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    Japanese mobile handset market

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 19日 Friday

    I used to change my handset every year because half year old models (new models come out twice a year) used to only cost about 3000 yen when bought online (and the battery life of the phones would seriously start to suck before even using it for a year). I’ve now switched over to PHS because it’s cheaper and can also be used as a mobile modem, but am now considering the iPhone as well…

    Threat to smaller Japan handset groups

    Previously, the handset was cheap or free, and paid for by a high monthly subscription.

    As a result, older users, who tended to keep their handset even after the end of the contract period, subsidised students who got a handset every two years.

    But now those older users simply continue on their Y980 tariff after the price of the handset is paid off, and younger users, faced with the true cost of a new phone, are not upgrading as often. The average life of a Japanese handset has gone from two years and seven months to more than three years.

    The resulting fall in handset sales hurts even more because the industry is so fragmented. Only the biggest player, Sharp, has a market share of more than 20 per cent according to IDC Japan, and only Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC have more than 10 per cent.

    The rest of the market is shared between Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Casio Hitachi, LG, Nokia and several smaller manufacturers – not least Apple, with the Japanese launch of the iPhone.

    Profits at all of these companies are under intense pressure and one likely result is consolidation.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    iPhone 3G Japan launch

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 11日 Friday

    People have been queuing up at the SoftBank flagship store in the trendy Omotesando shop (in Harajuku) of Tokyo since Monday the 7th for Apple’s iPhone 3G’s Japan release on Friday the 11th. The iPod phones are supposed to go on sale at 7am at the Omotesando store. A friend of mine went there and handed out Krispy Kreme donuts to her friends in the queue. Apparently the 10 pm news reported that there were 740 people waiting in line, and the line kept on growing. I wonder if the delivery to the Omotesando store will be enough for everyone in line. Then again, Apple doesn’t take the Nintendo/Sony approach to launch scarcity and reports mention that you should be able to buy one if you join the queue. Apparently there are people using their MacBooks in the line, but the batteries can’t possibly last that long…

    Hiroyuki Sano, a graduate student from Nagoya studying information engineering, was first in line.

    “I took a night train and got here at 6 a.m. yesterday,” he said, adding it took him about five hours to get to Tokyo.

    According to Sano, there were seven or eight other people who were checking to see when the line would start, and they eventually decided to play a game of rock, scissors and paper to decide who would be first.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, random, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »