KDDI to Break Softbank's iPhone Exclusivity in Japan

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Marketwatch reports that KDI Corp will be selling the next generation iPhone come October, likely alongside rival Softbank, who had enjoyed exclusivity up until now.
    KDDI will reportedly making preparations for the "iPhone 5" at its shops throughout the country around November.

    According to an analyst quoted in the article, customers will welcome the expansion as "Softbank's telecommunications quality lags other carriers" in Japan.

    Article Link: KDDI to Break Softbank's iPhone Exclusivity in Japan
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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  3. macrumors regular

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    This is great. Ideally, they should get the iPhone on DoCoMo but KDDI/au has a bigger customer base and better reception than Softbank.

    Until now, au has been pushing Android quite aggressively and just started advertising Windows mobile. An additional iPhone carrier in Japan is excelled; many Japanese want the iPhone but are not willing to deal with Softbank's reception quality.
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    Fair shake of the sauce bottle

    Why is this Page 2 news but rumors about US phone carriers are front page worthy? MacRumors should treat itself like an international site and treat news from all countries equally. For example they should avoid terms such as Winter and Summer when referring to dates as in the southern hemisphere is the the opposite. Americanisation can make other users feel less appreciated and in some cases confused.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    gikku

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    #5
    Softbank, being the old Vodafone certainly has coverage issues.
    au has cdma quality stamped all over it.
     
  6. CanuckInJapan, Sep 21, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011

    macrumors member

    CanuckInJapan

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    #6
    Here are a couple of articles I posted about this news in the iPhone 3GS thread earlier today.

    English article on CNNgo
    Original Japanese article on Nikkei Business

    Also, KDDI has officially declined to comment on this news (unlike Nikon who officially denied a recent rumor about mirrorless cameras, then Nikon announced them a week later...).
    According to CNET Japan (Japanese):
    「本件に関しては弊社から発表した内容ではないので何もコメントできない。報道で書かれていることについてもコメントのしようがない」
    "As this announcement was not made by us (KDDI), we cannot comment. We do not plan to comment on stories in the press."

    Article on Bloomberg:
    Softbank Falls Most in Two Years on Report KDDI to Offer IPhone
    Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Softbank Corp., the sole iPhone seller in Japan, fell the most in almost three years after a magazine reported bigger rival KDDI Corp. will offer Apple Inc.’s newest version of the smartphone.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Or they can make users feel like they are reading an USA-based website while being in other part of the world. Big deal.

    (note that I am european and living in Europe)

    Since we're on the subject of political correctness, would you mind not confusing "America" with "USA"?
     
  8. macrumors newbie

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    I've been with Softbank for about five years. Have had both the 3G and 4 through Softbank, and have had no problems. I could count the number of dropped calls I've had in the last five years on one hand. I don't know how the service lags.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    japanime

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    Are you in Tokyo, or elsewhere? Here in Tokyo, I've found the iPhone on Softbank to be a huge disappointment. It was good at first (when I had the iPhone 3G), but the service has since gone into the toilet.

    Can't say whether KDDI will be any better, though; I haven't used their service before.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

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    I live in Nagoya. Sorry to hear about your experience. I had AU before Softbank and no difference for me. Don't know about Tokyo.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

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    I live in the western part of Tokyo and the Softbank signal strength is definitely inferior to the other carriers. There are a lot of critical places in which I cannot get a signal (eg shopping malls). The service was worse when I traveled to Okinawa. The signal was weak or nonexistent for many of key attractions on the island. I heard that this is because the Government of Japan does not give Softbank access to a wide frequency bank that the other carriers enjoy. Either way, it sucks for us consumers.
     
  12. macrumors member

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    #12
    Good news if we're going to have more than one carrier in Japan.

    I switched from au to Softbank in September 2010 solely to get the iPhone 4.

    I've not had any real issues with Softbank's service, but there's no doubt I would have got an iPhone earlier if it had been offered on either au or DOCOMO.
     
  13. macrumors regular

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Americanization is the influence of the United States on the popular culture, technology, business practices, or political techniques of other countries. (Wikipedia)

    Thus the use of the term Americanisation is not a confusion between America and USA which also annoys be.

    To be honest I'm more just sick of hearing phone company speculation stories. I probably should just get over it and not read them. Just venting today I guess.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

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    I live in Nagoya. Sorry to hear about your experience. I had AU before Softbank and no difference for me. Don't know about Tokyo.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    jayducharme

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    Can someone comment on whether the iPhone has been a good revenue-producer for Softbank? Has it taken a lot of customers from other Japanese cell carriers as AT&T did in the U.S.? (Remember that AT&T suffered from the same coverage complaints as Softbank has, but even so the iPhone increased AT&T's customer base.)
     
