My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)

Sekai Camera World Premiere

 I have to thank Brian X. Chen for helping me diet; just before I had a late night desert in Roppongi, I used my iPhone to check what's hot in the Twitter-sphere using an app called Summizer.

 One of the hottest topic read "Why Japanese hate ..."
 I said "Hmmm. What could it be?" I opened the article  (it has been edited since I first read it):


I found Brian's name and said to myself  "Oh, I know this guy. I've got an email from him yesterday. He has already finished writing an article with my replies? Within less than 24 hours? wow, He's fast! "

 I read on and found I was quoted for something I haven't told to Brian at all.
 Here is how it read:

Hayashi's cellular weapon of choice? A Panasonic P905i, a fancy cellphone that
doubles as a 3-inch TV. It also features 3-G, GPS, a 5.1-megapixel camera and
motion sensors for Wii-style games.
"When I show this to visitors from the U.S, they're amazed," Hayashi told
Wired.com. "They think there's no way anybody would want an iPhone in Japan.
But that's only because I'm setting it up for them so that they can see the cool
features."

What P905i is my cellular weapon of choice?
I don't even charge it these days!!

This P905i is the phone from late 2007. Almost all Japanese manufacturers make two generations of phones in ONE year which means this phone is more than 2 generation old; and I don't even bother to use P905i.  The latest from Panasonic is P01-A which has a gimmick that can WOW you all called 2 WAY-key. You want believe your eye, if you see it. But that's not my point.

 My cellular weapon of choice, of course is an iPhone and my cellular weapon of choice to the foreigners is INFOBAR2 and I don't even dare to charge my P905i these days.

 I skipped my desert get on the train and started to Twitter, how I was upset with the article.

 On the way back, Brian twittered me that he quoted me from an old article written by Lisa Katayama.

 I am assume he is mentioning this article right here:
 in which I described although Japanese phones have many fancy features and gimmick, the usability is so low and iPhone has so much potential here in the Japanese market.

  As a matter of fact, I believe the article came out on the worst possible timing. I've just heard from my friends that there were people waiting in queue to get iPhone today in some of the SoftBank stores in Tokyo because SoftBank has started giving away 8GB iPhones to customers who sign a two year contract.

 Anyway, I can't agree with what Brian's article had to say and here is how I view the iPhone market in Japan.
Actually, this is the full text of the e-mail I have sent to Brianat least a few hours before the Wired Blog was published (the time stamp in the e-mail shows Japan Standard Time GMT -9 ):

---

fromNobuyuki Hayashi <----@nobi.com>
to"Chen, Brian" <----@wired.com>
dateFri, Feb 27, 2009 at 4:01 PM
subjectRe: Wired press inquiry: iPhone in japan
mailed-bygmail.com
hide details 4:01 PM (9 hours ago)
Reply
Hi Brian,

I tried to reply briefly but as I started writing, I started to feel that I want to summarize how I see iPhone and SoftBank are doing here in Japan in English, and it turned out as  a very long e-mail.

I hope you'll enjoy it:

To answer your question, I don't think iPhone is such a big failure in Japan.

The perception of iPhone being a failure was created by a newspaper in Japan, Sankei Shimbun. Last fall, it wrote although Softbank tried to sell one million units by the end of 2008, they only sold about 200,000.
This article was wrong in two fronts.

One is that Softbank nor Apple never publicly claimed they would sell 1 million units.
Second, their estimate of 200,000 units were also wrong.
Although Apple nor Softbank releases the real number of shipment, today, it is strongly believed that they have shipped more than 300,000 and possibly near 400,000 units in Japan.

 Interestingly, despite the negative press, Sankei Shimbun did release one of the most successful iPhone app in Japan after that article in which you can read the full Sankei Shimbun newspaper.

 Also on January 11th, 2009 they looked back how iPhone did in the first six month and seem to have concluded it wasn't that bad after all; I was in San Francisco that day and didn't get to read the article but I was interviewed for the article.

