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Japanese line up to reserve iPhone 3GS

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Thu June 18, 2009

Japanese iPhone 3GS lineup

Japanese carrier Softbank today opened up reservations for the iPhone 3GS, allowing people to pre-order the device. As neither Apple nor Softbank have allowed online pre-orders in the country, lineups formed outside of Softbank retail stores, with as many as 200 people showing up at the flagship outlet by 1AM. Though crowds at the outlet disappeared towards the afternoon, they are said to have grown again in the evening.

The 3GS is due to launch in Japan on June 26th, with pre-orders being processed on a first-come-first-served basis. Lineups may indicate a continuance of strong support in country, though to what degree is uncertain. On the day of the iPhone 3G's launch in 2008, some 1,500 people queued up at the Softbank flagship store; it is unknown how many of these were pre-order customers.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    What strong support?

    I thought at the very end of the iPhone 3G campaign, SoftBank was giving away iPhones. If that's what they call support in Japan, forget it. I keep hearing that the Sony handsets are all the rage and can do everything and have 1-Seg and that e-wallet stuff. The iPhone can't come close to that kind of versatility. And it probably isn't even worth Apple's time to install special chips for such a limited user base. s**** it. The iPhone 3G S won't be a better seller than the previous iPhone. If only those Japanese could get into the swing of downloading apps, especially game apps, then Apple's iPhone might have a little larger chance of being accepted over in the land of the rising sun.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Japan

    I have seen the keitai (mobile phones) in Japan. Heck, my house guests have them right now and the iPhone simply cannot compare with usable features. The iPhone may have the app store, but it simply isn't going to be enough.

    This isn't purely a matter of technology, but instead of understanding the Japanese mind. Unlike other East Asian countries, Japan has a different viewpoint. While they may take an idea and change it to fit them, they don't really follow Western thought blindly.

    The iPhone simply doesn't do anything particularly better to make it stand out...AND...it is not from a Japanese company.

  1. TokyoGaijin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    More than you think...

    With 12 years in Japan, let me report some of my observations:

    a. While Japanese stand in line for just about anything from PS3 releases to new games to ramen... I've never seen them stand in lines for a phone, nor with the lengths of line. The line for the original 3G was over 1km long on the first day at the Softbank flagship store in Omotesando. Furthermore, lines persisted after the first day. I sat in the line on the 3rd day myself.
    b. iPhone may not be the most popular phone in Japan, but there are a heck of a lot of them out there. I see one or more nearly every day on the subway/bus to and from work. I've seen a lot more since they started the iphone for everybody campaign.
    c. I did not see the flagship store line, but there was also a line at BicCamera in Yurakucho yesterday for the iPhone 3GS.
    d. Yes, Japanese phones have a heck of a lot of features, but no one clamors about the user interface. Most of these features are buried in stacks of menus, difficult to use.
    e. Who the carrier is in Japan matters to a lot of Japanese. Many will not use any carrier other than NTT.

    So despite all of this talk of 1SEG (I barely see people use this honestly) and Suica/DenshiMoney capabilities (this is definitely useful), iPhone is still got a good following here.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    simplicity

    I guess simplicity sells. U.S. is good at designing it.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Uh...

    "Lineups may indicate a continuance of strong support in country, though to what degree is uncertain."

    In country?

    Anyways, i just hope this won't cause the app store/itunes to crash.

    - A

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