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iPhone to Shake Up Japan's Cellphone Industry?

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A Softbank official believes that the iPhone represents a turning point in Japanese mobile phones and that competing Japanese phones will have to revamp their handsets to allow for more sophisticated software to keep up.
Faced with increased competition, Japanese handset providers will have to provide more software-oriented machines like the touch-screen iPhone, said Tetsuzo Matsumoto, a senior executive vice president at Softbank Mobile.
Other Japanese mobile provides are, of course, skeptical.

Wired had previously explored the significant differences in the mobile phone market in Japan and questioned whether or not the iPhone could make a significant dent in the unique mobile market.

The iPhone, however, seems to have done quite well in Japan during its launch in July. Rival carrier KDDI Corp saw net losses in their retention rates while SoftBank saw net growth of 52,000 subscriptions which SoftBank believes was directly due to the iPhone.

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mavis

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Jul 30, 2007
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DanielJvdBerg said:
This is great news, for being:
1: iPhone growth
2: competition innovation which is always good to drive the iPhone itself to compete against that

Indeed! This is good news for Japanese consumers, whether they like the iPhone or not.
 
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kire1820

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Nov 16, 2007
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Iphone will definitely have an impact in Japan. I think japan has a very developed 3G coverage right? ATT needs to work harder...I only get 3G signals "sometimes!!!"
 
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NT1440

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May 18, 2008
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havent japanese cell phones been light years ahead of us for some time now?

the iphone may seem outdated there. Here its great, there, potentially a joke
 
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pederg

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Jan 17, 2007
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Switzerland
havent japanese cell phones been light years ahead of us for some time now?

the iphone may seem outdated there. Here its great, there, potentially a joke

Their technology is way more advanced, but it is when it comes to the OS and the interface, that the iPhone might "shake up" the industry..

PederG
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
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16,273
Their technology is way more advanced, but it is when it comes to the OS and the interface, that the iPhone might "shake up" the industry..

PederG

ok thats fair, the iphone may be the first phone built with a truly revolutionary UI:apple:
 
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yoyo5280

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Feb 24, 2007
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The keitai in Japan are very powerful peices of technolegy and have more features then iPhone in some aspects. However when it comes to the software oriented side, it is true that iPhone is the leader of the pack. Mostly because ease of use and design.

Japanese phone makers may try to do A) make even more feature crammed hard to use phones or B) Put a lot of time into making feature crammed phones with better interfaces like sharp has started doing on its Softbank 9##SH line.

If it is B then that is potentially BAD for iPhone...


This is all obvious right? lol
 
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dicklacara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2004
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SF Bay Area
From what I've read, Japanese phones are feature laden, but difficult to use.

There a few things missing in the iPhone, such as:

-- the Felica RFID chip that is used purchase things & pay train fares
-- Live TV/Radio
-- Messaging shorthand.

The TV/Radio capability is a battery hog

I think the messaging shorthand can be addressed by software.

Some have said they will carry their current phone (along with the new iPhone) for the messaging & Felica. This is similar to people who carry their Blackberrys (because they have to)) and their iPhones (because they want to!)

What all the competition (carriers and phone manufacturers) don't seem to get is that the iPhone is an enabler. It has the capability of doing [almost] anything you want it to do, well and easily!

You pick up an iPhone for the first time and your reaction is "of course, that's the way it should be!"

The iPhone lets you carve out your little piece of the future!
 
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yoyo5280

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Feb 24, 2007
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Some have said they will carry their current phone (along with the new iPhone) for the messaging & Felica. This is similar to people who carry their Blackberrys (because they have to)) and their iPhones (because they want to!)
Felica is more of just a convienent thing. You can buy ICカード (like suica or pasmo) and just keep it in your wallet. If its on your phone you don't have to take out your wallet but it is not really enough to carry around two phones. As for messaging it seems great on iPhone...but lack of emoji is bad.
 
