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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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SoftBank Mobile Corp announced today that they have signed an agreement with Apple for the iPhone "later this year":
SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple® to bring the iPhone to Japan later this year.
SoftBank Mobile is a 3G only carrier which, of course, further confirms the existence of a 3G iPhone. Like all of the recent international press releases, they offer no additional details on the agreement.

DoCoMo was previously rumored to be in talks with Apple to bring the iPhone to Japan. This announcement does not necessarily preclude an agreement with them, as in some instances multiple carriers have announced iPhone support in the same region.

Apple is widely expected to introduce a 3G capable iPhone at WWDC next week.

Article Link
 

Dmac77

macrumors 68020
Jan 2, 2008
2,165
2
Michigan
Now no one can question the fact that there will be a 3G iphone within the year. Not much of a surprise that it will come though.
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
Eh? NTT DoCoMo doesn't have the iPhone yet? I think this is probably more about egos than anything else then. Japan has had the hardware support we'll finally see in the 3G iPhone for YEARS.
 

arawasu

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2008
2
0
I believe it would be more correct to say "within this year" and not by the end of this year. At least that`s what the Japanese says according to IT Media.

I`ve been waiting since last June to get my hands on one, I even considered switching out the sim card, but since Japan is a 3G based country I decided to wait a little longer.
 

kashimo

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2004
54
0
Japan
Yatta! Yatta!

I have Softbank. I think one of the big reasons for Softbank is that when they were Vodafone they had some nice agreements with Apple.

Another issue is the pricing and sales.
Softbank already requires you to actually buy the phone but you do it over time. AU by KDDI has Listimo Music service, NTT has some kind of music service but Softbank doesn't have anything. With iTunes people can not only get music but videos.

Now all that is left is for the Japanese TV networks and movie studios to offer visual media via iTunes. Right now all we have is music, Pixar shorts and music videos.

One more thing is that this might also confirm video chat capabilities which have become a standard on Japanese phones.

I would love to have an iPhone but will stick with my Panasonic till it is paid off.
 

shedder

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2002
8
0
Tokyo, Japan
Softbank has the best mobile phones here in Japan (imo), probably the only one with some smartphone and a blackberry-clone (x-series).. And it's growing a lot, actually won top spot for annual net mobile subscriber growth in 2007..
I'll definitely move to softbank, bye bye AU KDDI!

However.. I hope they're gonna start selling the iPhone very soon here in Japan.. waiting other months could be dangerous for my mental health...
 

junior

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2003
540
51
Dammit. Softbank has the worst coverage (range) of the big three. My studio is absolutely fine reception-wise with Docomo and AU but Softbank's never worked.
I guess I won't be getting an iPhone anytime soon. Sigh....
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,422
863
Tokyo, Japan
Dammit. Softbank has the worst coverage (range) of the big three. My studio is absolutely fine reception-wise with Docomo and AU but Softbank's never worked.
I guess I won't be getting an iPhone anytime soon. Sigh....
You might want to give it another try (check a friend's phone, etc) ... My new condo had HORRIBLE coverage until about a month ago, and now I've got max signal in every room. Perfect timing for the iPhone, I guess ... ;)
 

riwanami

macrumors member
Sep 4, 2003
72
0
Tokyo, Japan
3G iPhone in Japan

I think its really cool that iPhone is coming to Japan. As a Docomo user, I would strongly consider switching carriers to SoftBank. However, I think there are several key items that the 3G iPhone will have to have when marketing in Japan:

1. Strong built-in camera (at least 3 megapixels is a must, considering many use camera phones as their main camera)

2. Digital TV tuner - the "One Seg" tuner is becoming almost a standard feature on all cell phones

3. Electronic cash/Edy/Felica/Mobile Suica - many people are using their mobile phones in Japan to board trains and purchase items at convenience stores and kiosks.

I think the latter two are domestic features that probably won't be included in the next iPhone, but I think its going to be a huge hit!!
 

stubles81

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2008
4
0
thank you!

I really thought the iPhone was going to DoCoMo and am so happy this was not the case. I can get a new phone come October, really hope it's out by then.
 

aruto

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2008
1
0
Tokyo, Japan.
I want to iPhone. Where can you buy it? It is necessary right now. Hurry up now!I go in SOFTBANK Mobie Shop now!!!

...I was tired from waiting...
 

shedder

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2002
8
0
Tokyo, Japan
Not necessarily, the softbank's xseries has no OneSeeg or electronic cash..

However, xseries is not very famous, I've seen very few people using those mobile phones.. Probably because weren't made for Japanese market and softbank tried to sell them here in some way, not very successfully..
This makes me think.. is Japanese market ready for the iPhone? Mobile phone models and functions are pretty the same all around the world, but Japanese market has a lot of different stuff.. we'll see..

..I think there are several key items that the 3G iPhone will have to have when marketing in Japan:

1. Strong built-in camera (at least 3 megapixels is a must, considering many use camera phones as their main camera)

2. Digital TV tuner - the "One Seg" tuner is becoming almost a standard feature on all cell phones

3. Electronic cash/Edy/Felica/Mobile Suica - many people are using their mobile phones in Japan to board trains and purchase items at convenience stores and kiosks.

I think the latter two are domestic features that probably won't be included in the next iPhone, but I think its going to be a huge hit!!
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,422
863
Tokyo, Japan
1. Strong built-in camera (at least 3 megapixels is a must, considering many use camera phones as their main camera)

2. Digital TV tuner - the "One Seg" tuner is becoming almost a standard feature on all cell phones

3. Electronic cash/Edy/Felica/Mobile Suica - many people are using their mobile phones in Japan to board trains and purchase items at convenience stores and kiosks.
I sincerely doubt Apple would include 'One Seg' or Felica functionality in the iPhone as those are Japan-only functions that would drive the cost of the device up for everyone in the world - and since Apple isn't likely to manufacture country-specific iPhone models, I think that pretty much kills either of those two.

But a 3MP camera would be nice, I guess (I would never use it personally, but I'm sure a lot of people would) :)
 

Tres

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2007
178
75
2. Digital TV tuner - the "One Seg" tuner is becoming almost a standard feature on all cell phones

3. Electronic cash/Edy/Felica/Mobile Suica - many people are using their mobile phones in Japan to board trains and purchase items at convenience stores and kiosks.

I think the latter two are domestic features that probably won't be included in the next iPhone, but I think its going to be a huge hit!!

Yeah I agree these are pretty important features. It makes me wonder how well the iPhone will do over here considering the numbers of people I see every day using their phones to board trains and watching TV on public transport. It doesn't matter to me because I reckon 1seg is crap and I can just buy an iPhone case to slide my suica card into anyway.

Canceling my AU plan after 5 months is gonna hurt the wallet though :(
 

shedder

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2002
8
0
Tokyo, Japan
Yeah I agree these are pretty important features. It
Canceling my AU plan after 5 months is gonna hurt the wallet though :(

Same here.. I should wait until December to don't pay penalties.. but if the iphone is on sale next week, there's no way I'll wait so long
 

ma2ha3

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2007
237
0
3G is basically possible because of japan

japan is a huge market for iphone

of course they need to introduce a lot of new software for iphone to work in japan

things like 2d barcode reader using camera

things like their non sms type of messaging.
 

008325

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
48
29
i dont think Japanese feel interesting on iPhone , Their cell phone usually have 854 x 480 resolution, 3~5Mega Pixel Auto-Focus Camera
Digital TV, digital wallet, etc .......
 
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