tech

Softbank to cut minimum monthly fee on iPhone to Y2,990

26 Comments

Japan's No. 3 mobile carrier Softbank Corp on Tuesday lowered the monthly fee for the iPhone, with payments starting as low as 2,990 yen a month, less than half the cost at its introduction here last month. The fee offered then was 7,280 yen for unlimited use.

The change is aimed at wooing more people to iPhone, not just the niche heavy Net users that Softbank initially thought would be attracted to the product, Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said.

Son also spent some time praising the iPhone, especially its features such as email security and easy software upgrades that are different from what's available on Japan's Net-linking handsets.

"This is really great," he said about his own iPhone. "I can't stop myself from having fun with it. I can't stop myself from loving it. Twenty-four hours in a day just aren't enough."

Apple has said that it sold a million of the new 3G-ready iPhone handsets around the world in three days when they went on sale in July. The iPhone 3G is available in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Germany, Spain and the U.K.

Third-generation, or 3G, handsets, including the iPhone, relay information and connect wirelessly to the Internet at faster speeds than previous models.

Softbank, which also offers Internet services, bought British cellular giant Vodafone Group PLC's struggling Japanese operations in 2006.

Japanese have been ahead of users in other nations in using cell phones to do restaurant searches, exchange email, making electronic payments, read digital novels and download music.

© Wire reports

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
Login to comment

I'm still thinking of getting one. But I don't want to use SoftBank and the iPhone's input system I don't like so much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's great, but I wonder if the reduced rate also includes unlimited usage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SOn of a B`*+'! I think that's cheaper than my current rate with a NORMAL phone. If I wouldn't have to pay the absurd amount on my two year contract remaining, I'd pick up an iPhone today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Doe the iPhone support Flash? The iTouch doesn't either and with 99% of computers supporting Flash it seems an obvious choice. Lots of embedded mp3 players use Flash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is cheap. I pay 4,000yen for my AU phone. It reminds me of when the iPhone was first released in the US and Apple reduced the price two months after its release. I wonder if the people who have already bought one can change their plan to the cheaper rate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is hella cheap. I'm gonna go at lunchtime and make sure it includes full data usage. I'm pretty sure it cost about 8000 yen a month to cover everything before, so hopefully...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And yeah, people who already bought the phones can get the reduced rate too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guys, this is the minimum monthly fee. There's no way that it will include unlimited data usage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It includes 20,000 packets, and if you use more, you pay more (up to 7,000 yen a month). Looks really good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It includes 20,000 packets

How much use is this in real terms? It shouldn't be a problem if you use the wireless internet function, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's great, but I wonder if the reduced rate also includes unlimited usage.

Please read again. This is why they lowered prices.

"...starting as low as 2,990 yen a month, less than half the cost at its introduction here last month. The fee offered then was 7,280 yen for unlimited use."

This is why I didnt pick up iPhone, because of MUST pay unlimited internet use, but Son opened his eyes now for people like myself who doesnt need unlimited access. It still expensive though. I pay for 2 mobiles 4,000yen a month including callings. Most of my friends use Softbank this is why I pay so cheap. Besides, iPhone is not so comfortable to use. You need use two hands to write. I will stick with my phone and PPC iPAQ 210 with Wi-Fi

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i will never get the icrap

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You guys are confusing me... European1 got me back on track, but I'm still confused. I got my iPhone last week and the woman told me that the 7,280 price wasn't for unlimited use. She told me that to get the unlimited use I would have to go up to the heavy user (I don't know the technical term) plan and that was at 12,780 if my memory serves me correctly.

And something that I don't think that's been mentioned/asked is if all of us who have already purchased the phone will see our fee go down next month or is this the Steve Job B.S. where they lowered the prices and screwed all of us who were out there excited to buy their product and now the people who were hedging get rewarded with the lower fees???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

here's the breakdown of the Y7280 plan.. http://www.softbankmobile.co.jp/en/news/press/2008/20080623_01/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And here's the new Y2990 breakdown... http://www.softbankmobile.co.jp/en/news/press/2008/20080805_02/index.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Softbank girl told me the new plan is only really worthwhile for people who won't use the internet function - browse a bit and you'll be paying extra charges in no time (probably the full 7000-something a month)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole thing is weird. I went to 3 Softbank shops and no sign of iPhones, not even a poster or ad. I saw one at BIC and at the Shibs Softbank store, but both said "none in stock, no idea when it's coming back..."

People were lining up for the iPhone in Japan, they sold them all on the first day. Now here's Softbank reporting a big loss...huh? Get some more iPhones and sell them, maybe?

And the information blackout is weird too. What are the Japan sales results so far? What about stock of product?

And the pricing thing is mysterious too. We are told 7,280 for "unlimited" use. Now here movieguy says Softbank told him unlimited use actually costs 12,780...huh?

The entire affair is awash in rumor, misinformation, information blackout, resulting wild speculation and frustration. Reminds me of being 10 years old and hearing my male classmates each try to explain how babies are made. No idea, but it sounds strange and seems like I won't know the answer for a few more years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Badmigraine... Thanks for the laugh in the last paragraph... and thanks for the links, Spiderman...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese keitai are a rip-off. You can't get a worthwhile pay 'as you go' offering here at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I went to 3 Softbank shops and no sign of iPhones

got mine from the Pong store mate. get in there!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I get the feeling that Softbank is going to be a really poor service provider, now they are pressing for majority market share. If you visit a Softbank store since the iPhone promotion, you will find huge queues that never used to be there (Roppongi and Harajuku as examples) and they have started a ticket number system which means no sales staff to help you in the showroom itself. These iPhones are nowhere to be seen and I have visited various Softbank stores and been informed every time that they had no information on any new stock. That's really poor service for a provider with so many subscribers. You may be able to find iPhones at other smaller non-Softbank stores, but Softbank users such as myself want to change our handsets at the official stores to keep our family plans and contract discount deals etc. The only chance you had of getting one was by sleeping out overnight for the first, very limited batch. I am under the impression that Softbank are just using the iPhone promotion to get people in their stores so they can try to sell their other products and they have no real intention to provide full and proper stock of the iPhones. You may well be enjoying your iPhone Mr Son, but you didn't have to queue overnight for yours and we don't really believe your sales pitch either (seeing as most people cannot get an iPhone in the first place).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1. It's just a phone. 2. Any phone can be used on about any network. You could set up an American iPhone for Softbank use. 3. Apple complains of all the "illegal" unlocked iPhones in Asia, but with service like this it's actually easier going that route.

You could not run flash natively on the first iPhone ( had to use a 3rd party web site with Safari), -and I still think this is true and it's probably the biggest complaint of the iPhone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Statician:

Japanese keitai are a rip-off. You can't get a worthwhile pay 'as you go' offering here at all.

You're not looking hard enough son. Softbank has that very service!

Softpant's are a poor service provider and they won't woo anyone to the iPhone by offering this reduced cost! They could try NOT asking for $800 up front and or a credit card! I've had a phone for the complete nine years I've been here in Japan, and never EVER had a problem with getting one, until I went to Softpants.

And for those of you whining about using two hands - seriously, get over it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two hands are better than one - try it sometime!

And could you get the iphone for 2990 yen provided you did all your net surfing via wi-fi?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to softbank's press release here, packets are charged at ¥0.084: http://www.softbankmobile.co.jp/en/news/press/2008/20080805_02/index.html

According to the Whiteplan listed here, a "packet" is 128 bytes: http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/en/price_plan/whiteplan/index.html

Doing the math, 1695/0.084 = 20,175 packets (as specified at the bottom of the above press release).

So in summary... for ¥1695/mth, you get 20,175 packets at 128 bytes per packet.

Again, doing the math --> 20,175x128 = 2582400 total bytes, or roughly 2522 KB, or roughly 2.5MB http://www.123marbella.net/en/free-bandwith-calculator.html

So you can download approximately 2.5 MB of data each month for your ¥1695. Over 2.5MB will then exceed this minimum charge.

Now what does that mean in real terms of viewing webpages and downloading content?

According to this website - last updated in May 2008 - the average size of a webpage is now 130KB. http://www.optimizationweek.com/reviews/average-web-page/

That means you can view roughly 20 average size webpages per month for ¥1695.

Or half an average size youtube video...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

get an eMobile or at least a Willcom for all your surfing needs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites