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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:07 AM   #1
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3G iPhone in Japan?



New reports have suggested that Apple is in talks with DoCoMo to bring the iPhone to Japan.

Tech.co.uk claims that this must mean a 3G iPhone is in the works as there is no EDGE network in Japan:
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Wherever the iPhone ends up in Japan, it means one thing - it has to be a 3G model, as there simply is no GSM network in the country. Suggestions of a new model with a CDMA chip of some sort appearing late in 2008 suddenly seem so much more believable.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:08 AM   #2
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I hope they go for Softbank. Docomo is dying.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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If it's CDMA, would that work on Verizon's CDMA network here?
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:50 AM   #4
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Make sense to me.

Re: CDMA, I think there are multiple flavors, maybe someone can chime in, my guess (just a guess) would be their CDMA is different and not compatible as every iphone / mobile phone rollout I have seen shows CDMA only being in the US. (at least out flavor.)
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by crackermac View Post
If it's CDMA, would that work on Verizon's CDMA network here?
No. Japan CDMA network is not like our CDMA network here. I don't know all the juicy details, but Japanese and American phones aren't even close to interchangeable, and won't use the same networks.

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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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It would be nice it it would be a version of CDMA that works in the states. The only thing is that Verizon's servers wouldn't work with the Visual VoiceMail. I have a feeling that we will not see a CDMA version of the iPhone, ever. I think that I remember reading somewhere that Verizon is going to be replacing CDMA with some version of GSM in the not too distant future. We will just have to wait and see.

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Last edited by cmcconkey; Dec 19, 2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Later thoughts.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 11:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by plumbingandtech View Post
Re: CDMA, I think there are multiple flavors, maybe someone can chime in, my guess (just a guess) would be their CDMA is different and not compatible as every iphone / mobile phone rollout I have seen shows CDMA only being in the US. (at least out flavor.)
From my understanding, the big difference between the Japanese CDMA and Verizon is that Verizon is operating at a significantly slower speed and data is handled somewhat differently. I THINK (and don't quote me on it, and don't get mad if I'm wrong) that something released in the US would have an easier time being transitioned for Japanese use than the opposite way, perhaps with minimal effort. For bring something from Japan would be futile and would require a pretty thorough overhaul of the device. I think.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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An entire country with no EDGE and only 3G coverage? What a beautiful thought!
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 12:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nbs2 View Post
From my understanding, the big difference between the Japanese CDMA and Verizon is that Verizon is operating at a significantly slower speed and data is handled somewhat differently.
Nope, the only difference between Japanese and American CDMA is that the RF channels are reverse (our uplink channel is their downlink channel and vice versa)--- thus phones are incompatible.

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Originally Posted by koobcamuk View Post
I hope they go for Softbank. Docomo is dying.
All the news about Softbank winning the most number of subscribers are just simple accounting tricks. Both DoCoMo and KDDI use 3 months inactivity as the standard to kill off the inactive subscribers from their accounting books. Softbank keeps inactive subscribers for 12 months on their accounting books.

http://wirelesswatch.jp/2006/12/06/s...scriber-stats/

The only carrier that is in good shape in Japan is KDDI.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 01:51 PM   #10
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Japan uses Several 3G systems, including W-CDMA and CDMA2000. W-CDMA is the underlining technology for GSM 3G, usually UTMS (which is what at&t Mobility 3G is) however NTT's FOMA uses a different wrapper than UTMS (HSUPA/HSDPA). CDMA2000 is commonly known in the US as EV-DO, which is the 3G version of CDMA. With any luck the iPhone 3G will use W-CDMA since it is most likely going to be the world-wide standard for 3G. It will also be a very small hardware change to use the 3G iPhone in Japan (perhaps the hardware will be in all versions to allow for operation in Japan for roming.)

