Posts Tagged ‘Softbank’

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.”


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The iPhone 3GS goes on sale tomorrow in Japan

090625ju.JPGThere are already long lines at Softbank storefronts awaiting iPhone 3GS launch on June 26. See more photos > クエストホール入りました、プレゼンは1時なのに。。。 iPhone前夜祭 表参道|恩田フランシス英樹 の VelVet Society / Hideki Francis Onda’s VelVet Society

Thanks to Boxerconan at AAPL Sanity and グリーン・アップルと田舎暮らし greenaapl.exblog.jp for the heads up and links


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via Boxerconan over at AAPL Sanity and GeenAAPL.exblog.jp“There are 20 people on line at one of the local Softbank Stores in Tokyo (not the flagship store).” Note that this only for pre-order of iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS won’t be available in Japan until June 26th. [thanks to iphonefan for links]



Update via Boxerconan: “They reported that about 200 at the flagship store on Omotesando in Tokyo this morning [June 18, 2009].”


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iPhonAsia stumbled upon a new blog focusing on iPhone in Japan. This blog has no contact info or authorship attribution and only one post. But we liked what we read and you might also.

geshia-iphoneExcerpt: With all the talk that the Japanese cellphone market will never go for Apple’s iPhone, take note of data from Yano Economic Laboratory:

Smartphone sales in Japan were up 68% last year to 1.58 Million Units. Projections for 2009 are 2.07 Million and for 2012 -3.65 Million. Yano specifically notes the iPhones introduction as the catalyst for the increase.

Softbank’s promotion for a “free” iPhone until the end of May was cited as indication of lack of demand. But clearly the anticipation of Apple upgrading the unit in June is spurring Softbank to clear stock. There are rumors, as well that Softbank will lose exclusivity to the iPhone later this year when NTT Docomo starts offering it in its line-up. 

iphone-3g-japanRead more  iPhone starting Smart Phone boom in Japan

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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.



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iPhone for Everybody in Japan

softbank_logoSoftbank, Apple’s authorized iPhone carrier in Japan, will introduce a new program Friday that will give away 8GB iPhones for free with a new two-year contract. Softbank is also reducing the price of the 16GB version from $350 to $118 as part of the new “iPhone for everybody Campaign.” To sweetend the deal even further, Softbank is cutting the cost of its maximum data plan rates to $45.60 per month (from $62 a month). More > HERE




iPhone > guided tour


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Softbank releases voice translation tool for iPhone


By Adario S. Full post > HERE 

Despite the naysayers the iPhone continues to gain steam in Japan. The latest evidence of this trend comes via Softbank’s latest software announcement promoting Speeek, a voice-enabled electronic dictionary application that translates Japanese to English or Chinese.

Using voice recognition technology the application can translate up to 1,500 spoken phrases mostly centered on travel/tourist situations and basic communication. Although designed specifically for Japanese speakers, the tool could also be effectively used as a study aid for advanced native English speakers studying Japanese. The application is available now for just 1,800 yen ($19.88) here.

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