The iPhone has been the story of 2007 for most people, released in the US and Europe in a cloud of hype. But among all the words, there’s one story that hasn’t been told, and that’s the iPhone in Japan.
There’s a good reason for that. Japan might be one of the world’s leading technology market, but the iPhone isn’t available there. Yet. That’s something the company is eager to change. According to the Wall Street Journal, Steve Jobs has been talking to a couple of Japanese mobile carriers, although Apple would not confirm the story.
Since Apple wants to have 1% of the cell phone market by the end of 2008, and Japan has 100 million cell phone users, the company could well be eager to get its teeth into a market where consumers brace new technology.
However, it might not be the immediate victory procession the device has enjoyed elsewhere. In order to be a success, it will have to deliver everything the Japanese are already used to –which means things like mobile TV and a 3G network.
The most sophisticated phones on the market are in Japan. Japan leads the world in different features and phone capabilities. The iPhone faces some stiff competition if it gets to Japan, because you have a large number of devices that have WiFi, that have large screens, that have full browsers and GPS (global positioning system) as well," Chris Hazelton, an IDC analyst, told MacNewsWorld.
It would make sense to Apple to make an upgraded version of the phone available for Japan. Not only would it then be able to compete in the marketplace there, but the company would be able tooffer it in the UK and Europe, which has embraced 3G.