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MacRumors
May 12, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Readers report that CNBC has mentioned a report by Nikkei Net Interactive (http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/) that Apple and Softbank are developing an iPod/Cell Phone:

Softbank Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. plan to jointly develop cellular phone handsets that have built-in iPod digital music players and can download songs directly from Apple's iTunes Music Store, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Friday

The entire article is restricted to subscribers only, so further details not presently available. There have been a number of ongoing rumors that Apple has been working on a cellphone. In addition published patent applications (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060505202447.shtml) have revealed that Apple has indeed been working on technology to allow users to purchase iTunes songs over cell phones.

The exact timeframe for the Apple-branded phone has been vague. Initial speculative reports claimed that an Apple Phone is expected in the next 12 months.

Cell phones with iTunes-playing capability are not entirely new. Motorola introduced the first iTunes-capable cell phone in September 2005 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/09/20050907114333.shtml) with a followup model (SLVR) (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060131212215.shtml) in January. These models though were met with some criticism, especially due to the 100-song cap imposed on song storage.

Update: Appleinsider offers some more details of the report. The report indicates that it will be a 3G cell phone combining features of the iPod and Cell phone and is expected to be released in Japan "sometime this year at the earliest" and in the U.S. at a later date.

Update 2: Quotes/Details from the article:
Softbank President Masayoshi Son and Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs met and reached a basic agreement on this partnership in cell phone handset operations.

It appears, Apple will sell this phone under the "Apple" brand:
Apple, which will be selling cell phone handsets under its own brand for the first time, is expected to outsource production. The company is believed to have chosen Softbank as its partner because Softbank plans to offer high-speed Internet access for cell phones, with a focus on improving convenience for consumers.


Update 3: Softbank has released a statement claiming that media reports are "speculation."

thejadedmonkey
May 12, 2006, 02:37 PM
Does anyone know who softbank corp is? I've never heard of them before.

Their website (http://www.softbank.co.jp/en/) is useless, although it does say that they're the largest IT company in Japan or something...and they've purchased 35% of trend micro or some such anti-virii company...

Google was no help either!:mad:

yankeefan24
May 12, 2006, 02:43 PM
So I am taking a guess that these wont work with Verizon :(

nagromme
May 12, 2006, 02:43 PM
Release in Japan first would be unusual, but anything's possible with Apple these days! And this partnership might not be an Apple-branded Apple-top-to-bottom phone, it could just have Apple contributing in other ways to a non-Apple product. Like with Motorola--only maybe Apple contributes on the hardware side some too.

A REAL Apple-designed phone with Apple ease-of-use would be great.

And Apple ease-of-use does NOT include buying songs over a phone, I don't imagine. A big screen and a keyboard REALLY help the iTMS searching experience. I can see Apple offering buying-by-phone if there was big demand, but I doubt there is. Buying directly to your master library (which is on your computer) just seems so much simpler.

Maestro64
May 12, 2006, 02:44 PM
Does anyone know who softbank corp is? I've never heard of them before.

Their website (http://www.softbank.co.jp/en/) is useless, although it does say that they're the largest IT company in Japan or something...and they've purchased 35% of trend micro or some such anti-virii company...

Google was no help either!:mad:

They bought Vodafone interests in Japan

dongmin
May 12, 2006, 02:45 PM
Does anyone know who softbank corp is? I've never heard of them before.

Their website (http://www.softbank.co.jp/en/) is useless, although it does say that they're the largest IT company in Japan or something...and they've purchased 35% of trend micro or some such anti-virii company...

Google was no help either!:mad:I imagine they're involved in developing the 'infrastructure' and 'network'--whatever that means. ;)

bluebomberman
May 12, 2006, 02:47 PM
From Appleinsider (http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1741):

Softbank, which became a cell phone service provider by acquiring the Japanese unit of British mobile phone company Vodafone Group Plc, was reportedly chosen by Apple because the overseas company plans to offer high-speed Internet access for cell phones in Japan.


Like iTunes phones from Cingular, I guess.

Maestro64
May 12, 2006, 02:49 PM
Release in Japan first would be unusual, but anything's possible with Apple these days! And this partnership might not be an Apple-branded Apple-top-to-bottom phone, it could just have Apple contributing in other ways to a non-Apple product. Like with Motorola--only maybe Apple contributes on the hardware side some too.

This does make sense since the Big 3 in the US fought to keep the Apple/Moto phone off the market. Also, without the big guys in the US it will be hard to get your phone on thier network, not the case in Japan. Plus this is a good way to proved the technology out and showing the Big 3 that people want their way verses them shoving it down on them.

yankeefan24
May 12, 2006, 02:53 PM
From Appleinsider (http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1741):

Softbank, which became a cell phone service provider by acquiring the Japanese unit of British mobile phone company Vodafone Group Plc, was reportedly chosen by Apple because the overseas company plans to offer high-speed Internet access for cell phones in Japan.


Like iTunes phones from Cingular, I guess.

If that is true, (them only Vodafone Japan) then maybe there is a chance of it being Verizon. Vodafone has a 45% stake in Verizon, so I may have a chance.

More on topic, this is interesting. I think this may be an Apple made and branded cell phone with a partnership for things like advice, and getting innovative technologies in these phones. Just a guess.

gwangung
May 12, 2006, 03:01 PM
SOFTBANK's investment strategy is anything but soft. Full-throttle investing by founder, president, and CEO Masayoshi Son has molded SOFTBANK through aggressive investments in a variety of Internet ventures. Under Son's leadership (he is hailed by many as the Bill Gates of Japan), the holding company has extended its investment reach across e-commerce, financial services, Internet infrastructure, information technology-related distribution services, publishing and marketing, and technology services. SOFTBANK complimented its 2003 purchase of Japan Telecom with acquisition of the Japanese business of mobile phone company Vodafone in 2006. Son owns more than 31% of the company.

With stakes in more than 100 Internet-related companies, the debt-heavy SOFTBANK is looking to prune some of its less profitable holdings (including MediaLive International) to fund acquisitions and its high-speed Internet access business in Asia. SOFTBANK plans to inject some $2 billion into Vodafone Japan (which is changing its name) after spending nearly $16 billion to acquire the company. Son assumed leadership of the unit as well.

SOFTBANK expanded into banking when it joined a consortium that purchased Japan's failed Nippon Credit Bank (later renamed Aozora Bank). A stock market darling during the "Internet bubble" of the late 1990s, SOFTBANK has seen its stock price and bottom line decline.

The bedrock of the company's Internet holdings is its less than 10% stake in Yahoo! and its ownership of Yahoo! Japan, as well as stakes in such ventures as E*TRADE. It has ceased new investments in Latin America and Europe.

In an attempt to create a larger domestic market for its e-commerce and Internet companies, SOFTBANK has moved into the broadband Internet connection market, providing asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) services. The firm is also taking on Japanese telecom giant NTT and plans to offer a discounted land-line telephone service.

It acquired the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, a professional baseball team, in 2005.


HISTORY:

Ethnic Korean Masayoshi Son grew up in Japan using the name Yasumoto to conform with the Japanese policy of assimilation. In the early 1970s, the 16-year-old came to the US and began using his Korean name. Son entered the University of California at Berkeley and, while there, invented the prototype for the Sharp Wizard handheld organizer.

Bankrolled by the nearly $1 million that Sharp paid him for his patent, Son returned to Japan and founded software distributor SOFTBANK in 1981. The company got its first big break when it inked a distribution agreement with Joshin Denki, one of Japan's largest consumer electronics retailers, that year. Son used this agreement to gain exclusive distribution rights for much of the software he distributed.

SOFTBANK went public in 1994. That year, as part of an evolving plan to control digital data delivery, Son bought the trade show division of Ziff-Davis Publishing, augmenting it in 1995 with the purchase of COMDEX, the trade show operations of the Interface Group. The next year SOFTBANK bought the rest of Ziff-Davis. It also bought 80% of Kingston Technology (sold 1999) and a stake in Yahoo! -- which laid the cornerstone for its Internet empire.

SOFTBANK accelerated its Internet investment pace in 1997, taking stakes in dozens of Web companies. That year it filed suit against Yell Publishing, a Japanese firm that published a book accusing SOFTBANK of issuing phony financial statements, among other improprieties.

In 1998 the firm moved into financial services, entering a joint venture with E*TRADE to offer online stock trading in Japan. SOFTBANK also took Ziff-Davis public (it retained a majority stake).

Internal changes marked 1999 when SOFTBANK merged with MAC, Son's private asset management company, and transformed itself into a holding company focused on Internet-related companies. It teamed with the National Association of Securities Dealers to create a Japanese version of the Nasdaq stock market (launched in 2000; closed in 2002). SOFTBANK also partnered with Microsoft and Tokyo Electric Power to launch SpeedNet, a Japanese Internet service provider.

In 2000 the nearly decimated Ziff-Davis announced it would transform its online arm, ZDNet, from a tracking stock into a stand-alone company and adopt the ZDNet name; later CNET Networks bought both companies instead. That year SOFTBANK formed venture capital funds focusing on areas such as Latin America, Japan, Europe, the UK, and emerging markets.

The company reorganized in 2000 and placed most of its non-Japan-based holdings under a new unit called SOFTBANK Global Ventures. Sharpening its focus on Internet investments, SOFTBANK sold its stake in antivirus software maker Trend Micro. Branching into banking, SOFTBANK headed a consortium that paid $932 million for Japan's failed Nippon Credit Bank. SOFTBANK's share of the bank (renamed Aozora) stood at nearly 49%. The firm's stock price tumbled in 2000, and it considered taking several holding companies public.

In 2001 Cisco bought a nearly 2% stake in SOFTBANK in exchange for the firm's 12% stake in the hardware company's Japanese unit. The company also sold its SOFTBANK Forums Japan, an Internet trade show company, to MediaLive International. In 2002 Nasdaq Japan announced its plans to close, after two loss-making years. SOFTBANK owned 43%.

2005 Sales % of total
e-Commerce 29
Broadband infrastructure 23
Fixed-line telecommunications 19
Internet culture 12
e-Finance 9
Technology services 3
Media & marketing 2 Broadmedia 2 Other 1 Total 100


FINANCIALS * * * * * * * * * *
FISCAL YEAR DATE: March, 2005
(Millions U.S. Dollars) 2005 2004 2003
Revenue $7,082.6 $4,897.7 $3,395.1
Net Income ($556.7) ($1,013.8) ($834.3)
Employees - 6,662 6,170

thejadedmonkey
May 12, 2006, 03:04 PM
Will I be able to buy a cellphone from Apple and put my SIM card from my motorola phone into the iPhone and it'll work?

arn
May 12, 2006, 03:05 PM
Updates to the article:


Softbank President Masayoshi Son and Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs met and reached a basic agreement on this partnership in cell phone handset operations.

It appears, Apple will sell this phone under the "Apple" brand:

Apple, which will be selling cell phone handsets under its own brand for the first time, is expected to outsource production. The company is believed to have chosen Softbank as its partner because Softbank plans to offer high-speed Internet access for cell phones, with a focus on improving convenience for consumers.

Seasought
May 12, 2006, 03:10 PM
This does make sense since the Big 3 in the US fought to keep the Apple/Moto phone off the market. Also, without the big guys in the US it will be hard to get your phone on thier network, not the case in Japan. Plus this is a good way to proved the technology out and showing the Big 3 that people want their way verses them shoving it down on them.

So the idea is to let this loose in Japan, get massively popular and catch the attention of the big players in the US who will, ideally, offer some sort of deal/partnership to get the phone into the U.S. market? I personally don't follow this too close, but the idea of an Apple made phone has sparked my interest.

I hope it's sooner than later.

Stridder44
May 12, 2006, 03:16 PM
They're selling it under the Apple brand. The iPhone is here?

stockscalper
May 12, 2006, 03:18 PM
There already is a cell phone ipod and it's called the SLVR - just happens to be the best phone on the market right now. In one slender package you get a phone with 6 1/2 hours talk time, itunes, an email client (so you can replace the Blackberry) and a PDA that syncs via Bluetooth to your Mac. What more could you want? And did I point out it rocks! Sorry, Stevie, as usual you are late to the party.

Stridder44
May 12, 2006, 03:20 PM
Sorry, Stevie, as usual you are late to the party.


Duh. It's what they do. MP3 players had been around before the iPod. Steve was late to the party then. Did it stop him?

SilvorX
May 12, 2006, 03:20 PM
This does make sense since the Big 3 in the US fought to keep the Apple/Moto phone off the market. Also, without the big guys in the US it will be hard to get your phone on thier network, not the case in Japan. Plus this is a good way to proved the technology out and showing the Big 3 that people want their way verses them shoving it down on them.
In Canada, the "only*" nationwide GSM carrier JUST started selling V3i's and the SLVR L7 this week, they had too many advertising campaigns with people break dancing for the ROKR back in the fall

*only includes Fido, since they own Fido

PekkaR
May 12, 2006, 03:26 PM
Cell phones with iTunes-playing capability are not entirely new. Motorola introduced the first iTunes-capable cell phone in September 2005 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/09/20050907114333.shtml) with a followup model (SLVR) (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060131212215.shtml) in January. These models though were met with some criticism, especially due to the 100-song cap imposed on song storage.

Does iTunes-capability refer to actually running iTunes?

There's also the (still quite new) Nokia N91 smartphone that has a focus on playing music. The most notable things in hardware are the specific controls for playback and the 4 gigabyte built in storage space. I even spotted a link on another mac forum to the software that Nokia is giving out for syncing music libraries between N91 and iTunes (http://www.europe.nokia.com/nokia/0,,87484,00.html). (can't play the DRM format, standardizing your collection on mp3 is a good idea anyway ; )

If I sound too much like I'm advertising, it's because I've been reading a lot of forums lately where people complain about not having cell phones that do this or that well or at all, and nobody mentions some stuff that might work out for them. (I don't like signing up for yet another thing just for that, but this forum I'll probably be reading a lot if I get one of those coming Inter iBooks.)

- PekkaR

freeny
May 12, 2006, 03:30 PM
This is all just a smoke screen and part of a wider Apple attempt to send out confusing signals and products. This whole phone this is just getting tired.

There will be some type of product launch very soon and Apple is only trying to confuse the media.

What will it be?.........

arn
May 12, 2006, 03:30 PM
Does iTunes-capability refer to actually running iTunes?
- PekkaR

Means will connect to iTunes and also play protected music from the music store.

arn

hobiehobo
May 12, 2006, 03:54 PM
Here's what's comin' - (opinion only, but ESPECIALLY after what Gwangung wrote re: history of Softbank! Wow!)

http://www.avj.co.jp/katarog.html - a subsidiary of the Softbank Corp, Japan, which is partnering with Apple on the iPhone - provides a link (click on that 2nd one) to a PDF which shows the GrandDaddy (Papa?) of the upcoming video-conference-friendly Apple-branded iPhone (of iPhone.org fame).

Mark my words! It will include an amazing implementation of video iChat and it will link seamlessly with everything Leopard (OS X.5) - Addresses, Calendars, Emails, iTunes, iMovie, GarageBand (mp3s, maybe mobile samples?), etc. Leopard is 10 Xs the operating system Vista will attempt to be!

How do I know?

I can feel the low growl resounding through the Jungle.

weitzner
May 12, 2006, 05:09 PM
i doubt this will actually happen.

fixyourthinking
May 12, 2006, 05:21 PM
Cell phones with iTunes-playing capability are not entirely new. Motorola introduced the first iTunes-capable cell phone in September 2005 with a followup model (SLVR) in January. These models though were met with some criticism, especially due to the 100-song cap imposed on song storage.

The 100 song cap is VERY easily removed and actually has a quite well known hack to make it unlimited

JZ Wire
May 12, 2006, 05:23 PM
I hope this is true. I can only imagine what it would be like if Apple made a cell phone but I guess we wont have to wait much longer. :)

fixyourthinking
May 12, 2006, 05:24 PM
There already is a cell phone ipod and it's called the SLVR - just happens to be the best phone on the market right now. In one slender package you get a phone with 6 1/2 hours talk time, itunes, an email client (so you can replace the Blackberry) and a PDA that syncs via Bluetooth to your Mac. What more could you want? And did I point out it rocks! Sorry, Stevie, as usual you are late to the party.


Ummm ... the SLVR has HORRIBLE battery life and the RAZR SLVR keypad dents and gets hard to push after about 4-5 months of use.

The SLVR does not have PDA functionality

rockthecasbah
May 12, 2006, 05:45 PM
as long as it isn't a fugly candy bar design im happy. SLVR and ROKR moreso = BLEH! Just because a cell phone is candy bar style doesn't mean it is required to be ugly right :p

Senbei
May 12, 2006, 06:33 PM
NHK news has also been reporting this Saturday morning in Japan (and they do not deal with broadcasting rumors). Several weeks ago, NHK's Closeup Gendai also had an interesting piece about the market, the players (including a tidbit about Softbank), and the kind of technologies currently in and coming into Japanese keitai denwa's (mobile phones).

