Posts Tagged ‘iPhone in Japan’

iphone-3g-japansoftbankTwo major Japanese wireless carriers announced quarterly earnings today, and amidst the flurry of numbers and “analyst speak,” iPhone drew considerable attention and was featured in many post earnings write-ups.

Japan’s largest wireless provider, NTT DoCoMo (50 million subscribers) saw their April-June quarterly profit slip 15% from the prior year. In contrast, Japan’s exclusive seller of the iPhone, Softbank, saw their quarterly earnings shoot upwards by 41%.

sk_iphone_03Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son attributes much of Softbank’s current success to the iPhone. During a post earnings press briefing, Son shared his enthusiasm; “If you (reporters) don’t have an iPhone, you should, it will change the way you view your life.”

Son was happy to report that iPhone’s has been the #1 or #2 top seller for Softbank since it was introduced. He explained that most new phones are popular for a short time and then drop off quickly. As Son put it; “There has been no phone which kept its ranking like this constantly in the history of cell phones.”

Here are a few additional Masayoshi Son quotes from today’s Softbank briefing. Special thanks to Boxerconan for assistance with the translation from Japanese to English…

  • sk_iphone_02“Before the introduction of iPhone 3G last July, there were many doubters, however iPhone maintained its top sales ranking.  If we had more, we could have increased our bottom line.  The inventory level of 3GS is very low.”

  • “iPhone can be considered as a ‘mobile PC’. And the experience you have with an iPhone is not like a netbook.”

  • “I use PC 1/10 if the time I used to, but now I surf the Internet 10 times more via my iPhone.  It is decisively a life changing experience. I wonder how I had done without an iPhone.”

  • “I am not saying ‘iPhone is everything’. But I am anticipating that all the cell phones will be iPhone-like in 3 years.”


Read Full Post »

iPhonAsia comment: Wired.com wrote a slanted article yesterday titled “Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone” … The author, Brian X. Chen, used an 8-month old quote attributed to Nobi Hayashi to support his piece. Nobi took exception to Chen’s article and posted his recentpre-publication e-mail correspondence with Chen.  

Brian X. Chen

Brian X. Chen

In my opinion, Wired.com has practiced tabloid journalism by distorting the intent and direct statements provided by Nobi, a key source for their article. Nobi went to great lengths to share his balanced views with Wired.com (see excerpts from Nobi’s e-mail below), yet Chen somehow divined an entirely different message.  

Comment from Nobi responding to Wired.com via AppleInsider post > HERE

Update: It now appears that Brian X. Chen misquoted another source for his article, Daiji Hirata who has also published a rebuttal. Daiji Hirata’s rebuttal to Wired.com is a MUST READ > HERE  (thanks Torley)

It is amusing to see how Wired.com is now in full damage control and furiously re-editing (fixing) the story to make it correct; “His [Nobi’s] cellular weapon of choice when he spoke to Wired.com June 2008? A Panasonic P905i” …  Pssst … Brian, um, regarding your attempted “fix” … OF COURSE Nobi wasn’t holding an iPhone in Japan in June 2008! The iPhone wasn’t launched in Japan until JULY 2008!

Original cached article (sans “fixes”): http://cc.msnscache.com/cache.aspx?q…8dd12,806a5f49

Note: For those that don’t know, Nobuyuki “Nobi” Hayashi is the “Walt Mossberg” of Japan and is known for his reviews of tech/mobile gadgets. I have included short excerpts from Nobi’s post and his e-mail to Brian X. Chen.  In order to get the full context, I strongly encourage readers to view the full post on Nobi’s blog > HERE

Twitter Poll > twtpoll ::iPhoneについて日本人の人はどう思っていますか?

What is Japanese people’s take on iPhone? Good: 93%  Bad: 7%

My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)




…. “I was quoted for something I haven’t told to Brian at all.”

…. “I can’t agree with what Brian’s article had to say and here is how I view the iPhone market in Japan.” 

Exceprts from Nobuyuki Hayashi’s e-mail to Brian Chen @ Wired.com:

…. “To answer your question, I don’t think iPhone is such a big failure in Japan. The perception of iPhone being a failure was created by a newspaper in Japan, Sankei Shimbun. Last fall, it wrote although Softbank tried to sell one million units by the end of 2008, they only sold about 200,000. This article was wrong in two fronts. One is that Softbank nor Apple never publicly claimed they would sell 1 million units. Second, their estimate of 200,000 units were also wrong. Although Apple nor Softbank releases the real number of shipment, today, it is strongly believed that they have shipped more than 300,000 and possibly near 400,000 units in Japan.”

…. “Also on January 11th, 2009 they [Sankei Shimbun] looked back how iPhone did in the first six month and seem to have concluded it wasn’t that bad after all”

…. “Now let’s talk if 400,000 (or 300,000) is a strong or weak number. I think this is not at all a weak number especially if you are talking about 2008.”

…. “In January 2007, Steve Jobs said he will have 1% share of the worldwide market. Well, in Japan, too. They got that number of share in this very competitive market.”

…. “I think iPhone sales in Japan can improve much more here in Japan. But in order to do that, I think SoftBank has to have more control in how they market / advertise the device here in Japan.”

…. “I love iPhone and I think iPhone can be a bigger success here in Japan, but in order to make it so, Apple has to trust SoftBank and reinvent the relationship”

iPhonAsia comment: Again, I urge PhonAsia readers to click the post on Nobi’s blog > HERE in order to get the full context. See also a revealing comment from newton via MacDailyNews (copied/pasted below):

Comment from: newton*

If you read the original Wired 2008 article by Lisa Katayama…

Hayashi owns a Panasonic P905i, a fancy cellphone that doubles as a miniature but crisp 3-inch TV. In addition to 3G and GPS, the device has a 5.1-megapixel camera and motion sensors that enable Wii-style games to be played sitting on the train. “When I show this to visitors from the U.S, they’re amazed,” Hayashi says. “They think there’s no way anybody would want an iPhone in Japan. But that’s only because I’m setting it up for them so that they can see the cool features.” [i.e. its not user friendly; my comment] In actuality, Hayashi says, the P905i is fatally flawed. The motion sensors are painfully slow, and the novelty of using them is quickly replaced with frustration. And while being able to watch TV anywhere is a spectacular idea, there’s no signal in the subways, and even above ground, the sound cuts out every few seconds. “There’s nothing more annoying than choppy TV noises,” Hayashi says.

then you can plainly see that Brian X. Chen purposely misused the Hayashi quote in his Wired article to disinguenously and unethically bolster his theme.

It also seems, based on Hayashi’s blog post, that Chen snuck in a “June 2008” edit to cover his butt after Hayashi called him to task.



Read Full Post »

Talking Points: the iPhone’s Impact in Japan

 .. Posted by: Kenji Hall on August 13

Before the iPhone arrived in Japan last month, there was enough speculation about its prospects to keep a roomful of bookies busy. The only thing you could say for sure was that there was no consensus. At one extreme were the skeptics: The iPhone would be a disappointment because Japanese handsets already let users browse the Internet, pull up maps, and play music and videos, they said. At the other end were the Mac-philes. They predicted that the iPhone would drive Japanese phone makers back to the drawing board to come up with their own touch-panel screens and downloadable software. 

They were both wrong. 

Full article > HERE


Read Full Post »

Survey: iPhone Generates Most Interest amongst Smartphones in Japan

7 02, 2008 20:08
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics

iSHARE Inc has announced the results of its opinion survey on smartphones. As several smartphones were recently announced in Japan, the company conducted research on handset preferences and other items.

When the company asked which model they were “interested in” among new smartphones to be released in the near future and those already debuted (multiple answers allowed), the most 57.9% of all respondents named the “iPhone,” which will be released from SoftBank Mobile Corp.

The “Willcom D4” to be released from Willcom Inc came next at 35.8%, followed by the “Willcom 03” to be released from Willcom at 33.1%, Emobile Ltd’s “EMONSTER” at 18.0% and NTT DOCOMO Inc’s “HT1100” at 8.8%.

Full survey results > HERE


Read Full Post »

ntt-docomo-logo.jpg   aapllogo.jpg

DoCoMo’s CFO Says Talks to Sell iPhone Focus on Profit Sharing

By Yoshinori Eki and Junko Kikkawa

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) — NTT DoCoMo Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer Masayuki Hirata said talks with Apple Inc. to sell the iPhone in Japan focus on the technological issues and division of profit.

“The handset is easy to use and can open new markets, which makes this an interesting proposition.” Hirata said in an interview yesterday. “We are in continuous contact with the company, but the specifics are still in the future.”

Full story HERE


Read Full Post »