SoftBank unveils 1-Seg tuner for iPhone

By Taro Fujimoto

Mobile carrier SoftBank Mobile will release a 1-Seg WiFi tuner for iPhones as well as provide free WiFi Internet connection service through Yahoo!BB's hotspot network for iPhone users, CEO Masayoshi Son said Thursday during the presentation of 16 new handsets for the winter season in Tokyo.

SoftBank will release the 1-Seg tuner, which also works as a mobile battery charger for the iPhone, in the middle of December. The expected price is about 10,000 yen. The tuner transfers movies on 1-Seg digital TV broadcasting to iPhones through WiFi connection.

The company will also provide WiFi public Internet connection service for Yahoo!BB, which is a subsidiary of the SoftBank group, to iPhone users for free from Nov 4.

“Email without emoticons can't be email in Japan," said Son. "We persuaded Apple Computer (to localize iPhones for the Japanese market).” The company will add an emoticon function to iPhones within the year through an update program.

Son said Softbank hopes to increase the number of iPhone users by providing unique mobile service and functions in Japan's mobile market.

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Can't understand why emoticons are so important.

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gogogo, well then you really don't understand the Japanese market. I don't understand why people do a lot of things, but I accept that they are important. Infrared is also an important feature that iPhone doesn't have.

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if u dont like emoticons u dont belong in this country pure and simple.Emoticons love them or leave them.

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But adding an external clunky 1-seg tuner which then communicates with the iPhone via wifi? How messy!. Just cope with fact that it doesn't do 1-seg.

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It's primarily a travel charger, that also does OneSeg, I think it's the best solution to putting oneseg on the iPhone without reengineering it.

Hasn't bluetooth gradually been displacing infrared? At least in 2007, most people swapped vcards with bluetooth.

Oh, and I agree that emoticons are a necessity, especially the cool varied ones that exists on japanese phones.

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The emoticons are in the 2.2 beta being tested now. I have seen screen shots and they did a good job.

To bad japan cant communicate with out them. I wonder if like when say Aso sends a email to dubya if he loads it down so dubya can understand.

Anyways anyone the upgrades to the 2.2 software will have them. Also the wifi connect im sure will help a lot of people instead of having to time a mail check they can stay connected and get the new ones as they come. They is a neat program that keeps your email,weather,stocks,and texts on the lock screen and updates on its own I really like it until I get a nastygram but the embarrassment fades away.

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Emoticons are quite nice. However, I feel there are already enough of them out there.

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If you are in a hurry, and you just add a emoticon, it really helps convey a feeling that otherwise may take a lot of time and space to write out. Long live emoticons! BTW, 10,000 yen for a cell phone with no 1-Seg capability? Unbelievable!

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My Windows Mobile 6.1 has this built in and doesn't cost me Jack Schitt for upgrades! Lol...SOOOOOOOO happy I didn't buy an iPhone!

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It's a Willcom 03 before you ask!

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As for the IR feature .... People who have never been here to Japan or spent much time here would be amazed at how much old tech/ low tech exists in Japan. To me IR fits into this category. Oh and old grannies crawling around on their knees cutting grass by hand along the roads..... BLOWS my mind.

@Youdon'tknow: so what; it is windows mobile, so who cares ?!?!!!!!

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