I'm trying to find a videolink of it online.

as long as it isn't a fugly candy bar design
Most newer Japanese handsets are pretty nice. There are also some pretty weird prototypes which also never make it to market.

EricNau
May 12, 2006, 06:47 PM
I can't see Apple releasing it in Japan before the US.

yac_moda
May 12, 2006, 06:48 PM
http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2006/03/05/afx2571060.html

Softbank reaches basic deal to buy Vodafone's Japan cell phone ops - report
03.05.2006, 09:13 AM

"TOKYO (AFX) - Softbank Corp has reached a basic agreement to buy Vodafone Group Plc's roughly 98 pct stake in Vodafone KK, Japan's third-largest cell phone service provider, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

The deal is projected to be worth 1.7-2.0 trln yen, which would make it one of the largest acquisitions by a Japanese company, it said." :eek:


http://www.vodafone.com/

"Built-in 3G broadband
High speed mobile access to your email, office and the internet, built-in to your laptop. Nothing to set up or install."

http://www.vodafone.com/section_article/0,3035,CATEGORY_ID%253D1601%2526LANGUAGE_ID%253D0%2526CONTENT_ID%253D216763,00.html

"Smarter, smaller devices with faster, 'fatter' wireless connectivity are coming. We will soon expect all of these devices, from handheld to household, to 'talk' to each other and for all the embedded services to become an invisible feature of our extended, enabled environment. This could challenge existing industry and infrastructure boundaries and charging models and encourage new alliances and standards to deliver seamless solutions across a multitude of networks and devices. This is why we look at the complete picture when we plan for the future."


Other then this they just keep saying the future is about change, and when companies do this it means they DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO !!!

I guess that's why the sold the Japan division.


OH, here is a tidbit ...

Partnering for the Future ...
http://www.vodafone.com/section_article/0,3035,CATEGORY_ID%253D160104%2526LANGUAGE_ID%253D0%2526CONTENT_ID%253D262714,00.html

"The Future Products Team is currently exploring opportunities for product innovations in the following areas:

Advanced Communications - voice and messaging services that further enrich the communication experience between customers, within specific communities or facilitating machine to machine communications

Content, Entertainment and Imaging - products that bring personalized and exciting information and entertainment services to the devices of a mobilised community. Services that allow the capturing and sharing of individual experiences and moments of joy in an easy and authentic way

Wireless Productivity - products and services that allow our customers to do business on the move and create a seamless experience between working in the office and being on the road"

Dr.Gargoyle
May 12, 2006, 07:03 PM
Will I be able to buy a cellphone from Apple and put my SIM card from my motorola phone into the iPhone and it'll work?
yes...as long as the Apple phone isn't locked to a different provider.

unsaltedrhino
May 12, 2006, 07:08 PM
yes...as long as the Apple phone isn't locked to a different provider.

But even if it is, it will be easily unlockable as most handsets are.

Dr.Gargoyle
May 12, 2006, 07:15 PM
I can't see Apple releasing it in Japan before the US.
The US cellphone market is very restricted compared to the European and Japanese market. For example, crippled cell phones is more or less unheard of over here in europe. Consequently, I wouldnt be surprised if Steve pulled a stunt like that after being burned on the ROKR. SonyEriscsson has a 4GB GSM/3G (UMTS) cellphone for sale over here, so who in their right mind would buy a 60GB iPod/phone that is capped to 100 tunes?:rolleyes:

But even if it is, it will be easily unlockable as most handsets are.
I know, but that is illegal and we are not supposed to discuss that here, are we?;)

mak_suzu1
May 12, 2006, 07:38 PM
It looks that this news is already printed on the newspaper.
(Saturday morning edition in Japan).
http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/ English short version is available here.
(I think that the Japanese text says much more wild thing !)
The electric version says (it is open to general, free. but only in Japanese)
Apple and SoftBank will 'co-develop' ...
It will arrive 'within this calendar year' ....

The NIKKEI is the WSJ of Japan, not a rumor site of course.
(NIKKEI Index is DJ index or NASDAQ index)
But the NIKKEI says only they approached agreement on this deal ...
So, no official anouncement yet from both company.

mduser63
May 12, 2006, 08:11 PM
The only thing I know about Softbank is that they bought the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks baseball team (I lived in Fukuoka for a while). It would seem strange to me for an Apple product to come out in Japan only (even if it came out here later), especially since they're an American company.

mak_suzu1
May 12, 2006, 08:20 PM
It is a 3G cell-phone that includes full iPod....
(not a iTMS capable cell-phone ....)
It will be co-branded .... (or both brand ? ..)
I cannot understand exact meaning.

Cell-phone music industry in Japan is huge.
It was already nearly 1/3 of CD-sales in 2004,
Cell-phone music 111.1 BYen vs. CD-sales 368.6 Byen
according to Japanese Organization of Digital Contents (a half government agency).

xUKHCx
May 12, 2006, 08:31 PM
There already is a cell phone ipod and it's called the SLVR - just happens to be the best phone on the market right now. In one slender package you get a phone with 6 1/2 hours talk time, itunes, an email client (so you can replace the Blackberry) and a PDA that syncs via Bluetooth to your Mac. What more could you want? And did I point out it rocks! Sorry, Stevie, as usual you are late to the party.

sorry but the interface on that phone is horrible, just like all motorola's. Also that phone is buggy as hell, when trying to connect to it via bluetooth it would total lock up. It is alright looking but that is a far as it goes with that one. Apple would be stupid to limit it to one phone carrier as anyone in the UK knows vodaphone are rubbish.

KTYS
May 12, 2006, 09:39 PM
I live in Japan, and have a Vodafone 703SH... so maybe I'll get one when it comes out (though I doubt I'll use the iPod feature...)

But I wouldn't be surprised if this is true. Vodafone hasn't been doing very well in the past few years, because they've been making phones that did not meet the Japanese user's prefrences. And now, they've sold off Vodafone Japan to SoftBank. Currently, au (KDDI) brought up a music download service for Cells and PCs called "LISMO", and they've even made a phone with a 4GB HDD. I thought this would be the "iPod Killer" in Japan... but maybe not.

Vodafone Japan (now owned by SoftBank) wants to raise market share, and Apple needs to somehow make iTMS compatible with cell phones to compete with download services like LISMO. Plus, a recent survey (http://k-tai.impress.co.jp/cda/readers/odaibeya/28733.html) shows that a lot of people want an Apple-branded phone (45%!)

59031
May 12, 2006, 11:21 PM
Release in Japan first would be unusual, but anything's possible with Apple these days! And this partnership might not be an Apple-branded Apple-top-to-bottom phone, it could just have Apple contributing in other ways to a non-Apple product. Like with Motorola--only maybe Apple contributes on the hardware side some too.

A REAL Apple-designed phone with Apple ease-of-use would be great.

And Apple ease-of-use does NOT include buying songs over a phone, I don't imagine. A big screen and a keyboard REALLY help the iTMS searching experience. I can see Apple offering buying-by-phone if there was big demand, but I doubt there is. Buying directly to your master library (which is on your computer) just seems so much simpler.

I agree. Buying music through my phone is NOT what I am looking for or want. I prefer downloading to my computer and then syncing.

What I want, is an iPod that plays music and videos and holds my calendars, to do's and contacts, but also lets me make phone calls and add info to my calendars, to do's and contacts. Basically, an iPod like we have now, but with Phone capability and calendar, contact and to do's editing capability. An iPod/Phone/PDA. And it needs to hold 60GB too like what I've got now. Email on it would be desirable, but I could live without it if nessecary.

Oh and P.S. I don't want the iTunes interface on my iPod/Phone, I want the iPod interface on it, once again, like what we have now.

whee900
May 12, 2006, 11:22 PM
Well, I just hope an Apple-branded phone will make significant design changes over regular cells... That would be pretty awesome; I have no idea what Apple might come up with in an iPhone.

pbrennen
May 12, 2006, 11:49 PM
to those of you talking about SIM cards, Japan is 100% CDMA.

KTYS
May 13, 2006, 12:03 AM
to those of you talking about SIM cards, Japan is 100% CDMA.

But a lot of Vodafone 3G cell phones are W-CDMA/GSM Compatible.

