Feeds

Softbank gives Japan free iPhones

Far East immune to Jobsian hypnosis

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.