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Apple in talks for Japanese iPhone launch

updated 09:20 am EST, Tue December 18, 2007

Japanese iPhone talks

Apple is already in negotiations to release the iPhone in Japan, reports indicate. Sources say that Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently met with Masao Nakamura, the president of Japan's largest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo. Jobs has also supposedly met with people from Japan's third-largest carrier, Softbank, and executives from both carriers are said to have flown multiple times to Apple's Cupertino headquarters. Notably excluded from reports is Japan's second-rated carrier, KDDI.

Nakamura would only tell Reuters that a meeting "may well have happened," but other sources for the news agency claim that Apple is once again playing carriers against each other, hoping to extract the best possible revenue-sharing agreement. Softbank and DoCoMo are said to be upset over the money Apple is demanding; a concession from at least one of the carriers is likely though, as the proven popularity of the iPhone in other countries may be difficult to ignore.

Apple's main obstacle is that while iPods are already extremely popular in Japan, the iPhone would face considerable competition if released in its present state. Many high-end Japanese phones already have cameras with three megapixels or greater, and 3G broadband is extremely widespread in the country, which would make the iPhone's EDGE receiver seem inadequate. Timing a launch with the planned 3G revision would of course solve this, but a number of phones in the area have extra functions, such as FeliCa smartcard readers that enable purchases from vending machines.





By Electronista Staff
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  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    proven popularity...?

    The popularity of an item should be measured by its longevity not by an initial surge of unbridled enthusiasm. In truth, the iPhone's popularity in Britain, France and Germany is anything but proven. In what numbers will it be selling in a years time? The manner in which Apple is drip-feeding the product to the global market could be construed as minimal faith in a marginal product. The iPhone is no Wii and never will be! If the supposed pent-up demand for this item was evenly and globally dissipated we would see the true measure of its popularity, cognisant of the fact that sales in (and from) legitimate territories are partly the consequence of the devices uneven availability. Ultimately, this may become the first Apple product that delivers all of which it is capable from an early stage rather than the traditional Cupertino modus operandi where devices are significantly under-specified and constrained to extend the product life cycle so that it is two or more (or never) years before the product achieves a specification of which it was capable at the outset. (Apple are not alone in this, of course... Sony take a bow!) All remains to be "proven"!

  1. aesculanus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    antiquated

    the iphone is obsolete by japanese standards. without 3g, it can't even operate, since 3g is all that exists in japan. au is a cdma/evdo carrier, so them being excluded is understandable. but seriously, without a massive upgrade including felica, 3g, and a clamshell revision, the iphone will have little appeal in japan.

  1. aesculanus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    http://www.nttdocomo.co.j

    http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/foma/index.html

  1. Rance

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    0

    err?

    The iPhone is no Wii? Well of course it isn't, since you don't have to pay $179 to get out of your two year contract with your PS3 to play a Wii.

    The iPhone isn't a "surge" product, it's s steady stream product. Meaning, as people's cell contracts expire, they will move over to the iPhone. Launch day was people whose contracts were already expired, or people willing to pay the fee to terminate their contracts early to have the device. If early termination fees weren't an issue, I'd be willing to bet the people trying to make $500 selling iPhones on eBay would have had their day.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    Feature Usability

    Features is not equal to usability. Study shows that only about 10% of features are used by most people, while iPhone users use most of the features.

    So 10% of 100 features is 10 features used, while 90% of 50 features is 45 features used.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    and what's wrong with...

    playing providers against each-other? That's business 101- get as much control as you can and lock in the best deal possible. And in Apple's case, it's a rare position to be in with that market. If they're truly asking "too much," which is a very relative phrase, then the companies don't have to take up the offer. The iPhone isn't going to make or break their business, just add some extra revenue lines.

    At this point, you might as well be a socialist if you've got issues with a for-profit company using its clout to try and get the best deal for its product.

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