I took my 703SH to the U.S. on a vacation, and it connected to the T-Mobile and Cingular network automatically.
It was great, since I didn't want to rent a phone in the U.S. because honestly... the UI of the phones sold in the U.S. are just crap. So hard to use and confusing.
"Cell Phones" and "Keitai Denwa" are completely different stuff...

avus
May 13, 2006, 12:21 AM
This wasn't a surprise to me, as I read elsewhere that Steve Jobs and Masayoshi Son, the president of Softbank, met recently.

This deal hasn't made to the headlines on Yahoo! Japan's top page yet ... but there has been a lot of intense speculation how Softbank would go war with NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, in its already saturated cellular market after buying Vodafone Japan. They are expected to utilize Yahoo! Japan's dominance in ISP and now Apple, which has the same market dominance in portable music player market there. Softbank will try to compete by the features and the name recognitions of two American companies. Interesting.

This shows how far Apple has reached in the mind of Japanese consumers, and you'll never understand this if you only read about Japan by US media that still stereotypes and whines Japan's "closed market."

EricNau
May 13, 2006, 12:24 AM
to those of you talking about SIM cards, Japan is 100% CDMA.
Hopefully this phone would work with Verizon. It's about time Verizon get at least one good phone.

Iroganai
May 13, 2006, 12:34 AM
On April 24, the blog of the journal FACTA told the news M. Son and S. Jobs held a meeting on the cell phone issue on Mar 30 this year:
http://facta.co.jp/mgz/archives/20060424000137.shtml

Facta is a recently started independent business journal by an ex-Nikkei employee.

aegisdesign
May 13, 2006, 03:51 AM
I can't see Apple releasing it in Japan before the US.

I can. And in Europe too for that matter. Phones outside the US are feature rich, unblocked multi-function devices. The infrastructure is much denser because the countries are smaller and more populous. The mobile industry moves much quicker.

If you want to release an innovative phone, USA isn't No.1.

And I hope it's a candybar phone too. Or a slider. Not a flip phone. Eeeww.

The selling point for me though will be the OS and UI they run on it. If it's like UIQ 3 then I'll be right there, if it's like Moto's phones I'll pass right on by to Sony again.

Yossarian
May 13, 2006, 05:05 AM
The relationship with Softbank is almost irrelevant.

The more interesting alliance will be where Apple buy the cellular technology from. They'll need a baseband platform (silicon, layer 1) and a protocol stack to stick on top of it. Do Apple have a close relationship with TI? Seem to remember they'd worked together on other things. What about Qualcomm, they have silicon in the ipod at the moment don't they?

Though which technology they target is also interesting, Qualcomm/EMP for UMTS but for GSM/GPRS/Edge the options are much wider, there are a number of independent suppliers who should be beating down Apples door, the volumes will be very high. I know for a fact that Apple were looking around for an Edge platform last year but they weren't saying which product line it was for.

The selling point for me though will be the OS and UI they run on it. If it's like UIQ 3 then I'll be right there, if it's like Moto's phones I'll pass right on by to Sony again.
Again there are a number of independent suppliers of UI platforms but it could end up home-grown. Though regardless of the manufacturer the majority of mobiles use one of a small number of application platforms.

AppleinJapan
May 13, 2006, 05:09 AM
Its a good idea because most people in Japan buy music or ringtones for their moblie phone. The market will take off here so Apple should start selling ipod phones....

Stridder44
May 13, 2006, 05:46 AM
...the UI of the phones sold in the U.S. are just crap. So hard to use and confusing.
"Cell Phones" and "Keitai Denwa" are completely different stuff...



Thank you. I've been telling people this for years and I live in the US myself. I love my Sony Ericsson which kicks the crap out those stupid RAZRs, etc

Senbei
May 13, 2006, 08:36 AM
the UI of the phones sold in the U.S. are just crap.
Heh, it is hard for folks to understand unless they've actually used a keitai and the different services in Japan. :D

have no idea what Apple might come up with in an iPhone.
Finally found a video link (http://www.nippon-sekai.com/db/articles/educational/a-look-at-the-keitai-denwa-market-in-japan) for that recent Closeup Gendai which might be helpful as there are some quick shots of keitai denwa doing stuff like video. The second clip shows what is happening on the music side in more detail and what Apple will be competing with. There are some shots of the LISMO service mentioned earlier which is the closest thing to what the iPod does.

Di9it8
May 13, 2006, 08:36 AM
I hope this is true. I can only imagine what it would be like if Apple made a cell phone but I guess we wont have to wait much longer. :)

Ive been waiting for 6months for the Sony Ericsson P990, and that is still not yet out in the UK. It is those features that the Apple phone will have to beat as the ROKR was a disaster, partly due to Motorola's poor UI :rolleyes:

encro
May 13, 2006, 08:43 AM
It is those features that the Apple phone will have to beat as the ROKR was a disaster, partly due to Motorola's poor UI :rolleyes:

Every Motorola phone is a disaster.

suntzu
May 13, 2006, 09:47 AM
It seems like accessing internet content through a celluar network in the United States has been kept regulated to techies and business users. I've check the cost for decent speed data plans and they're too costly even for a techie like me. The average consumer definately won't sign up for it.

That makes me question when it's coming to the US. People aren't going to pay what they pay now for cell service and pay an additional load for data service. If they had a $9 unlimited plan, that would be better but sadly the only thing close is T-Mobile's sidekick plan and that's SLOOOOW.

iJawn108
May 13, 2006, 10:05 AM
I'm not sure why apple didn't use nokia. Much like Apple OSX the Nokia phones OS is soo simple everyone can use a nokia with ease.

On another note people complain about battery life now on their iPods... batteries can only get soo good and that's a matter of chemistry. Sometimes it's good to have more than one device.:)

KTYS
May 13, 2006, 10:29 AM
I'm not sure why apple didn't use nokia. Much like Apple OSX the Nokia phones OS is soo simple everyone can use a nokia with ease.

I think Japanese "keitai denwa" are much easier to use. That's probably why nobody here buys Nokia phones.

Apple wants to release a phone and Vodafone/SoftBank needs something to get people's attention...
Currently, Vodafone offers phones from Sharp, NEC, Toshiba, Nokia, and Samsung. Later, when SoftBank will change it's name from "Vodafone", Masayoshi Son said that new phones from "Panasonic Mobile Communications, and new phones from overseas companies" will be released. He also stated that "We will have a lot of surprises ready."
http://k-tai.impress.co.jp/cda/article/news_toppage/29070.html

....I wonder what he ment by "overseas companies" and "surprises"

MrCrowbar
May 13, 2006, 10:33 AM
... when it's released in Japan, it's most likeley to be a clamshell phone, right? I never really liked those... hopefully Apple comes up with a cool system.

suntzu
May 13, 2006, 10:46 AM
... when it's released in Japan, it's most likeley to be a clamshell phone, right? I never really liked those... hopefully Apple comes up with a cool system.

It'll probably be something you stick in your ear and in your eye. The iPhone Invisa :D

Mal
May 13, 2006, 10:53 AM
From what I remember from Japan, jack-knife phones were the big thing there, or ones that swiveled to form a camcorder-like (screen turned 90 degrees and horizontal, body of phone vertical and lens on the side). Perhaps Apple will improve upon that sort of design, with their own set of controls, somewhat reminiscent of the iPod, but obviously incorporating a numerical keypad and probably a slight variation on the click-wheel idea.

jW

KTYS
May 13, 2006, 11:11 AM
From what I remember from Japan, jack-knife phones were the big thing there, or ones that swiveled to form a camcorder-like (screen turned 90 degrees and horizontal, body of phone vertical and lens on the side). Perhaps Apple will improve upon that sort of design, with their own set of controls, somewhat reminiscent of the iPod, but obviously incorporating a numerical keypad and probably a slight variation on the click-wheel idea.

jW

Oh ya, the Camcorder like thing... that's pretty old though.
There's also a "Cycloie" style phone: http://k-tai.impress.co.jp/cda/article/news_toppage/28493.html
It does this so you can view One-Seg Digital TV broadcasts in full screen.

I would imagine it would be something like the Vodafone 803T (http://www.vodafone.jp/japanese/products/model_3G/v803t/index.html)
An LCD and ClickWheel on the back side of the main LCD... but I do hope Apple will make something more innovative.

