Remember when people were saying that the iPhone would flop in Japan, that the country’s mobile tech was too advanced for the iPhone? The Japanese hated the iPhone? Well, Softbank’s CEO sees it a different way, according to the Wall Street Journal:
For Softbank’s chairman and chief executive, the company’s role as the only official supplier of the iPhone in Japan gives it a strong attraction in a consumer market characterized by a fascination for gadgetry. “When we launched the iPhone [in the summer of 2008], some people said those phones were not suited for Japanese cellphone users,” said Masayoshi Son at a news conference. Most Japanese cellphones are smaller and lighter than the Apple device. “But those [skeptics] have been proven completely wrong … The iPhone is selling so well that we are really feeling the boost from it,” Mr. Son said. He declined to say how many iPhones Softbank had sold, but described the handset as “the biggest contributor to third-quarter handset sales,” and “a major contributor to growth in data communication revenue.”
Those sales are obviously also benefiting Apple. Apple COO Tim Cook, in last week’s earnings call, mentioned that iPhone sales for the quarter were four times what they were in the year ago quarter and drove most of the growth in Japan. It is safe to say that the iPhone has not failed in Japan.