Now let's talk if 400,000 (or 300,000) is a strong or weak number.
I think this is not at all a weak number especially if you are talking about 2008.

 In December 2007, accumulated number of cellphones in Japan surpassed 100,000,000. Today, more than 90% of Japanese adults have one or more cell phones. And some analyst have started warning the slow down of mobile phone sales in Japan.

 Some were optimistic because Japanese people change their cell phones so often. Many people change their phones in 1.5 - 2 years and those techie geeks would but a new phones almost every six months or so.
 But this had to change, too.

2008 was a big turning point for Japanese mobile industry. In early 2008, Japanese ministry of internal affairs and communications asked all the mobile phone operators to change the way they sell their cell phones.
 Before that Japan was abundant of 1 yen cell phones and even 0 yen cell phones with the real cost hidden in the 2 year contract and higher than international average monthly fee. The ministry asked to display the real cost of the phone unit at the store front. And because R&D cost for the Japanese high-tech phones kept going up for the past few years, the customers finally realized the real cost of the handset were actually more than 30,000 yen (about $300) for the mid-range and more than 80,000 yen ($800) for the high-end phones.
 Although, few people are paying it in full and are rather paying it monthly for 2 years; still this notion of the real price deeply discouraged people from buying a new phone.
 
 Then came the bad economy.

 So 2008 was the year that Japanese mobile phone industry sunk; the total unit shipment of all operators combined went down for 18.7% (according to Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) to 42 million units which makes iPhone almost has the 1% share; In January 2007, Steve Jobs said he will have 1% share of the worldwide market. 
 Well, in Japan, too. They got that number of share in this very competitive market.

 Of course, I think iPhone can do much better here in Japan.

 The Japanese media talked so much about iPhone during the first week, but all they were talking about were:
-touch interface
-you can't use emoji (please goolge it, if you don't know what it is)
-you can't watch TV on it; 86.3% of all phones shipped in Japan has built-in TV tuners
-you can't use it as your Osaifu-keitai:

Softbank, the operator in Japan did a very good  follow up job by pusuading Apple to support emoji on iPhone as well as inventing a way to watch TV on iPhone and actually selling that device which also works as an external battery.

Still the lack of Osaifu-keitai is a serious thing for those living in Tokyo.
Although I am perhaps, the most famous advocate of iPhone in Japan, I still use other phones to use the Osaifu-keitai feature.
I use it to get on train (so I don't need to purchase tickets), with it I don't have to go to the counter at the airport and go directly to the boarding gate (because it works as your electronic ticke for airplane, too). I can ride a taxi with it and buy almost anything and eat/drink any thing at any of those shopping complex run by Japanese Railways group.
 But some iPhone fanatic are doing a work around for that, too. They attach an equivalent Felica IC card behind iPhone like this:

But despite the hardwork of SoftBank and the iPhone fanatic, these facts are shared only among iPhone owners in Japan and are rarely known for most of the other Japanese. SoftBank did send out a press release for the TV & Battery device but it didn't make such a big news. I asked on SoftBank official casually why they don't advertise more on this device. 
 And his answer was " we need to get approval from Apple for most advertising marketing effort." So SoftBank like perhaps, most of the other iPhones operators around the world are not in the liberty to publicize their own good effort.

 For majority of Japanese, iPhone looks interesting but it is the device they read on the newspaper as a 'failure.' They haven't even touched one.
 So as soon as I give lecture, show it to them and let them play with it, they change their mind and become a fan of iPhone.

 I think iPhone sales in Japan can improve much more here in Japan.
 But in order to do that, I think SoftBank has to have more control in how they market / advertise the device here in Japan.
 They know the market much better than Apple does.
 And they know how to make TV commercials that would appeal to Japanese consumers.
 SoftBank is doing a wonderful advertisement job in Japan, and they have their TV ads have been chosen as the most favored TV advertisement for almost two years for consecutive months; they didn't win only the overall prize but they are winning the best actor, best actress and almost all the prizes awarded by CM DATABANK ( http://www.cmdb.jp/ranking/2008.php).