... when it's released in Japan, it's most likeley to be a clamshell phone, right? I never really liked those... hopefully Apple comes up with a cool system.
Likely. Since Japanese people like clamshell style phones.
I personally hate "bar-type" phones that don't cover the dialpad. I always put my keitai in my pocket, but those phones tend to call people "automatically" (Presses a few buttons in my pocket and dials someone in the addressbook)

timswim78
May 13, 2006, 11:27 AM
It seems like accessing internet content through a celluar network in the United States has been kept regulated to techies and business users. I've check the cost for decent speed data plans and they're too costly even for a techie like me. The average consumer definately won't sign up for it.

That makes me question when it's coming to the US. People aren't going to pay what they pay now for cell service and pay an additional load for data service. If they had a $9 unlimited plan, that would be better but sadly the only thing close is T-Mobile's sidekick plan and that's SLOOOOW.

This is what I have,
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=40&threadid=1760933&enterthread=y

MrCrowbar
May 13, 2006, 11:29 AM
[...]
Likely. Since Japanese people like clamshell style phones.
I personally hate "bar-type" phones that don't cover the dialpad. I always put my keitai in my pocket, but those phones tend to call people "automatically" (Presses a few buttons in my pocket and dials someone in the addressbook)

Don't all phones have keyboard lock? On Nokia phones for example, pressing "Menu" and "*" will lock the keyboard until you press those keys again. Most recent phones can lock it automatically after a given idle time. Some people might complain about scratches in the display, but my 4 year old Nokia has no real scratches. Maybe Apple should partner with Nokia for durable handheld devices, i.e. Nokia makes phone and iPod Cases or something. :o

mkrishnan
May 13, 2006, 12:15 PM
Don't all phones have keyboard lock? On Nokia phones for example, pressing "Menu" and "*" will lock the keyboard until you press those keys again. Most recent phones can lock it automatically after a given idle time. Some people might complain about scratches in the display, but my 4 year old Nokia has no real scratches. Maybe Apple should partner with Nokia for durable handheld devices, i.e. Nokia makes phone and iPod Cases or something. :o

I don't know if my Nokia 3650 had the lock on idle feature or not, but I did run into forgetting to lock the keyboard occasionally and having it dial out from in my bag. :o But I agree with the rest... I went with a RAZR just recently, but primarily because it was (A) hot pink, and (B) small, in that order, and not because I didn't like bars. :D

Mmmmm, so this is tangential, since Softbank will probably not be offering a GSM phone in Japan. But I wonder... as also mentioned above, "cracking" phones is technically illegal.

BUT...

In the US, as far as I know, it is *not* illegal to buy a GSM phone and use it with a GSM provider, even if the phone wasn't sold to you by the provider. But in the US, the system of selling subsidized phones through service providers is highly entrenched, and no one does this (unlocked phones are really only available by eBay, etc).

If Apple, or another party, were to start to sell an unsubsidized, unlocked GSM phone (that works with T-Mo and Cingular, with a number of smaller US providers, and in general with a huge number of North American and European cell accounts), then wouldn't that be a "change everything" move? That is, if they could actually make a phone good enough that it would overcome the entrenchment of subsidized phones? Even if the cell companies initially balked, it could be like refusing to recognize the iPod, eventually, and Apple's market presence and favor with consumers could eventually sell the phone companies on supporting it....

59031
May 13, 2006, 12:47 PM
And I hope it's a candybar phone too. Or a slider. Not a flip phone. Eeeww.


Yuck is what *I* say to candybar phones. I hate them.

However, if this is going to be an iPod/PDA/Phone then it shouldn't be a flip phone.

mongoos150
May 13, 2006, 03:25 PM
Every Motorola phone is a disaster.

Which of course explains why the Razr was the best selling phone of 2005...:rolleyes:

jds3266
May 13, 2006, 04:58 PM
It's called the Razr V3i, not very creative but still. It hasn't been launced in America yet, but it has been introduced quietly in some Asian markets. Unfortunately not all the markets were licensed to have itunes installed, so Motorola also created it's own mp3 playing software to go with it (if not itunes, then no aac).

The phone is pretty good, it's cool having music on my phone but the main thrills are the 1.23 mp camera, micro sd slot, and new voice recognition software. You no longer have to train the phone to each name. You simply state the name and it prompts you for which number (home, cell, office). The new software can also let you dial by number. Basically if you saw an add, or calling a buddy while in the car but haven't included him in your phone book, then just say "digit dial" then "555-555-5555" and it calls. It is the best phone I've had yet.

yac_moda
May 13, 2006, 05:41 PM
yes...as long as the Apple phone isn't locked to a different provider.

Vodaphone will probably be the provider, although it will be Apple branded. :eek:

xUKHCx
May 13, 2006, 07:20 PM
Which of course explains why the Razr was the best selling phone of 2005...:rolleyes:

the reason it sells loads is fashion, it is a diasater in terms of UI.

AppleinJapan
May 13, 2006, 07:50 PM
Take a look at this news page in English

http://www.crisscross.com/jp/news/372524

irmongoose
May 14, 2006, 12:02 AM
Right, so the big thing is that 1) Apple is going to be making the phone, and 2) users will be able to download songs straight from the phone.

Sounds nice. I'll definitely be buying one of these.




irmongoose

imacdaddy
May 14, 2006, 01:21 AM
Firstly, Softbank is just a telecommunications provider in Japan not an OEM maker of mobile phones. If Apple should come out with a mobile phone, they will develope their own handsets without Motorola or Nokia or SE, and will directly deal with OEM makers directly like Foxconn (FIH). Foxconn (FIH) is already producing phones for Motorola and Nokia. Apple already has a relationship with Foxconn Electroncs (the other subsid) currently making iPod Shuffles, Nanos and Mac Minis for Apple.

So this rumor of Apple and Softbank is not of "making" handsets but to offer some sort of content distribution and carrier service for Apple's upcoming "rumor" mobile phone? That's just my two cents worth. ;)

EricNau
May 14, 2006, 01:39 AM
Every Motorola phone is a disaster.
I completely agree. I've hated both of my Motorola phones.

Dr.Gargoyle
May 14, 2006, 05:51 AM
If Apple should come out with a mobile phone, they will develope their own handsets without Motorola or Nokia or SE, and will directly deal with OEM makers directly like Foxconn (FIH). Foxconn (FIH) is already producing phones for Motorola and Nokia. Apple already has a relationship with Foxconn Electroncs (the other subsid) currently making iPod Shuffles, Nanos and Mac Minis for Apple.
I doubt Apple will build/design a cellphone from scratch. You might be right regarding FIH, but I do think Apple will buy the platform from a manufaturer like SE. Building a cellphone from scratch would impose huge R&D costs. There is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel. (Just consider how Apple buys GPU, CPU, HD,... from different manufacturers for the computers.) The "Apple experience" isn't about hardware, it is about design and a brilliant UI. Consequently, judging from Apples previous gadgets, I believe they will release a stripped down iPod/cellphone without any whistels and bells. Basically an iPod with calling capabilities with the same brilliant UI.

(L)
May 14, 2006, 06:07 AM
I doubt Apple will build/design a cellphone from scratch. You might be right regarding FIH, but I do think Apple will buy the platform from a manufaturer like SE. Building a cellphone from scratch would impose huge R&D costs. There is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel. (Just consider how Apple buys GPU, CPU, HD,... from different manufacturers for the computers.) The "Apple experience" isn't about hardware, it is about design and a brilliant UI. Consequently, judging from Apples previous gadgets, I believe they will release a stripped down iPod/cellphone without any whistels and bells. Basically an iPod with calling capabilities with the same brilliant UI.

In the end, yeah. So Apple will develop an iPod-containing phone that will also have to do all the things other phones are expected to do, like take pictures. And unfortunately, they're stuck with Vodafone instead of the classier AU. Candybar, flip, slide, touchscreen, cube, triple-sliding maglev cyber phone, it doesn't matter. It's all been done. I'm curious to see if they'll be able to take established hardware and mold it into their own form, and then, where they're going to go with that. Probably, they'll make a really good phone that will be successful for just any phone, but capture less than 3% market share. Why should I buy one? I'd rather just have an iPod, and my current phone is fine.

irmongoose
May 14, 2006, 06:40 AM
And unfortunately, they're stuck with Vodafone instead of the classier AU.

Classier? How can you describe a mobile service provider as "classier' than another? Besides, Softbank will be disbanding the entire business model of Vodafone (including the brand), so it will be another animal altogether.



irmongoose

KTYS
May 14, 2006, 07:04 AM
Firstly, Softbank is just a telecommunications provider in Japan not an OEM maker of mobile phones.

