iPhone in Japan

As many of you know, iPhone went on sale today (July 11). According to reports, the first ones went on sale this morning at Softbank Omotesando. About 1500 people lined up the night before, so I am assuming all were sold pretty much immediately. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son was at the opening and declared that more people will start accessing the internet via iPhone than from computers. Other SoftBank shops started sales of the phone from noon today.

What interests me most about iPhone in Japan is how it will affect other handset makers and that it would give smart phones more exposure. Here is an interesting video comparing the iPhone with Samsung Instinct and LG Vu → Video. It’s a bit long, but worth watching.

Japan is arguably the toughest challenge for the iPhone. There are so many competitors here; Sharp, NEC, Panasonic, Sony Ericsson, Fujitsu, Kyocera, Samsung to name a few. And I doubt they will stand idly by. Wonder how much effort Apple will put into the Japanese market. If it does succeed here (have to define what that is), then it would have done it where Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola have failed. Or maybe this is the kind of market iPhone is suited for. Maybe it is for a niche market, where Nokia targets a more broad one.

Many people have pointed out the many features of the iPhone. So, let me point out the major features it does not have. QR Code reader, onesegu (TV) and very importantly for the young crowd, infrared connections and often not mentioned, emoji. Also, those long fingernails make it difficult to use the touch screen! So, maybe it is not for the young girls in Shibuya.

It is always nice to have fresh ideas and new products. Like I said, I am most interested in the other handset makers’ reaction. And by the way, GMAPs look great on the iPhone! You can zoom in on our maps! Whoppeee!

We would very much like to hear your thoughts on the iPhone in Japan!