 Sure, Apple is a global company and they succeeded by controlling their brand value  so well; and the vector of that branding may not match the branding of SoftBank (as with any other operators around the globe). 
 Apple can push the "Apple-way" to their partner like SoftBank claiming they "Think global"   (just like the George W. Bush pushed the America-ism to the world), but  it doesn't necessarily means the consumer would buy it.

 The same tug-of-war like problem is happening in the enterprise area.
 As you may have already read somewhere, one of the first and largest iPhone installment in enterprise took place in Japan at the Bearing Point System's Japanese branch office; they swap all their 1,000 NTT DoCoMo phones to iPhones; and most of the employees seem to be pretty happy with them.
 But if they try to do any serious enterprise staff, they don't know if they should turn to SoftBank or to Apple.

 I love iPhone and I think iPhone can be a bigger success here in Japan, but in order to make it so, Apple has to trust SoftBank and reinvent the relationship;  I think SoftBank is very different from any other operators in the world which other operators in the world, have you seen going direct to Apple and ask to include certain features to the iPhone?

 Of course, SoftBank is not perfect.

 In my perception,  SoftBank has a few glitches as well.
 One is the wireless coverage. Although the coverage is more than 97 or 8 % (can't find the figure right away, will check, if you need it) much better than the average of US operators, it is still lower compared to NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.
 But there is a reason. The other two major carriers have access to 800 MHz frequency which the new comer SoftBank was not allowed to use; SoftBank expect the government will license it but it won't happen until 2015.

 Second, even though they make the most beloved TV commercials still they lack credibility from the older traditional Japanese.
 Just as there are so many Windows users who would never even bother to try a Mac, there are so many NTT DoCoMo users who would never even bother to switch the operators.
 Because you can trace back the root of NTT DoCoMo to the government owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, people just trust it by it.
 And because SoftBank is a company run by Korean-Japanese businessman, Masayoshi Son, some older generation are skeptical. Perhaps, there could even be racial discrimination involved, but whatever SoftBank does, bad press follows it.
 SoftBank is struggling to build credibility toward Japanese press about the "SoftBank would soon go bankrupt" rumors; if I go to quarterly report, most of the American Financial analyst and press (and some Japanese) seem to be convinced by what Masayoshi Son says, the bad press still continues.

 But if that turns out to harm the iPhone sales in Japan, I think Apple will change their deal with SoftBank and start selling iPhone through NTT DoCoMo as well. Actually, Japanese press, including me, has been writing this for a long time; and I think this has been harming SoftBank iPhone sales, too. Those iPhone fans who use NTT DoCoMo right now kind of waited until the DoCoMo version comes out. Some gave up and switched to SoftBank, some can't switch, so they added iPhone as the second phone, but there are still many who can't take either way and sticking with the old NTT DoCoMo phone.
 After iPhone came out, NTT DoCoMo had to go through a major re-organization but I believe they are still interested in iPhone.

 Anyway, it has become a long e-mail but this is how I see iPhone and SoftBank is doing in Japan right now.
 If you want to use any specific numbers and credit the source, tell me, and I will try to send you the link or the name of the source.

I believe you will be only using a small portion of this e-mail in your article. So if you don't mind, I would like to edit this a bit and post to my English blog because I haven't updated that for a while;  perhaps, with an affiliated link to the issue of Wired magazine, you will be writing this article for or something.

thanks,

Nobi

_____________________________________________________________ n o b i _

                    N o b u y u k i   H a y a s h i
- Hide quoted text -




On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 2:51 AM, Chen, Brian <-----@wired.com> wrote:


Hey Nobi --

Leander Kahney passed along your contact information to me. I understand you're pretty knowledgeable about cellphones in Japan, and I was wondering if you could happened to know why the iPhone is failing there. Would you mind sharing your insights in this e-mail?