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benzslrpee

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2007
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it's kind of pointless to compare our tech to their's...two entirely different cultures that are complacent with what they have.

for instance, how many people here would take to the idea of having a debit-card-phone thing? Bank of America has a mobile web page so people can check their balances, transfer money etc. on the go...our IT guys tell me that barely anyone uses that function. an over whelming amount of customers still prefer to go online, call the 800 number or go into a branch. the Japanese like to do all that on there phone.

we think infra-red transfer is out of date and pointless. Bluetooth 2.0 is the hot thing right now. everyone and their mom has a Bluetooth dangling from their ear in the grocery store. the Jawbone probably wouldn't fly in Japan cause...people prefer texting and don't use their phone in public places all that frequently.

tv on a phone? probably works for the Japanese, but here, we're all about the the 50" HDTV, chicken wings, and a six pack that's waiting at home. hell, i don't even watch youtube on my iPhone all that much...not when i can bust out my laptop with a more sensible screen for video viewing.

buying bus, train/subway airplane tickets with your phone sells in Japan cause public transportation is used frequently. here, most people like to have their own car and preferably by the age of 16.
 
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dicklacara

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Jul 29, 2004
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Felica is more of just a convienent thing. You can buy ICカード (like suica or pasmo) and just keep it in your wallet. If its on your phone you don't have to take out your wallet but it is not really enough to carry around two phones. As for messaging it seems great on iPhone...but lack of emoji is bad.

The iPhone is my second cell phone-- the first was a T-Mobile cheap Nokia. I didn't use it much. Actually, I resented it-- it was kind of a tether!

The iPhone is another story-- I use it to do things & access information in place of a laptop (with the occasional phone call).

I have made a bank transfer while standing in the checkout line so I could use my debit card.

When I leave the house, I have to take 3 things:

1) My wallet
2) My keys
3) My iPhone

I'd like to reduce that to 1 thing (assuming all the necessary privacy/security protection will be met).
 
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NewSc2

macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2005
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New York, NY
When I leave the house, I have to take 3 things:

1) My wallet
2) My keys
3) My iPhone

I'd like to reduce that to 1 thing (assuming all the necessary privacy/security protection will be met).

So your iPhone will open your door and turn on your car for you too? :p
 
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Nicky G

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Mar 24, 2002
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Baltimore
Is it really a surprise?

Wow, the iPhone is doing something that Apple already proved with the Macintosh and iPod:

Despite what the hardcore geeks profess, the vast majority of people gravitate towards gadgets that get things done and have a killer user interface.

A bunch of "specs" don't do anything for you, in most circumstances. Useful and highly usable applications do.
 
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sushi

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Jul 19, 2002
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Despite what the hardcore geeks profess, the vast majority of people gravitate towards gadgets that get things done and have a killer user interface.
That much is certain.

A bunch of "specs" don't do anything for you, in most circumstances. Useful and highly usable applications do.
Agree.

A few months ago, my daughter purchased a new cell phone that was loaded with gadgets. She is a smart person and like most Japanese is very adept at using her phone. But this one was new. So when I was trying out her phone and asking her some questions, to the manual we had to go. The UI and menu system is terrible. No convenient at all.

So basically you have a very powerful cell phone that you cannot get to the features. Funny when you think about it.

A while back I was with some Japanese friends who are really into cell phones. One individual gets a new one every 2-3 months. So I asked them many probing questions concerning features, their use, cost, etc. What I found most interesting, is that most really use the feature set at first, then after 30-60 days tend to use their phone for e-mail, texting, and well, a phone. I guess after the newness and novelty wear off, they use their cell phones for the basic features.

I know of only one person who uses the TV function on a regular basis. And that is during his company bus ride from the local train station. He uses that time to watch the news.

Of course if you are visiting a touristy type place, you may see some cell phones taking pictures. But other than that, I don't see cell phones being used for taking pictures all that much.

And very rarely do I see them used to purchase train tickets. Most Japanese purchase train passes so they can receive a discount.

So when you boil it down, the iPhone will probably satisfy a majority of Japanese -- especially when you consider the nice GUI interface and ease of use.
 
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shigzeo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2005
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Japan
i can imagine it will shake up that industry which as become bloated with features but no follow through. they are as easy to use as an airplane in an elevator.

good paper sales but very very poor for actual day to day use.
 
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sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
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Japan...know much?
:)

Although many do text on trains and in the office.

I am always amazed at the HS girls walking down the street in a group, yet all are on their cell phones talking. Funny to see.

i can imagine it will shake up that industry which as become bloated with features but no follow through. they are as easy to use as an airplane in an elevator.

good paper sales but very very poor for actual day to day use.
That's were Apple is miles ahead. The UI is very nice.
 
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