So this rumor of Apple and Softbank is not of "making" handsets but to offer some sort of content distribution and carrier service for Apple's upcoming "rumor" mobile phone? That's just my two cents worth. ;)

You could be absolutely right, but I'd like to say that in Japan, phones are sold by the providers. Unlike the unlike most other countries, (where you sign-up for a service and buy a phone of your choice) a phone maker (such as Sharp or Hitachi, etc) would supply the phones to the provider (Like NTT DoCoMo, au, Vodafone) and the provider would sell the phones. The phones are "Sim-locked" to the providers, and is why you can get a full-featured Keitai for just 1 Yen, dispite the fact that they are worth a whole lot more.

I have a "Vodafone 703SH by SHARP", and in the same way the new phone by Apple could be something like "Vodafone iPhone by APPLE". Apple makes the phones, Vodafone/SoftBank sells them.

It seems like the news is spreading here in Japan... On the train back home, the girls sitting next to me were talking about buying a new keitai, and one of them said "But did you know a new "iPod Keitai" is going to come out soon!" "Oh, then I'm going to wait for that to come out". Unfortunately, their Keitai didn't look like it was a Vodafone...

Dr.Gargoyle
May 14, 2006, 07:14 AM
In the end, yeah. So Apple will develop an iPod-containing phone that will also have to do all the things other phones are expected to do, like take pictures. And unfortunately, they're stuck with Vodafone instead of the classier AU. Candybar, flip, slide, touchscreen, cube, triple-sliding maglev cyber phone, it doesn't matter. It's all been done. I'm curious to see if they'll be able to take established hardware and mold it into their own form, and then, where they're going to go with that. Probably, they'll make a really good phone that will be successful for just any phone, but capture less than 3% market share. Why should I buy one? I'd rather just have an iPod, and my current phone is fine.
First of all, I dont think Apple will integrate a camera in the "iPhone". One reason for that is that many places (Gyms, Embassies, R&D facilities,...) just doesnt allow people to bring a camera with them.
Buying a platform from a manufacturer like Ericsson Mobile Platforms (EMP), does by no mean result in a phone that looks like a SonyEricsson. EMP are currently licensing their platform (actual phone) to SonyEricsson, LG, and Sharp; cellphones that are very different in both appearance and handling from a customers point of view.
The actual phone in a physical cellphone is very small. More or less the entire physical cellphone constitutes of battery, keyboard, display, ... i.e. something that is already included in the iPod. That is, adding phone capabilities to an iPod shouldn't increase the size of the iPod.
A phone capable iPod would minimize the effort from Apples side, such that they could concentrate on the design and UI of the iPod/phone. As I see it, an iPod with phone ONLY would be the best bet for Apple at this point. I mean how many of you guys actually use all that crap you have in your cellphones? For example, I have had a sorry excuse for a camera in my cellphone for years now and I have used it perhaps once or twice. It just doesn't cut it.

xUKHCx
May 14, 2006, 08:25 AM
First of all, I dont think Apple will integrate a camera in the "iPhone". One reason for that is that many places (Gyms, Embassies, R&D facilities,...) just doesnt allow people to bring a camera with them.

MBP anyone

As I see it, an iPod with phone ONLY would be the best bet for Apple at this point. I mean how many of you guys actually use all that crap you have in your cellphones? For example, I have had a sorry excuse for a camera in my cellphone for years now and I have used it perhaps once or twice. It just doesn't cut it.

i have an alright camera in my phone 2mp and i use it all the time, not for picture taking, but i use it to copy diagrams and notices when i am in a rush between lectures. Really is quite useful.

It would have to be really good to make me upgrade from my 4th gen and my w800, but when they die or my O2 contracts runs out and if it is on O2 they i would maybe sell my old ipod on ebay and get it, but currently i am not upgrading my ipod because i need at least 80 gb. the video features are nice but not compelling

Dr.Gargoyle
May 14, 2006, 09:14 AM
MBP anyone
Well, what can I say... I think most people would notice if you used a MBP to take snapshots of people undressing.
There is a noticable difference in size between a laptop and a cellphone, wouldnt you agree? :rolleyes: ;) :D

I have an alright camera in my phone 2mp and i use it all the time, not for picture taking, but i use it to copy diagrams and notices when i am in a rush between lectures.
This is exactly why cameras are not allowed at many places. People take snapshots of documents, facilities, projects, and situations for other reasons than a nice photo.
Moreover, as you indicate yourself, 2MP with a really crappy optics doesnt make much of a camera. I suspect that most people have slightly higher demands on picture quality, but hey that is just my opinion...
The bottleneck when it comes to photos with a cellphone is the optics, not the MP. The size of high quality optics are about the same today as it was 90 years ago. High quality optics just doesnt fit into the form factor of a modern cellphone.

xUKHCx
May 14, 2006, 09:31 AM
Well, what can I say... I think most people would notice if you used a MBP to take snapshots of people undressing.
There is a noticable difference in size between a laptop and a cellphone, wouldnt you agree? :rolleyes: ;) :D

This is exactly why cameras are not allowed at many places. People take snapshots of documents, facilities, projects, and situations for other reasons than a nice photo.
Moreover, as you indicate yourself, 2MP with a really crappy optics doesnt make much of a camera. I suspect that most people have slightly higher demands on picture quality, but hey that is just my opinion...
The bottleneck when it comes to photos with a cellphone is the optics, not the MP. The size of high quality optics are about the same today as it was 90 years ago. High quality optics just doesnt fit into the form factor of a modern cellphone.

thats why i dont use my phone for pictures, i use my slr for that.

obiouvsly in certain situtaions th mbp would stick out like a sore thumb, the gym example, however if you were working on it a desk, you could quite easily just hold a document up in front of it as if you were reading it and take the picture.

Dr.Gargoyle
May 14, 2006, 10:09 AM
obiouvsly in certain situtaions th mbp would stick out like a sore thumb, the gym example, however if you were working on it a desk, you could quite easily just hold a document up in front of it as if you were reading it and take the picture.
Well in theory perhaps... If you work with sensitive projects you are more or less restricted to your own work, in the sense that you would be able to take pics with a MBP. However, this would lead back to you rather fast, with unemployment and (in best case) a hefty lawsuit. Besides, you dont need a MBP to get a pic. I have heard of a novelty called xerox machine that actually would handle duplication much better. But again, if you are working in a highly sensitive enironment, you would not be allowed to have any sort of cameras with you, including the MBP and all documents would be on papers that can't be photocopied. Still now we are talking about extremes.
The bottom line was just that cellphones with a camera are surounded with a lot of restrictions where and when you are alowed to use them. My point was that this "cost" is IMHO too high compared with the added value you get from a 2MP camera with crapppy optics. Don't you want to be able to use your iPod at work even if you work in R&D?

Scruff
May 14, 2006, 10:12 AM
Just slap an iSight on an iPod, :p. They look small enough on those MBPs xD.

Dr.Gargoyle
May 14, 2006, 10:34 AM
Just slap an iSight on an iPod, :p. They look small enough on those MBPs xD.
Why on earth would you need an iSight on an iPod?:confused:
Ok, so you have videophones capabilty on 3G phones. My previous cellphone was a 3G, so I have tried it, but I seriously dont see the point in paying ten times as much for a call with crappy video. On a computer when it is free, yes But not when it cost you almost $1/minute. Besides, a built in iSight would
a) kill the batteries fast
b) result in a larger iPod
It is just waste of space in my book

KTYS
May 14, 2006, 10:47 AM
... an iPod with phone ONLY would be the best bet for Apple at this point.
Answer: No. Not in Japan.

If Apple wants to sell a phone in Japan, it needs to be feature rich like all other phones are. That includes the camera (Which is required to use Vodafone 3G's "TV Call" service). If it's not feature rich, nobody will buy it and will fail for sure.

A "Cell Phone" may be a phone with a lot of useless features, but a Keitai is pretty much a "Handheld computer" with lots of useful features. au already sells a Music Keitai with a 4GB HDD from Toshiba. I don't see why Apple can't do the same using Flash Memory.

The Japanese view cell phones in a very different way... that's one of the reasons Vodafone failed in Japan. They didn't understand the "Japanese way" ;-)

Scruff
May 14, 2006, 10:49 AM
Well, they were just talking about Apple Cell phones, and an iPod with Phone features... just figured if you wanted a digital camera as well... just one purchase. :p

It's a was a joke more than anything else, I don't really expect they'd make an iPod/Phone/Camera/Kitchen sink.

