updated 03:40 pm EDT, Thu June 25, 2009
Japanese iPhone 3GS launch
Japanese shoppers are already in line to buy the iPhone 3G S, which goes on sale with Softbank at 7AM local time on Friday, equivalent to 6PM Eastern on Thursday. Lines are smaller than those for the iPhone 3G launch, according to IDG, at present closer to 100 people at Softbank's flagship Omotesando store. When reservations opened for the 3G S last week, approximately 200 people arrived at the Omotesando location. Online preorders have not been allowed with Japanese iPhones.
Demand may be lower due to relatively incremental hardware improvements, such as as voice recognition, a faster processor, higher maximum storage and 7.2Mbps 3G. Store lineups are expected to increase as 7AM approaches however, and more casual purchases may occur over the weekend. The Japanese launch will be mirrored by introductions in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands.