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Old Nov 19, 2008, 01:31 PM   #1
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Apple’s Japanese puzzle as iPhone sales slow




Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Apple’s Japanese puzzle as iPhone sales slow
Description:: Japan remains a challenging market for Apple’s media products and services, now MM Research claims Apple sold about 200, 000 phones in Japan in the first two months but subsequent sales decline means “analysts now widely believe sales are unlikely to reach a total of 500,000 units, half the one million units that they previously thought Apple could sell.”

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Old Nov 19, 2008, 01:55 PM   #2
BornAgainMac
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Perhaps they should give in and add that MMS feature to the iPhone. It really is embarrassing not to have that in such a powerful phone.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:08 PM   #3
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The way I see it, for the iPhone to sell in Japan, they need to do at least these three things:

-Add emoji (those little icons that Japanese use in emails to each other) support that works across the 3 carriers.
-Add easy access to online resources that give Japanese users information on train schedules, etc.
-Add a loophole so people can dangle little charms and stuff on their phones.

Then maybe:
-Add a better camera. I heard AU and stuff sell phones with integrated cameras made by Canon and stuff that autofocus and have zoom, higher-quality images, etc.
-Add an easy way to exchange contact info between users over bluetooth, if not add infrared.

They just gotta learn about the market they're competing in and stop wondering why they're failing in phones and nothing else.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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maybe the Japanese actually use cell phones to make phone calls rather than play games or waste time watching youtube. The iPhone is great for everything except as a phone

imho
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fluidedge View Post
maybe the Japanese actually use cell phones to make phone calls rather than play games or waste time watching youtube. The iPhone is great for everything except as a phone

imho
This is almost exactly the complete antithesis to the problem in Japan, as I understand it....
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:46 PM   #6
robbyx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentris View Post
The way I see it, for the iPhone to sell in Japan, they need to do at least these three things:

-Add emoji (those little icons that Japanese use in emails to each other) support that works across the 3 carriers.
-Add easy access to online resources that give Japanese users information on train schedules, etc.
-Add a loophole so people can dangle little charms and stuff on their phones.

Then maybe:
-Add a better camera. I heard AU and stuff sell phones with integrated cameras made by Canon and stuff that autofocus and have zoom, higher-quality images, etc.
-Add an easy way to exchange contact info between users over bluetooth, if not add infrared.

They just gotta learn about the market they're competing in and stop wondering why they're failing in phones and nothing else.
All excellent suggestions!!!

Phones in Asia are so much more powerful than the dreck we get over here (thank you carrier lock-in). I love my iPhone, don't get me wrong. However, in Japan it is competing against a wide range of much more powerful tools. They might lack the slick iPhone UI, but who cares if you get a great camera, can use it to buy stuff from vending machines with a swipe, etc.

If Apple wants to compete in Japan, they have to launch a COMPETITIVE phone. And you're 1000% correct. It needs a little loophole for charms!
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluidedge View Post
maybe the Japanese actually use cell phones to make phone calls rather than play games or waste time watching youtube. The iPhone is great for everything except as a phone
imho
are you joking? you think they mainly make calls? the japanese?
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:48 PM   #8
robbyx
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Originally Posted by fluidedge View Post
maybe the Japanese actually use cell phones to make phone calls rather than play games or waste time watching youtube. The iPhone is great for everything except as a phone

imho
Um, how do you figure that??? I mean, a phone is a phone. You make calls on it. The iPhone can do that.

The phone component is the LEAST of Apple's worries in the Japanese market.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 02:49 PM   #9
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Perhaps they should give in and add that MMS feature to the iPhone. It really is embarrassing not to have that in such a powerful phone.
Seriously!!! What's with the resistance to adding it anyway???????
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 03:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentris View Post
The way I see it, for the iPhone to sell in Japan, they need to do at least these three things:

-Add emoji (those little icons that Japanese use in emails to each other) support that works across the 3 carriers.
-Add easy access to online resources that give Japanese users information on train schedules, etc.
-Add a loophole so people can dangle little charms and stuff on their phones.

Then maybe:
-Add a better camera. I heard AU and stuff sell phones with integrated cameras made by Canon and stuff that autofocus and have zoom, higher-quality images, etc.
-Add an easy way to exchange contact info between users over bluetooth, if not add infrared.

They just gotta learn about the market they're competing in and stop wondering why they're failing in phones and nothing else.
Well said. Apple needs to do their homework when it comes to Japan, as Japanese consumers won't simply take a good-for-US-market phone shoved down their throat.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 03:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbyx View Post
Seriously!!! What's with the resistance to adding it anyway???????
Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainMac View Post
Perhaps they should give in and add that MMS feature to the iPhone. It really is embarrassing not to have that in such a powerful phone.
I bet at the end of the day it will turn out that it's AT&T that is holding back MMS.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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Well it's pretty obvious why the Japanese aren't buying the iPhone - compared with some of the hardware available in that country, the iPhone is antiquated, blimey its not exactly cutting edge in the UK and even we're behind Japanese phones.

The US phone market is quite a way behind and Apple is a very US centric company so because of that focus won't do as well as they were expecting in Japan (and I would put money on other countries too).

Japan are about to or have already rolled out a 4th gen networking for mobiles where as the US are only now getting decent 3G networking, their phones are on average 5mp or more and they have features which western countries are only now about to add into products (digital tv etc). Add the fact that the iPhone doesn't really suit japanese text input (no pen) where most touchscreen devices in Japan do and I can fully understand the countries reluctance to buy into the apple hype.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 10:52 PM   #13
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As amazing as the iPhone is, it's not made by a Japanese company and I think there will always be some bias against it for that reason alone.

That said, I think a big part of Apple's failure is that Japanese input was PAINFULLY slow when the iPhone launched, and didn't really improve until 2.0.2 or 2.1 firmware. So the first impression many users had was not exactly great. It doesn't really help that display models of the iPhone at major retailers here in Tokyo are STILL running 2.0.1 firmware ...

Other than that, the iPhone's lack of MMS is inexcusable as most people don't have "proper" email accounts but instead use 'keitai mail' exclusively. The lack of a lanyard hole is also assinine, as it only takes about thirty seconds on a crowded street to see that EVERYONE has absurd amounts of ridiculous CRAP hanging off of their phones.

Like I said, Apple should have done their homework.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 12:28 AM   #14
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The lack of a lanyard hole is also assinine, as it only takes about thirty seconds on a crowded street to see that EVERYONE has absurd amounts of ridiculous CRAP hanging off of their phones.
It's almost as if people get one of those iphone accessories for their crap.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 03:06 AM   #15
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It's almost as if people get one of those iphone accessories for their crap.
completely agree....no emoji, no mms for keitiai mail, and no loop for crap to hang off of...three of the most vital aspects in a country where 'kawaii' usually wins over cool.

well, emoji looks to be coming soon, and im sure softbank will make sure to
focus in on the feature.

mms could eventually be added too.

as for a loop, i doubt apple would change the design of its phone (and the thought of what would hang off it is probably an even greater deterrent), but i know at least one apple designer whos gone to akihabara to get a loop brace installed on their iphone (using the two screws by the dock). kinda funny.
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