Dr.Gargoyle
May 14, 2006, 11:15 AM
Answer: No. Not in Japan.

If Apple wants to sell a phone in Japan, it needs to be feature rich like all other phones are. That includes the camera (Which is required to use Vodafone 3G's "TV Call" service). If it's not feature rich, nobody will buy it and will fail for sure.

A "Cell Phone" may be a phone with a lot of useless features, but a Keitai is pretty much a "Handheld computer" with lots of useful features. au already sells a Music Keitai with a 4GB HDD from Toshiba. I don't see why Apple can't do the same using Flash Memory.

The Japanese view cell phones in a very different way... that's one of the reasons Vodafone failed in Japan. They didn't understand the "Japanese way" ;-)
Well, they do buy iPods in Japan, right? If so, why wouldn't they buy an iPod with phone capabilities?
I agree with Scruff, I too doubt that Apple will make an iPod/Phone/Camera/Kitchen sink... Apple is about simplicity, less is more. If you want a full enchillada, there are plenty of manufacturers that do that already.
I believe that phone capability is a nessecary move for Apple, since more or less all people have one and people just don't want to carry around with more gadgets than they have to. But that is a far cry from morphing the iPod to a PSP/PDA device.

Macnoviz
May 14, 2006, 02:28 PM
iKnow !!

The new iPhone will be available in red, white and black, and it will be released next tuesday along with the new Macbook, the real video iPod and the iNewton

kashimo
May 14, 2006, 07:25 PM
I am totally excited about this. My wife wanted an iPod but when I told her about this she said, "let's wait and just buy the iPhone". She wants an iPod but doesn't want to carry both.

Japanese have long commutes on trains so iPods have sold, but young people don't want to carry both so they are going with AU's or NTT DoCoMo's phones. DoCoMo recently released a phone with camera (still & Video) and can hold lots of music. It has a port has stereo speakers and lets one listen to the music without headphones. If a call or message (far more common in Japan) comes in, it holds the song.

I have a Vodafone (formally known as J-Phone) and I use the video chat, short message, long mail, phone, video camera and still camera regularly. If I want to take a photo and don't have my digital camera, I use my Keitai. If you go out on a weekend in Japan, you will see parents taking photos with their keitai. They take the camera home, pop out the sd card, connect it to their computer and upload the pictures. The pictures are high res and full screen with no degradation.

Apple will need to be full features and need to be stylish. Also to really wet the appetite of Japan, Music video download would be a nice as well. Many Japanese phones can receve TV so, why not put that in as well. When you are on the train and don't want to miss the baseball game, you watch it on your phone.

Note: My father told me last night he bought a RAZR and that I would be impressed with it. I didn't want to bust his bubble that my phone which is one year old can do more that his little RAZR. Phones in the US are outdated and the network is about 2 to 3 years behind Japan.

MrCrowbar
May 14, 2006, 10:15 PM
I heard today that Apple was planning on entering the market of mobile netwok carriers in the US and Europe by buying some bandwidth from the bug ones along with shipping their own handhelds. Kinda like Macs and .Mac. Again, it's what I was told. I actually doubt this will happen that soon even if I'd love it.

Actually I really hope for an Apple phone (iPhone sounds so dumb...) that has a lot of storage (>10GB) and serves as a music player and basic organizer (iCal) too. Kinda like a thing between the iPod Nano and the 5G in size with phone feature and some way to input text and numbers in there. I wonder how many phone numbers you could store on 10GB... :rolleyes:

Multimedia
May 14, 2006, 10:44 PM
CBS 60 Minutes MarketWatch Newsbreak Announced This As Fact. Russ Mitchell did the honors making it a real thing and no longer a Rumor. :D

imacdaddy
May 14, 2006, 11:21 PM
Apple will need to be full features and need to be stylish. Also to really wet the appetite of Japan, Music video download would be a nice as well. Many Japanese phones can receve TV so, why not put that in as well. When you are on the train and don't want to miss the baseball game, you watch it on your phone.

Yes, I totally agree. There's absolutely no point for Apple to release their FIRST mobile phone without all the bells and whistles that come standard in today's mobile phones (at least here in Asia, also Europe). Things like audio/video playback, at least 2MP camera and video camera for 3G video calls are basic/standard features for a 3G phone. An Apple phone with ipod capabilities or vice-versa, WITHOUT the basic/standard features of a 3G phone, WILL NOT sell in Asia and Europe. It just wouldn't be "cutting edge" technology for Apple, and imagine what people would say, especially people the mobile phone industry.

A couple of things, Softbank and especially Japan market would plainly tell Apple to stick to ipods and building computers if Apple's first phone were just a simple call/receive only mobile phone with ipod capabilities. Vodafone Japan flopped in the Japanese market because the phones they had were not "feature rich". Softbank would not want to repeat that after buying them out, so going with a NON "feature rich" Apple phone simply of Apple branding would just kill them...both.

In saying that, the partnership between Apple and Softbank should reveal a few things about the phone. It will have audio/video playback just like an ipod. It will be a World phone + UMTS. Softbank should be streaming video content via their Net TV and Apple through Apple's iTunes Japan service so data will be over UMTS or possibly wi-fi. The screen will have hi-resolution, maybe VGA for clean video playback viewing. It will have both still and video cameras to utilise 3G video calls or iChat feature? It should have Bluetooth for handsfree devices/headphones and to synch with iTunes, iCal, iPhoto, Mail on a Mac. It should have wi-fi to synch with .mac service.

Sounds too good to be true? Just maybe. But Apple would need to include all of the latest/future phone technology and "killer" value-added services to compete against all the mobile phone makers just to get their foot in the door with local carriers around the world for partnerships. At the moment, I think they've already accomplished most of that with the iPod and iTunes and heading into the right direction and I think a phone like the one above is immanent!

truz
May 14, 2006, 11:35 PM
I hope this is true as well. I would love to see a sexy mac interface on my cell phone along with a built in mp3 player and isight ;)

yac_moda
May 15, 2006, 12:24 AM
I want an iPod camera cell phone that is built into a BASEBALL CAP :eek: :eek: :eek: :D

OR a POCKET PROTECTOR iPod audio recorder cell phone would be cool :cool:

How bout BOTTLE CAP GLASSES with transperent OLeDs on both sides so my glasses can WINK AT THE GIRLS WHILE I CRUSE THE WEB ON MY INTEGRATED iPod CELL PHONE !!!

KTYS
May 15, 2006, 01:14 AM
Well, they do buy iPods in Japan, right? If so, why wouldn't they buy an iPod with phone capabilities?
I agree with Scruff, I too doubt that Apple will make an iPod/Phone/Camera/Kitchen sink... Apple is about simplicity, less is more. If you want a full enchillada, there are plenty of manufacturers that do that already.
I believe that phone capability is a nessecary move for Apple, since more or less all people have one and people just don't want to carry around with more gadgets than they have to. But that is a far cry from morphing the iPod to a PSP/PDA device.

No one will replace their full featured keitai with a phone with only a music player feature. If Apple does release a phone with only the iPod feature, it doesn't connect with how you said "people just don't want to carry around with more gadgets than they have to", because then we'll need another phone for the features not included in the Apple phone.

If Apple is going to sell the phone in the U.S., maybe Phone+iPod may be fine. But in Japan, a phone that is not feature-rich is not acceptable. It would result in a complete failure, and may even lead to people moving away from Apple entirely. (That's what happened to Vodafone. Lost a lot of customers because they didn't do the Japanese Way)

Like I said, to us, a cell phone is a "Handheld Computer". You wouldn't replace your current Mac with a typewriter, just because it's simpler to use, would you?

Edit: Well, SoftBank says it's not true: http://www.softbank.co.jp/news/release/2006/060515_0001.html

imacdaddy
May 15, 2006, 04:12 AM
Edit: Well, SoftBank says it's not true: http://www.softbank.co.jp/news/release/2006/060515_0001.html

Translated http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.softbank.co.jp%2Fnews%2Frelease%2F2006%2F060515_0001.html&langpair=ja%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

"Placing on the news media of portion of 2006 May 13 date, there was this corporation and reporting regarding the American apple computer, but these are the guess article by the news media. It is not something which the agency it decides the contents which are reported, as this corporation and announces."

