want and the touchscreen is highly inconvenient to type on for kawaii J-chicks with long decorated fingernails!!" -Lmao that is hilarious!!

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and the new iphone which is out next month, will work in japan with all carriers, just need to install the hack, which is very easy. vodafone? why the heck would they choose to work with the only company in Japan who's network is unstable and service is iffy if that. EZWEB people. kills docomo in price kills vodafone in reliability kills both in speed of connections and usability. cut my docomo bill from 25,000 yen a month to 12,000 a month with ezweb and the quality is the same.

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cool but I just expect the phone to be 3 times the normal prices invoking special restrictions in Japan...

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I will consider getting it even though I've been happy with AU/EZWeb these past three years, but I hope Apple will not continue with this exclusivity B.S.

The price will be my biggest concern.

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It's no doubt going to be far more expensive than it's US counterpart. Apple's Japan pricing has always been somewhere between 10-25% more expensive than US pricing. What does anyone care anyway though? It's Softbank so you'll be paying it off every month anyway. The end price will be almost double it's initial value. Have fun.

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Sorry, you'll never see an iPhone on au, hacked or no. The new iPhone will be GSM/WCDMA-2100, neither of which will operate on the au network.

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While I like using the iPhone in the States, I must admit that I would likely keep my DoCoMo handset as I utilize the camera, mobileSuica and OneSeg quite often.

I wish the iPhone had a semi-decent functional camera... which is too bad since their LCD screen to view the photos themselves is quite nice.

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I wonder why apple didn't release a press release about this as well?

Probably because Apple hasn't even announced that they have a phone that will work in Japan yet. Also wouldn't be surprised if Docomo also jumps in as well. Which would be good cause than I wouldn't have to change to Softbank. BTW how does the softbank coverage compare to Docomo in the city and the boonies? I've been pretty satisfied with Docomo coverage and customer service and don't really want to change but will have to in order to get an iPhone in a New York minute.

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The best thing about the iPhone that I can see is the internet connectivity. It looks pretty damned awesome, to be honest, and a lot simpler to use than the Full Browser feature offered on most Japanese phones now. But that's about it. MP3 player? It's already been done here. Touch screen? Japan was actually slow on this, for onece, but making up for it with DoCoMo's new touch screen eneable phones in the 906 series. Widgets? Mail, maps, news tickers, stock reports, weather, train schedules, GPS locating, "Accelerometer," ambient light sensors: Japan's been way ahead of the curve on these for a few years now. Also, not sure how they're going to integrate a Japanese IME with the Qwerty keyboard. It's doable, obviously, but will require a whole lot of new code.

To be fair, the gap is closing between Japan and the US on cell phone technology, but they're still just not there yet. The iPhone will be a novelty in Japan (and a pretty one, to be sure), but I don't think Japanese tech geeks are ready to move over yet.

It's a novelty. Apple (and the entire US cell phone industry) are still a day late and a yen short.

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