With Apple’s iPhone doing – well, nobody knows, as Apple will not allow SoftBank to release any data, but it’s certainly winning the PR and brand image battle. To see if any of the charm has rubbed off onto the iPod touch, JR Tokai Express Research Inc conducted a survey, the results being reported on by japan.internet.com.
On the 19th of August 2008 332 members of the JR Tokai Express Research monitor panel employed in either the public or private sectors completed an internet-based private questionnaire. 85.8% of the sample were male, 6.6% in their twenties, 33.1% in their thirties, 45.5% in their forties, 12.0% in their fifties, and 2.7% in their sixties.
Talking of the iPhone (I’ve mentioned often enough how little I am interested in portable music) I saw an article in the Australian newspaper … on the Japan iPhone market that was rather inaccurate, so I’ll take this chance to correct it. What they did get right, however, is that the iPhone will shake up the Japan market, but I don’t think it will be quite the earthquake that I first thought. It quotes someone as saying:
Gerhard Fasol, of telecoms consultancy Eurotechnology Japan, estimates they shifted between 75,000 and 125,000 units in July. At that rate, he thinks 2008 sales could total between 645,000 and 1 million.
No, it will not sell one million this year. SoftBank have already dropped the price of the plan to allow a discount for people who use less than 5 Mb of data per month, but that represents barely one page a day through the Safari web browser. WiFi is not a viable option as public access points are rare in Japan, and if one does stick to that, why not just buy an iPod touch and keep one’s proper phone for everything else? No support for emoji for instance, not just input but also display, will turn off just about every casual user.
This potential for continuously upgrading applications, without also needing to replace handsets, is the genuine innovation Apple brings to the Japanese mobile market and the most direct challenge to the existing system..
Almost all newer mobile phones have options to update their firmware and applications, although this option is rarely taken. There is maybe an argument that the iPhone’s process is more user-friendly, but when one thinks of a phone one expects it to work straight out of the factory and not have to have repeated upgrades. Of course, it’s rather difficult to download a One Seg receiver or an electronic cash chip, yet Japanese phones can easily download extra packages to support more types of electronic money.
Now, back to the iPod touch.Read more on: ipod touch
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