Well, it's natural for Softbank to come out to deny the rumor at this point in time and most likely Apple will make a statement as well. So there's a 50% chance this whole thing could very well be a hoax and 50% true. I hope it's the latter. :D

thejadedmonkey
May 15, 2006, 08:33 AM
Nihon Keizai Shimbun confirmed it...
Japans' Nihon Keizai Shimbun appears to have confirmed the persistent rumours that Apple is planning to launch a cellular phone with iPod functionality, claiming it is being developed in conjunction with Japanese company Softbank, which has just purchased Vodafone Japan.

longofest
May 15, 2006, 08:57 AM
The original story has been updated. Softbank has issued a statement denying involvement in the iPod phone

irmongoose
May 15, 2006, 09:02 AM
Actually, the Softbank spokesperson simply stated that the article is "speculation" but did not deny their involvement with Apple.

Perhaps Steve got on the phone with Mr. Son and told him to shut his trap?




irmongoose

longofest
May 15, 2006, 09:08 AM
Actually, the Softbank spokesperson simply stated that the article is "speculation" but did not deny their involvement with Apple.

Perhaps Steve got on the phone with Mr. Son and told him to shut his trap?




irmongoose

Do you know how to read japanese? The original press release was in japanese, and it would be nice if we had it to go from rather than an interpreter from another news site.

original press release can be found here: http://www.softbank.co.jp/news/release/2006/060515_0001.html

EricNau
May 15, 2006, 09:16 AM
Uh-Oh. This is going to turn into another "What does that Japanese (or Chinese) mean?" threads. :eek: :D

thejadedmonkey
May 15, 2006, 09:19 AM
I speak Japanese. I just read it, and it can be condensed into these few words :pThis side up

If 60 minutes did a story on it, and that dude said so, and softbank never denied it, it's coming out. No questions asked.

irmongoose
May 15, 2006, 09:30 AM
Haha, good one, thejadedmonkey!


Yes, I read Japanese, it says

"The reported matter is speculation on the newspaper's part and does not represent any matter officially announced by us."





irmongoose

Atlasland
May 15, 2006, 11:05 AM
Never happen.

jaxstate
May 15, 2006, 11:15 AM
:rolleyes: I feel the same. If they dont release the phone with all the features that are already on most cell phones, then I think they are going to fail. If they just want to do a iPod phone, then they should just redo the ROKR phone. (or whatever the hell it's called(
No one will replace their full featured keitai with a phone with only a music player feature. If Apple does release a phone with only the iPod feature, it doesn't connect with how you said "people just don't want to carry around with more gadgets than they have to", because then we'll need another phone for the features not included in the Apple phone.

If Apple is going to sell the phone in the U.S., maybe Phone+iPod may be fine. But in Japan, a phone that is not feature-rich is not acceptable. It would result in a complete failure, and may even lead to people moving away from Apple entirely. (That's what happened to Vodafone. Lost a lot of customers because they didn't do the Japanese Way)

Like I said, to us, a cell phone is a "Handheld Computer". You wouldn't replace your current Mac with a typewriter, just because it's simpler to use, would you?

Edit: Well, SoftBank says it's not true: http://www.softbank.co.jp/news/release/2006/060515_0001.html

Dr.Gargoyle
May 15, 2006, 12:21 PM
If Apple is going to sell the phone in the U.S., maybe Phone+iPod may be fine. But in Japan, a phone that is not feature-rich is not acceptable. It would result in a complete failure, and may even lead to people moving away from Apple entirely.
...and still, iPods seem to be selling like crazy in Japan, without any of those features you speak about.
I think you look at it the wrong way. I dont think Apple will sell a phone with music capability, but rather and iPod with phone capability, i.e. emphasis on iPod.
Apple is a huge player in the portable music player (PMP) market. If they tried to enter the cellphone market they would be a very very small player compared to Nokia/Moto/LG/SE...
I believe Apple would get better sales if they remain in the portable music player market and add phone capabilities, rather than trying to enter the veritable hornets nest the cellphone market is today by building a Newton like phone (we all know how that ended).
Moreover, judging from Apple long history of minimalistic gadgets, I seriously doubt we ever will see a full-fledged whistles-and-bells phone.

KTYS
May 15, 2006, 12:47 PM
...and still, iPods seem to be selling like crazy in Japan, without any of those features you speak about.
I think you look at it the wrong way. I dont think Apple will sell a phone with music capability, but rather and iPod with phone capability, i.e. emphasis on iPod.
Apple is a huge player in the portable music player (PMP) market. If they tried to enter the cellphone market they would be a very very small player compared to Nokia/Moto/LG/SE...
I believe Apple would get better sales if they remain in the portable music player market and add phone capabilities, rather than trying to enter the veritable hornets nest the cellphone market is today by building a Newton like phone (we all know how that ended).
Moreover, judging from Apple long history of minimalistic gadgets, I seriously doubt we ever will see a full-fledged whistles-and-bells phone.

I think I've said this many times, but Apple is not going to sell the phone in the U.S. for now.... they're going to sell it in Japan.

Will you give up your Mac for a typewriter?
Nobody will give up e-mail, digital camera, etc just to be able to play protected AAC files (unprotected AAC files are already compatible with some phones)

Sorry to say, but "iPod with only a phone feature" idea of yours is nonsense. You should come to Japan sometime and experience how great a "feature-rich keitai" is :)

Dr.Gargoyle
May 15, 2006, 01:29 PM
Sorry to say, but "iPod with only a phone feature" idea of yours is nonsense. You should come to Japan sometime and experience how great a "feature-rich keitai" is :)
I live and work 500 meter from the main research facility where all the phones for SonyEricsson are developed and I probably get play with new the pre-production phones long before you see them. Ok, all these phones have bugs, but assuming the bugs will get fixed before production... am I still not impressed. The UI is a complete mess. The complexity of the UI is at least the square of the number of features included in the phone.

Moreover, we have had UMTS here for a couple of years which has more or less all the features keitai has. I admit it was fun to playing around with it in the beginning, but after a while the novelty wears off. It is then minimal added value and the inferior quality of the entire concept becomes obvious. Most people just dont think it is worth the trouble to fight the UI to get that little. Ok, if the personal trusted device (PTD - replaces creditcards so you can pay via network/BT a stores) ever goes live, I personaly might reconsider. Still, nothing has happened since Nokia started that project some odd 10 years ago, so I am not holding my breath.

...one more thing, I didnt comment the typewriter analogy because it just doesnt fit. It is more whether you prefer an amphibious car that doesnt do anything very well or a ferrari that does one thing very well.
I know what I prefer and apparently so do you.;)

AbigailWilliams
May 24, 2006, 03:04 AM
either this is real or a very well done hoax: http://www.shampoopoo.com/pictures/iphone.jpg
only real conflict is, it's not to the same packaging style Apple is producing.

over the years of being in the CG industry, i have seen so many interpretations on what people want the "iPhone" to look like that the idea has become wornout. google image search "iphone" and you'll see hundreds of them.

Chundles
May 24, 2006, 03:07 AM
This story was reported in the Connect lift-out of the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Now, the Tele's a bit of a rag but it generally gets it's facts right.

Have to wait and see what comes of it I suppose.

Chundles
May 24, 2006, 03:09 AM
either this is real or a very well done hoax: http://www.shampoopoo.com/pictures/iphone.jpg
only real conflict is, it's not to the same packaging style Apple is producing.

over the years of being in the CG industry, i have seen so many interpretations on what people want the "iPhone" to look like that the idea has become wornout. google image search "iphone" and you'll see hundreds of them.

That's really, reeeeally old. It's a mock-up by I think iCreate magazine for their "What if Apple released" bit at the back of the magazine.

The mock up is based off a Sony Ericsson phone.

AbigailWilliams
May 24, 2006, 03:11 AM
hah ohh boy. i was just nosing around GIS and that looked to be the most believable.. looking back at the older pages it seems like as soon as the iPod was released people wanted a cell phone version of it.

it's just rediculous, the demands people want nowadays.. but that is what keeps the industry alive and to strive. what's next.. an Apple Car :p

rynow
May 29, 2006, 12:40 PM
This is what I've been waiting for.

BUT
The only way I will buy an iPod with video is if there is a phone built into it or as if the phone is a plug in ad on to the ipod.

If this were the case I could do away with my cell phone, PDA, and shuffle.
But I wouldn't buy just an apple phone i don't have enough pockets as it is:rolleyes: .

BTW the phone would have to be GSM (takes a SIM CARD) otherwise there would be no point in apple making it (too restrictive with carriers).