Unlocked iPhone 6/6+ Back on Sale in Japan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Acronyc, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    Just a note to say the unlocked iPhone 6/6+ is back on sale in Japan at the Apple online store (and also perhaps physical stores). Sales have been stopped since late December 2014 and it's nice to see them back. I believe the unlocked version in Japan is desirable for the number of LTE bands it has.

    The price has raised, however, by JPY 19,000 (about US$ 150) for 64GB, so perhaps the weakening JPY was one big reason why it wasn't being sold for almost four months.

    Another note as well, I was at the Apple store here in Japan the other day and I overhead the Genius tell a foreign customer that the iPhone is only for sale to customers living in Japan. I didn't stick around long enough to see if the customer was able to purchase the iPhones (they were trying to buy more than one), but there was an argument going on about it between them and the Genius.
  2. niji macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003

    thanks for your post. i also noticed it by chance the the other day.
    while on the apple japan web site, i checked just to see, and amazingly. the apple web store miraculously had a green "Choose" button allowing you to purchase it on-line. i was amazed.

    your report of overhearing the conversation about just who can buy it is really interesting.
    i think there were really 2 reasons for the removal of the SIM free version from sale:
    1 the exchange rate problem
    2 so so so many Chinese tourists were buying the phone at apple's ginza store

    Chinese tourists were able to purchase a more functional fon (with more world covering bands), at a cheaper price than the models on sale in China.
    the Japan model not only has TD version of LTE that China Mobile uses, but has more international LTE bands as well compared to the model on sale in China.

    what was surprising is that, at the same time that the SIM free iPhone became unavailable in Japan, it also was removed from sale in other countries due to similar exchange reasons (Russia being one). however, one by one, the SIM free version appeared, with price hikes, in each of the other apple markets. only Japan was left with only carrier locked versions.

    so this good news that you report about it now being once again on sale in Japan is great for us who live in Japan but travel frequently and need local SIM card operability outside of Japan.

    i even wouldn't mind it having locked to a local carrier in Japan but able to be SIM free outside of Japan (as they did with an earlier version of an iPad).

    if persons who do not live in Japan are being arbitrarily prevented from purchasing a SIM free iPhone in Japan it would seem to be irrational. as long as the customer had a valid credit card from anywhere in the world, or cash, it would seem very difficult to justify discriminating against him/her. especially since if the customer purchases apple care+ for iPhone, which permits servicing of the iPhone in any of the countries that offer apple care+ for iPhone (which includes China and Japan and Hong Kong and Singapore).
    who among us has not purchased products at the flag ship NYC 5th avenue store even though we don't live in the usa?

    purchasing on line is slightly different since your apple ID that allows you make purchases in any apple web store requires you to have a credit card issued within that specific country.

    current prices as of today for the 128G iPhone 6 are:
    Japan: ¥110,800 (@120/USD) = USD 923 (pretax)
    Hong Kong: HK$7,188 (@7.75/USD) = USD 927 (no tax)
    China: RMB 6,888 (@6.2/USD) = USD 1,110 (pretax)

    so, the conversation you overhead at the Genius bar could be to prevent Chinese tourists from purchasing in Japan for reason of price.

    at any rate, it probably is not accidental that the SIM free version went on sale on April 3, well after Chinese New Year travelers are back to their home countries.

    the other factor in all of this is that in May 2015 all Japanese carriers must unlock phones. the long long debated and awaited law comes into effect next month. for a few thousand yen softbank, docomo, and au must begin to unlock any mobile fon at the customer's request. so basically apple will just be selling unlocked fones from now on (or, of course tying the phone to a carrier at sale time for the customer to get a subsidized price).

    it would be interesting now to go into an apple japan physical store and try to buy the phone with an international credit card. or, if using a locally issued japanese credit card seeing what questions might be asked that would be used to determine if the person "lived in japan".


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