  16. macrumors 68000

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    Cool,

    Remember when all the MR naysayers (and uninformed stereotypers) said the iPhone would be a complete failure in Japan because they had feature phones more advanced.

    It's been a few years now, and they seem to be doing alright. Apple wa the #1 smartphone maker in Japan. I am sure this is still true today.

    Good times,
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    Interesting about comments not seeing how Softbank's service lags. Lucky.

    I'm in Fukuoka (where Softbank is based) and have traveled around Japan and see that I get weaker reception than those on DoCoMo and au. I haven't had dropped calls but my reception strength frequently goes dead (it's not a phone issue either, I've changed mine).
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    I don't have concrete numbers but many are with Softbank just for the iPhone. The iPhone really took off in Japan with the iPhone 4, so people might be on contract for a bit more, preventing a huge au jump.

    I'm not familiar with au's plans but Softbank's is unlimited data for a reasonable price. au would have to compete, it'd also be nice if they had visual voicemail, something Softbank doesn't have.
     
  19. macrumors member

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    #19
    Try going camping or skiing or any other kind of activity in the mountains! For that matter, try making a call in Kagurazaka central Tokyo, just a stone's throw from the Imperial Palace and Softbank won't connect! :roll eyes:
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

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  21. macrumors demi-god

    ChristianJapan

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    #21
    yes, finally Sorry for the big letters

    SB is always the first signal which gets lost in country side and many restaurants build in ground or first subfloor. While the au phones would still have signals.

    I see that very often on my iP4. For my 3G-iPad 2 I canceled the auto-renewal for the prepaid contract and got an Xi-mobile wifi router. That one at least switch back to FOMA when no LTE is around (still very often). But FOMA signals itself is more constant and mostly everywhere available; even Okinawa.

    So that's really good news !!

    Ah, and my wife is one of those who just extremely dislike SB; now I have the chance to pull her over from the Android-side to the shiny iPhone ecosystem.
     
  22. macrumors member

    CanuckInJapan

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    #22
    NIKKEI.com - Softbank Beating Rivals With iPhone Revenue
    - Friday, October 29, 2010
    Softbank saw a net increase in subscribers of about 1.6 million in the six months through September, up 130% from the year-earlier period. That is much larger than the net increase of 810,000 for NTT DoCoMo Inc. (9437) and 420,000 for KDDI Corp. (9433). [Cont.]

    [​IMG]

    -----------------------------

    Wall Street Journal - Softbank Profit Surges on iPhone Demand
    - MAY 9, 2011, 7:33 A.M. ET
    TOKYO—Softbank Corp. said Monday its net profit for the three months through March surged from a year earlier and it posted a record operating profit for the sixth-straight fiscal year.
    Japan's third-largest mobile carrier by number of subscribers, whose business also includes Internet services, said that its net profit for the fiscal fourth quarter from January to March rose to ¥47.41 billion ($588.4 million) from ¥1.85 billion a year earlier. The previous year's profit figure was unusually small due to a special loss related to the carrier's shift away from its now-extinct 2G mobile phone service. [Cont.]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. macrumors member

    CanuckInJapan

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    #23
    I also switched from au to Softbank to get the iPhone 3GS in fall 2009.
    Reception in Yokohama/Tokyo was usually spot on. However, since moving down to a rural area of Fukuoka (Kyushu) this spring, reception has been spotty. Antennae down here are fewer and farther between.
    And as others have mentioned, once you get into the hills, you're incognito.
    I've been up in the hills, stood next to a non-iPhone Softbank user who had full reception, and I got zero bars on the iPhone.
    If au (with it's far greater coverage) can overcome this problem with the iPhone 5, I foresee many existing Softbank iPhone users switching to au, as well as existing au and docomo (Softbank rivals) users that held off until now as they were deterred by Softbank's coverage and reception problems.

    This is what my reception often looks like. Even though it says "No Service" (where "Softbank" should display) I can still make and receive calls (while at home). Not exactly stellar service.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. macrumors 65816

    japanime

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    #24
    It should also be noted that Softbank throttles its 3G data-transfer speeds for ALL iPhone customers, not just the heaviest users. It's nearly impossible to stream video or use Skype over Softbank's crippled 3G network. Which is why I stopped using 3G altogether and keep my iPhone set to WiFi all the time.

    And it's also not a secret, though you have to dig quite deep into Softbank's website to find the info:

    http://mb.softbank.jp/en/price_plans/updst_note.html

    Hopefully KDDI/AU will refrain from such sneaky tactics.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    #25
    GSM & CDMA compatible?

    Most AU phones are still only CDMA, aren't they? If the iPhone 5 is definitely GSM compatible (so I can use it when I travel to countries that don't have CDMA), i'll change back to AU once my Softbank contract is up in 11 months.

    Unless, of course, there are rumours of an iPhone 5S by then!
     

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