Update 6/04/08: Docomo’s response to Softbank’s announcement: “If there’s still a possibility of releasing iPhone from DoCoMo, we would consider it, though we cannot comment on whether we have specific negotiation plans with Apple,” an NTT DoCoMo spokesman said, adding that the iPhone is an attractive product that could appeal to Apple fans in Japan.
Update 6/04/08: SoftBank issued a PR today announcing an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone. Softbank is the first provider in Japan to announce that they will offer the the next generation iPhone in Japan where 2G is virtually non-existent. Hello iPhone 2.0.
iPhone in Japan
A bit of un-sourced speculation (just a guess) on the editor’s part … there is a fair chance that the “iPhone in Japan” deal is largely done! While this is good news for Apple and TBA Japanese mobile partner, it is also too premature for any announcements. It would only invite unnecessary distractions for the carrier and Apple as they map out their distribution plan. Hence the parties are not talking, and don’t hold your breath, official press releases may not come until Summer 2008.
See also May 20, 2008 post > Japan & Korea Special iPhone Launch?
EETimes December 26 report – There has been minimal information to report regarding iPhone in Japan. A report last month in EETimes revealed that negotiations are under way between Apple and service providers NTT DoCoMo and Softbank. DoCoMo is the largest Japanese mobile service provider and Softbank is the third largest. Both carriers utilize the WCDMA infrastructure standard, which can deliver faster and more robust services than EDGE-based GSM services.
Forbes Magazine January 14 report – “Japan’s No. 1 and No. 3 carriers–NTT DoCoMo and Softbank–have a strong interest in carrying the iPhone,” says Michito Komura, a Japan-based IDC analyst.
What Japanese may desire in a new iPhone:
v Mobile TV
v Videophone (audio/visual chat)
v “Wave-pay” that turns phone into credit card
Image below courtesy of BDA Connect