Thanks in advance,

Brian



 







投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2009年02月27日 | Permalink

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    this is a great article-email Nobi! Thanks for sharing, I learned a lot from it.

    投稿者名 kirai

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Great summary.

    投稿者名 Wakae

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/japanese-iphone-hate-disputed-by-wired-tokyo-based-source/

    Thank you, Nobi, for setting the record straight.

    投稿者名 Jeremy Horwitz

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi,

    Wired has been very gossipy. They are notorious for baseless articles (hit pieces) about Apple and Steve like Giz and Valley Wag.
    Fortunately iPhoneAsia and MacDailyNews wrote great articles on you.

    http://idannyb.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/wiredcom-anatomy-of-a-hit-piece/

    http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/20290/

    投稿者名 boxerconan

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    ”Today, more than 90% of Japanese adults have more than one cell phones. “

    90% of adluts have at leaste two cell phones ?
    Isn't it "more than 90% of Japanese adults have one or more cell phones." ?

    投稿者名 Cyanicdelphis

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Great and timely response, Nobi.

    One point: I think you mean "90% of Japanese adults have one or more cell phones", not "90% of Japanese adults have more than one cell phones".

    投稿者名 mookiejapan

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi, sucks that you were misquoted, and thanks for sharing your perspective alongside http://daijihirata.com/aboutwiredarticle.html

    You provided quite a lot of info, and I understand editing happens for the press, but accuracy and contextual understanding should be preserved.

    I also noticed blog comments were closed without so much as a decent reply, and mentioned this on my own blog: http://torley.com/how-not-to-handle-blog-comments

    Hope Brian will followup with you to correct his Wired post.

    投稿者名 www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmxe70ONES6zRVAy--P-IXUxKPgsgrij3I

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Cyanicdephis,

    Thanks. I will make that gramattical correction. ;-)
    I started writing this at 1AM here after a few bottles of wines ;-)

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Hi Nobi - here's a post I did about this:

    http://rick.cogley.info/snapjapan/index.php?id=104580635976330167

    Regards,
    Rick Cogley
    Yokohama Japan

    投稿者名 Rick Cogley

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi-san, I've got a question: what do you make of the fact that Softbank started the new iPhone for everyone campaign which heavily discount the price of iPhones? Doesn't that show, as claimed by Wired and other publications, that iPhone is not selling very well in Japan and Softbank is trying to boost sales by discounting strategy?


    投稿者名 Wakae

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Yes, they need more sales for sure.

    And by people queueing up for the iPhone proves "Japanese people do not 'hate' iPhones."

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    nobi-san,

    I too thought this article did not make sense when I read it... and I also twittered about how it totally got the facts wrong too.

    記事の内容はあまり合ってないように思うのは俺だけかな.. なんか「ださいから人気がない」って風に書いてるけど、事実上は「使いにくいけどにオシャレ」なイメージが強いのでは。使用者の中でiphoneを「使う」のではなく、ブランドオシャレ品として見てる人が多い気がする。
    http://twitter.com/brandonheato

    Good to know that its all cleared up now!

    投稿者名 Brandon

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Hello

    Having once employed in an international news bureau, I am especially outraged to how an establishment the likes of Wired has deliberately chosen to misrepresent you, Mr. Hayashi. I understand the weight many journalists have to carry to maintain honesty and objectivity in front of the scrutinizing eyes of the public. Hence in an attempt to justify his own conclusions Wired's Brian Chen used false information on his reportage which not only tarnished your name but also embarrassed the entire journalistic community. It will have negative repercussions to many news writers.

    I strongly urge that Mr. Hirata and yourself bring the matter to Wired's editors so as to make it transparent to their constituents. It is an obligation Wired owes to offer you a public apology in the least. The updated modification to Brian's original article is insufficient as the damage has already been done. Slashdot.org documented reaction is a testament to that.

    Regardless of how the Apple iPhone is viewed in Japan, Wired writer Brian Chen's misguided action of misquoting two respectable figures as yourself and Mr. Hirata to serve his own agenda is a travesty to journalism.

