iPhone definitely with SoftBank

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by yoyo5280, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #1
    I have not seen a conformation about this yet, but I am sure of it. SoftBank uses Yahoo! Music JP on their phones, and yahoo teemed up with iTunes on that recently and I went to the SoftBank store today and saw they are selling iPods. That gives it away,right?
     
  2. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #2
    I would guess that whenever the iPhone finally makes its way over here, it will be on Softbank's network.

    That said, I have to admit I'm more than a little worried that it won't be all peaches and cream here in Japan. First of all, I really hope that the phone has English menus and the predictive text entry IN ENGLISH like the US version has. After all, lots of phones over here end up Japanese-only (for example the X01HT) and therefore worthless to foreigners like me ... Also, I really hope Apple can coerce Softbank into offering an iPhone package plan like AT&T is doing, especially in regards to data. These Japanese carriers are making a killing, gouging the locals with packet data charges, and I'm really worried that the iPhone's functionality will be crippled by overpricing, like every other phone on the market. And speaking of data, I'd be really surprised to see the iPhone sold over here with real email (POP3/IMAP) functionality, since Japanese people apparently don't use email (have you tried looking for a phone with POP3/IMAP support? Good luck! The only phone with that functionality (and and English mode) is Nokia's 705NK, but if you read the fine print you'll notice that using email on that phone is not covered by the flat-rate packet service, meaning you pay through the nose for it) ... Finally, even IF they manage to force Softbank to offer unlimited data for iPhone customers, I seriously doubt we'll get a YouTube app on our iPhone, since the locals here don't seem to know what YouTube is (unsurprising as YouTube hasn't been spoon-fed to them through iMode or any other watered-down portal from another carrier) ...

    Color me pessimistic, but I have a feeling the only way I'm going to be able to enjoy the iPhone as it was intended is going to be to buy one from any other civilized country in the world - the Japanese version is either going to be Japanese-only, crippled and watered-down, or simply a pretty version of every other cookie-cutter phone over here (read: an iPhone minus the data, email, YouTube, Safari, and Google Maps) ...

    I really hope I'm wrong though. I hope Apple has the balls to shove the iPhone down Japan's throat, because that's exactly what it'll take to get such an innovative product launched over here.
     
  3. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #3
    I don't think the phone will be watered down at all. My dad's just arrived from the US yesterday, and I noticed that almost everything is powered by yahoo! except youtube and maps. DO you think apple will use Y! Maps in Japan. Or like, one of the navi things.

    As for email, I thought email was HUGE here except you get like an email address with your phone (can you check on computers?). But, yes the pop\imap thing might be a problem, but I think it would still be included on the phone.

    I think iPhone Japan HAS to have safari. Softbank has all these new phones with PC-Site browser. Watch people on the train and the whole time they are surfing the internet on their phones. On ads instead of showing a computer next to the URL they show a phone or the logo of Y!keitai, EZWEB, etc. SO why would there be no safari?

    Last, the iPhone is an apple product. They work around the world. Like an iPod, it can speak many languages (I think) and not just that crap JapanEnglish and Japanese only that is on some Japanese phones.

    Still, iPhone is REALLY going to need to grown up to be really good, in features it is average or below most Japanese phones, interface and design wise it is fantastic. Things I want in iPhone japan are:

    S! Felica
    S! Mail
    Better Camera
    3G Highspeed
    Barcode reader
    S! Appli
    1! Seg
    Yahoo! mocoa (and I wish that worked in english)
    S! Town
    Hot Status / Circle Talk
    E-Comics
    S! Address Book
    S! Cast
    Video Call
    Chaku-Uta Full® / Chaku-Uta®
    And ATT like data plan



    (Did my post make sense? Typos? Please tell me. thanks :))
     
  4. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #4
    Hey man, how long is your dad going to be in Tokyo? I would LOVE to see the iPhone!!!! :)

    Anyway, the language thing might be a problem: the iPod can change between 20 languages or so, but for the iPhone it isn't simply a matter of changing menus to a different language. It's also text input and text prediction dictionaries, for example text input for Japanese will probably be VERY different from English. For starters, many Japanese don't use computers so the process of entering text in romaji and then converting to kana or kanji is not something they're familiar with or comfortable doing. Apple may decide to model the iPhone's Japanese entry system after traditional phones, with 11 columns (ie, 1=a,i,u,e,o 2=ka,ki,ku,ke,ko) because that's what the locals are accustomed to and it works well. In any case, the Japanese iPhone will need a new input system, and since the current iPhone is English-only (no Spanish or French, at the very least) I'm worried that the ability to switch languages on the fly might be absent from a Japanese model as well.

    As for "PC Site browser," it's true that many phones come with that feature now, so it's likely we'll see Safari over here. However, if you happen to catch a peek on the train at one of the locals' keitai, you'll find that 99% of them aren't actually brwosing the 'real' internet - they're usually on Y!keitai, EZWEB, or iMode - portals for watered down, spoon-fed internet. (ie if you want to access CNN through Y!keitai or iMode, you have to pay $3.00 a month for that privilege. Nevermind that CNN is freely available online; to access it on a phone in Japan you either have to use PC Site Browser, which doesn't display it correctly and is slower than 56K on my phone despite the fact that it has HSDPA, or you have to pay $3.00 for the watered-down portal version) ...

    I guess my point is that there are a number of obstacles the iPhone will have to overcome to be successful in Japan, and even if they manage to shove it down Japan's throat as-is (which I really hope they do) I suspect English speaking people here will be overlooked simply because we make up such a small percentage of subscribers.
     
  5. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #5
    I am sure apple will find a way to pull something off.

    Also, have you noticed that you see less iPods and more phones being used for music everyday? Just wonderin.
     
  6. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #6
    Yeah, I've noticed. Japanese people apparently think spending $3 per song, PLUS packet data charges to download the music, is intelligent. :confused: Then again, you still see people buying CDs at $30 apiece from the music stores too, apparently the locals don't know how badly they're getting ripped off. The best part is that people will spend $30 for a CD, and then STILL spend $3 per song (plus packet charges to download it!) to have the songs from the CD they own on their cell phones. It really just blows my mind.

    Then again, it all goes back to not using computers. I read recently that the number of people in Japan who access the internet using mobile devices now exceeds the number of people using a PC to get online. Of course, "internet" in this case refers to iMode and the other mobile phone providers' portal services, which are a pathetic substitution for the real thing, but that's all people here seem to care about. I think this will prove to be another hurdle for the iPhone to overcome in Japan: people don't want to have to be tied to a PC to use their phones. I think part of that stems from the fact that housing is so expensive over here, so people end up living at home (a tiny, cramped Japanese home) until they're married (typically mid-30's) with their parents, siblings, and sometimes grandparents, too. There's probably only one PC at home, shared by everyone, so having to be tied to that computer to use a cell phone is not something most people want.
     

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