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Old Dec 19, 2007, 01:52 PM   #11
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iPhone Canada

Although the Japanese iPhone, as said earlier, won't work on US networks, a version of this iPhone could be released in Canada. With Rogers being the only GSM network in Canada Apple has not had a lot of leverage in getting the terms they want. A CDMA phone, now mass produced for the Japanese market, would give Apple two other major providers, Telus and Bell, with whom to negotiate with. This could either pressure Rogers into accepting Apples terms for the GSM iPhone, or Telus or Bell would have a crack at a CDMA iPhone. Either way Apple wins.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post
The only carrier that is in good shape in Japan is KDDI.
True, but I like the Sharp handsets offered by Softbank and they're the only ones to allow prepaid.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 02:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
Although the Japanese iPhone, as said earlier, won't work on US networks, a version of this iPhone could be released in Canada. With Rogers being the only GSM network in Canada Apple has not had a lot of leverage in getting the terms they want. A CDMA phone, now mass produced for the Japanese market, would give Apple two other major providers, Telus and Bell, with whom to negotiate with. This could either pressure Rogers into accepting Apples terms for the GSM iPhone, or Telus or Bell would have a crack at a CDMA iPhone. Either way Apple wins.
Good point. I'd gladly switch from rogers to whatever company gets the iphone in Canada.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 02:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
Although the Japanese iPhone, as said earlier, won't work on US networks, a version of this iPhone could be released in Canada. With Rogers being the only GSM network in Canada Apple has not had a lot of leverage in getting the terms they want. A CDMA phone, now mass produced for the Japanese market, would give Apple two other major providers, Telus and Bell, with whom to negotiate with. This could either pressure Rogers into accepting Apples terms for the GSM iPhone, or Telus or Bell would have a crack at a CDMA iPhone. Either way Apple wins.
It doesn't work that way.

Both DoCoMo and Softbank use WCDMA/HSDPA (which is the same as Rogers). KDDI uses EV-DO (which is the same as Bell and Telus).

And Apple is only negotiating with DoCoMo and Softbank right now. KDDI is in such a good shape that they can do a Verizon and not even bother to negotiate with Apple.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 03:37 PM   #15
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Please not DoCoMo. I will switch to AU from softbank (or even better they can keep it on softbank) But not DoCoMo.

Why? Besides the fact(s) that I just don't like it (haha) and that its image is completely different to apple;s, I feel it is not Gaijin friendly. I don't know a single Gaijin on DoCoMo.

Gaijin in Japan are a big audience for the iPhone Japan i think.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 04:12 PM   #16
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 04:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post
It doesn't work that way.

Both DoCoMo and Softbank use WCDMA/HSDPA (which is the same as Rogers). KDDI uses EV-DO (which is the same as Bell and Telus).

And Apple is only negotiating with DoCoMo and Softbank right now. KDDI is in such a good shape that they can do a Verizon and not even bother to negotiate with Apple.
Yeah, I've been reading a lot more since viewing some of the post here. It's a lot more complicated than the layman would guess. However the fact that Apple is willing to make different iPhones with differing technology specific for individual markets still presents the possibility of a different kind of iPhone for Canada. Its just far less likely than I had hoped in my initial post.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 04:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
Yeah, I've been reading a lot more since viewing some of the post here. It's a lot more complicated than the layman would guess. However the fact that Apple is willing to make different iPhones with differing technology specific for individual markets still presents the possibility of a different kind of iPhone for Canada. Its just far less likely than I had hoped in my initial post.
It still won't make much of a difference anyway.

Rogers are making tons of money on quad bundling and the only GSM carrier in Canada. Telus is a CDMA carrier that is quite financially sound. Bell Mobility is a CDMA carrier that is the weakest player.

Rogers and Telus can say no to Apple's demands and not even bother to negotiate with Apple at all. Bell Mobility is weak enough to negotiate with Apple if they were using the right technology. But the problem is that Apple needs to play 2 carriers against each other to get the exclusive --- and 2 out of the 3 Canadian carriers are strong to enough to not even bother to negotiate with Apple.

In order for Apple to extract the kind of money from the exclusive contract --- you really need 2 carriers that are weak and insecure, but Canada doesn't have 2 weak carriers.

Last edited by samab; Dec 19, 2007 at 04:59 PM.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 05:15 PM   #19
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I heard the Softbank guy was a buddy of SJ, or there was some connection with Apple?? Anyway, I've been on J-Phone/Vodafone/Softbank for ever so I'm hoping it goes that way. Can't say I'm interested in any of the acronyms being bounded about above. It's all Greek to me.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 06:16 PM   #20
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Am I reading something wrong? The article says there needs to be an 3G iPhone before it can be sold in Japan.. then it says in the next sentence there is no GSM service in Japan... correct me if I'm wrong but if you have no GSM service... a 3G phone would be worthless....

The other think I find funny is that there is GSM service in Japan- so I question the article having any truth to it at all..

