updated 12:15 am EDT, Fri October 7, 2011
KDDI aggressive on iPhone 4S prices
Japanese carrier KDDI on Friday local time became one of the first out of the gate to detail its full iPhone 4S launch plans. Its discounts on the Apple smartphone are steep and give the 16GB model away for free on a two-year contract for 4,980 yen ($65) a month with unlimited data. The 32GB version is also steeply discounted and costs 10,320 yen ($135) on similar terms, while the 64GB version will cost 20,640 yen ($269).
SoftBank kept its strategy mostly similar to before and would also give the 16GB version away for free on a contract worth the equivalent of $70 after including both voice and data. Device prices would be slightly higher elsewhere, at about $150 for a 32GB version on contract and $276 for 64GB.
Preorders at KDDI would start at about 4PM local time, or the same midnight Pacific (3AM Eastern) time as Apple has promised elsewhere. Both launch on October 14.
KDDI's support ends SoftBank's three-year effective exclusive on the iPhone in Japan and is the first instance of a CDMA-capable iPhone going beyond the US. Apple has always expanded its carrier reach with every iPhone launch, but the Japan growth will be crucial as Apple hopes to stem a wave of high-end Android phones finally coming from Japanese phone makers that had previously clung to the non-smartphone but feature-heavy clamshell phones that define the Japanese cellphone field.