"The iPhone won't do well in Japan?"

The Associated Press reports that after all the excitement and high hopes for it’s release in Japan (see: http://www.japaninc.com/node/3456), the iPhone may not have been all its cracked up to be.

Yuri Kageyama, the AP reporter, likens the Japanese mobile phone market to “the 19th Century “black ships” of U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry that forced an isolationist Japan to open to the West.”

In other words, the mobile phone market in Japan is still very closed, with very specific features that the iPhone has not included, such as the infrared connections for sending contact details, the non-inclusion being a “death knell on the Japanese dating circuit,” according to the article.

Other missing things include the little hole for the keitai straps that so many people in Japan like, although “Westerners may scoff at them as childish.” According to the report, the new Japanese iPhone owners are rather cautious about its usage, keeping their old trusted Japanese phones for everyday use as well as proudly owning the new iPhone.

Overall the article claims it is still unknown whether, despite the hype, the iPhone can catch on in Japan. Forgetting the factual error about being unable to watch YouTube videos on Japanese phones (see: http://www.japaninc.com/node/3452), the article does a good job of trying to sift through the marketing hype, questioning whether the sales numbers being released by Apple and SoftBank are actually making a statement or whether they are just marketing fodder. Unfortunately, the article didn’t manage to investigate deep enough, the conclusion being that, “it’s unclear.”

See the AParticle here: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5htqv7IzjFwFBhEz-hS40RXXleT2QD91V196G0

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