I have been to Japan with my iPhone and it worked just fine... data and voice....

Roaming:
Calls Placed/Received
While in Japan
AT&T Standard International Roaming $2.29
AT&T World Traveler $1.69
AT&T Canada $2.29
AT&T Mexico $2.29
Data Usage: All GPRS pay per use rates are $.0195/KB
Text, Picture and
Video Messages:
Send Text Message $0.50 per message sent
Send Picture and Video Messages $1.30 per message sent
Receive Text, Picture and Video Messages Home pay-per-use or package rates apply to all text, picture or video messages received when roaming internationally. Please visit www.att.com for details.

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Old Dec 19, 2007, 07:20 PM   #21
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It still won't make much of a difference anyway.

Rogers are making tons of money on quad bundling and the only GSM carrier in Canada. Telus is a CDMA carrier that is quite financially sound. Bell Mobility is a CDMA carrier that is the weakest player.

Rogers and Telus can say no to Apple's demands and not even bother to negotiate with Apple at all. Bell Mobility is weak enough to negotiate with Apple if they were using the right technology. But the problem is that Apple needs to play 2 carriers against each other to get the exclusive --- and 2 out of the 3 Canadian carriers are strong to enough to not even bother to negotiate with Apple.

In order for Apple to extract the kind of money from the exclusive contract --- you really need 2 carriers that are weak and insecure, but Canada doesn't have 2 weak carriers.
which is why we have to unlock and not bother with getting R'ed for crap data plans... i seriously wish i could hork a loogie in ted rogers face. that would make me very happy.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 07:32 PM   #22
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Hmmm.... In Japan, however, the keitai (cell phone) demand being so strong and so varied (anyone who walks has a cell phone), if the iPhone does find much of a niche, I feel it will be a small one. For example, youths enjoying TV functionality or high quality camera phones or other such niche features already would see the iPhone as interesting but in many ways a downgrade, since it will not do what they are used to doing. Users of simpler phones will see it as complex and flashy and gimmicky, whether or not that is true.

Also, the Japanese text conversion software in the iPhone must be as good or better than that in other phones to be taken seriously. Judging from Apple's less than desirable text conversion in Mac OS X, this is not likely to be found.

My guess is that the iPhone will be more of a Mac fan thing, since though it's great in America, there's a lot more to surviving the cell phone market in Japan than whether or not you can convert the network hardware. That's just the bare necessity. Without a competitive text conversion software, it will be a joke.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 07:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by yoyo5280 View Post
Please not DoCoMo. I will switch to AU from softbank (or even better they can keep it on softbank) But not DoCoMo.

Why? Besides the fact(s) that I just don't like it (haha) and that its image is completely different to apple;s, I feel it is not Gaijin friendly. I don't know a single Gaijin on DoCoMo.

Gaijin in Japan are a big audience for the iPhone Japan i think.
Many gaijin (well, wealthy Western gaijin) might buy it, but all together that's not a very big audience. And I'd agree - DoCoMo is not the right answer. AU was the best choice, in my opinion... for the satisfaction rate and (at least an image of) user friendliness. And Softbank seems fitting. But DoCoMo? If it were a simple matter of choosing, AU is the one that people would be willing to switch to, I think.

Whichever carrier though, it could easily turn out to be an American, 'gaijin thing' if you will, and thus maybe AU isn't interested.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 07:41 PM   #24
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My vote would go for DoCoMo.

They definitely have the best coverage in Japan.

Next choice would be AU.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 08:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXCraig View Post
Am I reading something wrong? The article says there needs to be an 3G iPhone before it can be sold in Japan.. then it says in the next sentence there is no GSM service in Japan... correct me if I'm wrong but if you have no GSM service... a 3G phone would be worthless....

The other think I find funny is that there is GSM service in Japan- so I question the article having any truth to it at all..
As I said above the network is not EDGE (nor GSM 2G), it is W-CDMA which is GSM 3G. The only difference between the W-CDMA used in Japan on DoCoMo and the W-CDMA used on at&t, T-Mobile, Vodaphone, or Rogers is the way the data is encoded. The antennas would work and as long as the firmware on the phone talked FOMA it would work in Japan, and if it spoke UTMS(HSDPA/HSUPA) it would work everywhere else.

Now I do believe that there is an older GSM 2G system in Japan, but it is mostly for international roamers, and no new phones are sold that operate on it (except for special international phones).

TEG
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