The iPhone in Japan?

December 20, 2007

So Apple is talking to DoCoMo about selling the iPhone in Japan…(according to Forbes and lots of other news agencies.)

My phone can do anything the iPhone can do, and even more (although I’m not sure if you can hook up the iPhone directly to a tv to watch your downloaded videos on a big screen… which I can do with my Toshiba made W52T). I also have bluetooth which is big for me because when I get a phone call to pick up some bread or a bento on the way home, I can speak hands-free through my car’s navigation system.

I wrote about (kind of bragged about… sorry) my phone on my other blog and if you’re interested, you can read it at Who Needs an iPhone and iPhone Follow Up.
Well, I think it’ll sell, but it won’t be the craze it was in the U.S. Our phones here can already do whatever we need them to do. I’m on AU by KDDI which has its own music download service called Lismo.

The biggest selling point for the iPhone in Japan will be iTunes and being able to sync the iPhone with the iPod. I already see a lot of people listening to the radio or downloaded music on their phones. Music can also be ripped from a cd into Lismo quite easily. The other big advantage of iTunes is the price! Lismo is very expensive, about 300 yen a song the last time I checked.

If Apple works the brand recognition angle, the advantages of iTunes angle, and tries not to get crazy with the pricing, I think they’ll be OK. Especially now, with number portability, it’s easy to change phone companies, so the winning phone company might get some defectors.

There’s another point to make that I am not too sure is important, but…

AU offers an (I believe imap based) email service in addition to its regular ezweb service called auone. Auone is done through gmail. Search in au is also done through Google. We also see that Google is doing a lot of good things for the iPhone in the US, so it might be nice if Google and Apple and AU by KDDI all got together and had a nice little love-in over here in Japan and hooked us up with the greatest mobile phone system conceivable with current technology.

If the iPhone goes to another company, we still win because AU may drop their Lismo prices to compete.

iPhone coming to Japan is all good. Everybody wins except Apple if they start selling iPhones INSTEAD OF iPods. Just a final thought there… because really, who wants to carry around both?

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