Feeds

Softbank gives Japan free iPhones

Far East immune to Jobsian hypnosis

Security for virtualized datacentres

Softbank Mobile, the iPhone's Japanese carrier, will begin a program tomorrow that will provide a free 8GB iPhone to customers who sign up for a two-year contract. The "iPhone for Everybody Campaign" will last until May 31.

Softbank will also reduce the price of the 16GB iPhone from ¥34,560 ($350, £245) to ¥11,520 ($117, £82).

When Apple lowered the price of the original iPhone from $599 to $399 in September of 2007, AT&T made up the difference by raising the monthly subscription rate.

Not so in Japan. Softbank is also dropping the price of its internet service plan from ¥5,985 ($62, £43) to ¥4,410 ($46, £31).

Although Apple doesn't release figures for Japanese iPhone sales - and forbids Softbank from doing so as well - there have been rumblings that the iPhone isn't taking the gadget-crazy Japanese market by storm.

According to The Wall Street Journal, sales of the popular-most-other-places-in-the-world smartphone are unlikely to reach even half of the one million units originally projected for it's first Japanese year.

One analyst cited by The Japan Corporate News Network is even more pessimistic, suggesting that sales would be more in the 100,000-unit range.

In Japan, it seems, the iPhone is no big deal. Its 3G capabilities are old-hat in a country that's now moving to 4G and where many handsets have such niceties as RFID technology that lets them act as credit cards and train tickets, fingerprint scanners for improved security, and broadcast-TV tuners.

And so Softbank is essentially giving iPhones away.

Whether this move presages similar price-deflation in Europe and the US, only time will tell. Remember, though, that when the Motorola RAZR was introduced in 2004, it cost $500 - and eventually service providers started giving it away with a two-year contract as well. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
EE launches 150Mbps '4G+' in the heart of London
LTE-A – Faster phones for Hoxton Hipsters
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.