    This issue deals with integrity and professionalism which, courtesy of Brian Chen's article, Wired failed immeasurably to communicate to their readers that they still uphold these principles in some significant value.

    Best Regards

    投稿者名 Uzi Halimun

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Let's just hope this response ends up as popular as the original article.

    投稿者名 Guffin Mopes

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    I think the problem is that there is no clear distinction between "Journalists" and "Bloggers" today.
    Now that newspaper companies are going bankrupt. Good journalism is quickly disappearing.
    They make up stories, they work with hedge funds to spread FUDs. In addition, these gossipy sites like Wired and Gawker are fighting for their lives, too in this bad economy.

    When it comes to Apple, badmouthing "Apple" increases the web traffic tremendously....
    That is all they care. Remember what they did when Steve's health issue was all over the media....
    Brian Chen said "SJ is not coming back"....and he wrote whole article based on his imagination.

    However, the good news is that "good journalists" win at the end of the day. This incident proved it....Good work, Nobi.



    投稿者名 boxerconan

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Sorry for the stressed caused to you by the misrepresentation Nobi. It's good to see the balance now being redressed:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/28/japanese_hate_for_iphone_all_a_big_mistake.html
    http://www.mobileinjapan.com/group/iphoneinjapan/forum/topics/finally-a-balanced-debate

    投稿者名 Andrew Shuttleworth

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    I think after all, this was a good lessons for all journalists/bloggers; me included.
    Some people praise me as a great journalist but I am not; I have just been doing this longer and I am no saint.

    It was unlucky for Brian that I read English. And it has been lucky that most of whom I interviewed in English did were not able to read my Japanese translated article although some did through his/her friends.
    I try to find a good story in an article and blamed that I sometime make them too dramatic.
    In Japan, there are so many modes of speaking and most of the print publication wants them in one mode, so editing the quote is almost always happening; you will rarely see the exact spoken phrase on magazines even though they are in Japanese quotation marks.
    And with such culture, I sometime try to add a few words of my own for someone I interviewed myself.
    But what I do different is I won't let that modification pass thru unless I get confirmation from the interviewee approving that that was what s/he intended to say.

    If the interviewee doesn't speak Japanese; it's all up to me. So I go around the same questions over and over and try to understand the true intention behind him/her.
    And perhaps, that is how I haven't had this problem for at least past 15 years.

    But in any case, I hope the talk on the Internet will shift from personal attack to just the opinion about "iPhones in Japan."

    Especially because I am a journalists with a few dirts ;-)

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Great article-- thanks for your insights. I came across this from the AppleInsider post:
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/28/japanese_hate_for_iphone_all_a_big_mistake.html

    It's shocking that Wired originally recycled a quote from such a long time ago, and twisted it to suit their purposes. I'm really glad to get the full story-- and it's a lot more interesting and captivating than the boring "failure" story that Wired was determined to run. I hope that Wired staff have their ears burning with this embarrassment-- the approach they used was really makes them look pretty lame.

    投稿者名 Nate

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    It's relief to know the truth! Twitterred it http://twitter.com/genn_org/statuses/1266314261

    I was impressed by Wired's article yesterday. Thanks for making the situation clear!

    投稿者名 Genn

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Great post. It is so much easier for journalists (or bloggers) to go along pre-conceived cultural bias than to research properly.
    Documenting a case like you did takes a lot of knowledge and time to explain properly with an international perspective.

    Facing similar challenges, I have a way to summarize things in the presentations I do.

    First slide:
    General assumption #1:
    Everything from the US is great

    Second slide:
    General assumption #2
    Everything from Asia is weird (and sometimes funny)

    Generally I get a laugh and people are more open to new ideas when they realize the reality of this bias.

    The fact is it goes both ways, many Japanese (or Koreans, or French or whatever) are convinced they are so special and different. To some extent, each population is, but there are so many examples of cross-borders successes that if you stop at cultural explanations one never gets to really understand the fundamental non-cultural reasons of successes and failures.

