Apple’s iPhone in Japan: latest consumer research results


setTitle(“Might you like to buy Apple’s iPhone?”);
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“Yes”, 51.7));
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“No”, 19.3));
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“Don’t know”, 29.0));

If Apple's iPhone went on sale in Japan, might you like to buy it? graph of japanese statistics

Two days, two mentions of Apple’s iPhone! This time, however, rather than trying to shoehorn it into an existing survey, reported on a survey by conducted by JR Tokai Express Research into Apple’s iPhone.


Between the 9th and 11th of January 2008 330 members of the JR Tokai Express Research online monitor group employed in either the public or private sector completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 80.0% of the sample was male, 10.9% in their twenties, 36.4% in their thirties, 36.1% in their forties, 13.9% in their fifties, and 2.7% in their sixties.

This is also well-timed with regards a report on Forbes about the iPhone (thanks Gen!) which takes the rather safe line that the latest NTT DoCoMo 905i series does everything and more already, and that the price tag is rather prohibitive. Looking at Q1SQ2 below, it seems that almost no-one is willing to pay the price it was initially offered at in the USA, but well over a quarter of the potential customers are willing to pay around the current market value. This also ignores the fact that the previously-mentioned 905i series is selling, and selling well, at over 50,000 yen on a standard pricing plan, and of course the up-front cost is just a fraction of the total cost of ownership. To compare, in the USA the cheapest unlimited data plan costs $59.99 with 450 free minutes, 5,000 evening and weekend minutes, and 45 cents per minute after that, whereas in Japan the cheapest 905i plan is 2,000 yen (excluding tax) for 25 free minutes (300 free minutes would be 8,000 yen!), 400 yen for answering machine and call waiting service, 200 yen for iMode walled-garden functionality, 5,700 yen pake-houdai full unlimited data packet plan for full browser, and then 40 yen per minute afterwards. This makes a USA iPhone cost around $1,839 for two years including $399 for the handset, or about 200,000 yen, versus a minimum 249,200 yen for a 905i series phone including the 50,000 yen handset cost, not forgetting that a Japanese tend to upgrade more frequently than once every two years, making a basic 905i about 25% more expensive than an iPhone. If one compares the package with a similar amount of minutes, the price becomes 393,200 yen, almost double the price! To be generous to NTT DoCoMo, after a year you may become eligible for a 35% discount, rising to 50% after 10 years, so a worst-case scenario is closer to 333,140 yen, only 66% more expensive, and a best-case of 221,600 yen, still 10% more expensive than an iPhone. Similar costs apply to the other main carriers, SoftBank and au.

If you want to read more on the iPhone in Japan, please view my article on why Apple’s iPhone will succeed in Japan, or catch up on all past articles on the iPhone.

Research results

Q1: Have you heard of Apple’s iPhone? (Sample size=300)

Yes (to SQ1)85.2%

Q1SQ1: How familiar are you with the Apple’s iPhone? (Sample size=281)

Know a lot about it (to SQ2)18.1%
Know a bit about it (to SQ2)55.5%
Just know the name26.4%

Q1SQ2: If Apple’s iPhone went on sale in Japan, might you like to buy it? (Sample size=207)

Yes (to SQ3)51.7%
Don’t know29.0%

This percentage wanting to buy is up over 11 percentage points from when JR Tokai Express Research last asked the question.

Q1SQ3: Apple’s iPhone has both 4GB and 8GB models, but if you were to buy the 4GB model, how much do you think is a reasonable price for it? Note that when it first went on sale in the US, it cost 499 dollars, or around 60,000 yen. (Sample size=107)

Under 10,000 yen1.9%
10,000 to 19,999 yen13.1%
20,000 to 29,999 yen27.1%
30,000 to 39,999 yen27.1%
40,000 to 49,999 yen22.4%
50,000 to 59,999 yen6.5%
60,000 to 69,999 yen1.9%
70,000 to 79,999 yen0.0%
80,000 to 89,999 yen0.0%
90,000 to 99,999 yen0.0%
Over 100,000 yen0.0%
Don’t know0.0%
Read more on: ,,

Leave a Comment


1 Trackback \ Ping »

  1. April 4, 2012 @ 22:26

    […] the iPhone, and of those 73.6 percent said they knew more about it than just the name according to What Japan Thinks. So, of those who knew anything about about the iPhone, 51.7 percent answered “yes” to […]