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 recent “pre-publication“ e-mail correspondence with 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
What is Japanese people’s take on iPhone? Good: 93% Bad: 7%
…. “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):
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.
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