    - For those who fail, it can be attributed to culture (regardless of other real reasons: it's a failure so nobody can prove it)

    - For those who succeed, the initial explanation is quickly forgotten.

    I call this the "not-invented-here spiral of oblivion" (in search for a better term).

    Thanks again for your great work.
    PS: there is always a good side: you're quoted in Wired ;-)

    投稿者名 Benjamin

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    I've noticed fishy articles in Wired before, but this latest fail finished it for me. I deleted them from my bookmarks. It's sad when you have to realize how bad some type of journalism is if you happen to know something about the subject (owner of a Japanese iPhone, wrote a paper on the Japanese mobile industry). Makes you wonder how often you were misinformed on a topic that you didn't know about.

    The whole "iPhone not popular in Japan" thing is a myth anyway. My (definitely Japanese) g/f absolutely loves her iPhone, and she wanted one from the day it came out!

    投稿者名 M.

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi:

    I'm a public relations professional and former journalist, and one of my jobs these days is trying to convince Japanese companies that online media deserve more respect. My colleagues and I have been making some progress, and I think you're experience with Wired is actually a useful illustration of how this new media regulates itself. The "story' was poorly researched, for whatever reason -- impending deadline, too much multitasking, laziness, etc. -- but the online community soon stepped in and sorted the matter out. Perhaps some good will come of this.

    Thanks for taking the time to set the record straight.

    投稿者名 Daniel Fath

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    I found myself think of something Scott Adams wrote in "The Way of the Weasel". This guy asks you questions by email, and you write this incredibly lengthy, thoughtful article--essentially inviting him to copy and paste it under his own byline. It's incredibly lazy stuff. And here, the guy is so lazy he has you write all that and he doesn't even use it. I'd be pissed too. Next time, though, grant them a phone interview. At least make them do their own TYPING. Just my two cents. And thanks for your insights.

    投稿者名 Ron

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi, we have posted a correction and an apology to the original article. Needless to say, we're embarrassed by the mistake, and even more embarrassed that we weren't more transparent in the way we corrected the story over the weekend.

    http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/02/why-the-iphone.html#editnote

    I am posting this comment here so that your readers will know that Wired.com does listen to criticism, and we do try to fix our mistakes when we make them.

    Dylan Tweney, Wired.com

    投稿者名 Dylan Tweney

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Dylan,

    Thank you for the explanation.
    I should have also followed up earlier (but was kind of busy keeping up with the reactions in Japan).
    I should have written and let people know that the author of the article was explaining although he wants to update the article, it has been the weekend and he doesn't have the right to update the server himself.
    The timing of the incident was very misfortunate in that regard as well.

    Nobi

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Ian Shortreed, a good old friend of mine living in Kyoto shared an interesting story with me.
    I'll reprint them here with his permission (I may make a separate post about it, too):

    This morning on my way to work I flagged down an oji-san (elderly man) who was picking up recycled newspapers
    and cardboard boxes, a fixture in environmentally conscious Japan. " I have a bunch of newspapers" , I suggested,
    " just around the corner". He then reaches into his pocket, whips out an iPhone 3G and points at a zoomed-in Google
    map of the area! " "Doko (Where)", he asks!

    ”Whoa ...ahhh ... the office is just around the corner, but I am amazed you are using an iPhone", says I.

    "I'm loving it" , he responds gleefully!

    Now this might sound like a MacDonald's ad, but it's real and it might just be a very good vehicle for Apple and Softbank to get the word out:
    newspaper recyclers (receiving calls from clients to pick up newspapers), physicians (X-ray transmission of patients), taxi drivers (GPS maps), geiko (looking for a Gion club where their danna is waiting, name your vocation all using some different feature of the iPhone 3G in their daily life. And perhaps do these ads in Black and White except have the iPhone in color!

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi, I guess you learned to not give any more info to Wired "Journalists", and Brian X. Chen in particular. They don't deserver the attention.

    投稿者名 Benny

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    As a journalist, the thing that amazes me most about this is not how unethical the reporting was (very), but how plainly stupid it was for the reporter to think he could get away with it.

    Moreover, he threw away the chance to write a much more interesting story: about how contrary to all the hackneyed, predictable articles that claim the iPhone has flopped in Japan, it hasn't failed at all. This could have been something of a (very minor) scoop, or at least a very interesting counterpoint piece, and it was being offered up in a thorough, insightful and well-reasoned email; ie on a plate!

    投稿者名 Tom

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Good for you standing up to a misrepresentation of the truth. I see lots of iPhones out there especially in Tokyo. I also think that Softbank is still adding new subscribers as a result of it. I only got mine last month!

    投稿者名 Craig

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Benny,
    I thank you for being nice to me. But I don't want to bring this into personal fight.
    I like Wired News and I kind of understand Brian; I had not been a perfect journalist either ;-)

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    I think it had to do with the timing.
    Being a blogger myself, I kind of know the timing is very important when you post some articles; there is a big difference in the PV you will get and that PV will change the evaluation of that writer.
    But perhaps, we journalists have to focus more on the long term evaluation.

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    It certainly has. I heard after the 0 yen campaign has started, Softbank has sold near 100,000 iPhones in two week or so.
    Now on Toyoko line, you would see at least five iPhone users per car.
    Those peoiple who are playing this game called "Parallel Kingdom" seem to be irritated because so many Japanese iPhone users are talking in Japanese (on global chat); there is only one channel on that game.

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Nobi-san,

    My girlfriend is Japanese and I bought her an iPhone 3G for Christmas last year before she moved to Atlanta to work for KPMG Japanese Practise. She has said that the iPhone is want of the most usable phones she's ever used, including good language support (there is even Chinese handwriting character recognition support if you enable it!) among others. I remember when I was back in her hometown in Nagoya, I used her mother's KDDI phone, and while it had many features, it just seemed difficult to use--and also, as a Mac user, I've always disliked complicated interfaces.

    If you want to use the iPhone 3G with DoCoMo, could you buy the iPhone 3G from Hong Kong and just insert a NTT DoCoMo SIM card? Apple sells the iPhone 3G in Hong Kong unlocked (http://store.apple.com/hk), and while the price is higher than the non-contractual price, you are not bound to a contract. I have bought my iPhone 3G from Hong Kong and can use it anywhere in the world. I just have to switch the SIM card.

    With cut-and-paste and iPhone 3.0 update coming along soon, I think the iPhone will be a terrific phone. I think that Japanese phones are very well-featured, but sometimes the user interface is difficult to use. Still, that's what I like about Apple; they don't try to do everything--they try to implement what the user will use every day and make it enjoyable to use. No other phone lets me control my computer, run Unix utilities, view PDFs easily, and keep up to date with my email and contacts on top of being an iPod. I almost try to use my phone first before I use my MacBook Pro.

    Jason

    投稿者名 Jason Hung

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Come to Docomo, already! I'm dying for it (But not enough to switch providers).

    投稿者名 Ted

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Hey Nobi,

    Great write-up to the Wired's piece, explanation and all. People should pay you for these insights. Cheers.


    Sryn @ Brunei

    投稿者名 H Masri

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Looks like the iPhone is doing just fine in Japan now.

    http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/08/17/apples-iphone-3gs-is-no-1-in-japan/

    投稿者名 StoneMan

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    you might actually see too many iPhones in Tokyo subways; in contrast,
    if you go outside Tokyo, the visibilityof iPhone will decrease
    dramatically. But Tokyo+Yokohama have about 20% of Japan's total
    population.

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)


    Brian: FAIL
    Melly Chlistmas
    http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/12/17/apple.crushing.sharp.willcom.in.japan/

    投稿者名 dldowney@comcast.net

  • Re: My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)




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  • Re:My view of how iPhone is doing in Japan by Nobi (Nobuyuki Hayashi)

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