In Japan, the launch of the iPhone 3G went as well as other countries: the most recent data declares sales for 200 thousand units in the first two months. Now due to the peculiarities of the Japanese mobile market they are re-emerging and, together with some weak points of the Apple smartphone, first of all the high price, they are slowing down the sales of the iPhone significantly.
Among the countries affected by the wave of iPhone 3G and the launch of 11 July, Japan has been one of the most observed: it is in fact a single market at a global level as regards cellular telephony. Despite being a particularly rich market, with 50 million mobile phones sold every year, the main names in global telephony have a hard life here. Nokia itself, the undisputed leader in most countries, holds only 1 percent of the market in Japan, while the local Sharp, which has little presence abroad, boasts 25 percent of all sales.
Advanced terminals capable of surfing the Web, receiving and viewing television broadcasts, high resolution cameras and even the possibility of paying for train tickets and entrances via mobile phone: these are some of the functions that the Japanese have been used to managing for years by pocket terminals evolved from time available here. From this point of view, the numerous functions of the iPhone are not new, in addition, if compared with several local advanced phones, the Apple phone is decidedly more expensive: both during the purchase phase, and especially for the salty monthly subscription plans.
The point of the situation on the iPhone 3G in Japan was elaborated by The Wall Street Journal and based on market research developed by the MM Research company. In addition to the high price, iPhone 3G cannot offer different emoticons and graphic symbols that Japanese users love to insert in their messages to make them more lively and friendly. Finally, MM Researh analysts note that Japanese users, who have always been unwilling to shop online with credit cards, use little and do not know how to fully appreciate the advantages offered by the App Store.
The prospects for iPhone 3G in Japan are not rosy: instead of the million units initially planned, analysts believe that Apple will struggle to reach sales of 500 thousand pieces, therefore equal to half of that programmed. To further push the sales of the Apple terminal, analysts suggest Cupertino to better illustrate the advantages and the numerous new features made possible by the App Store to potential oriental buyers, with practical demonstrations of what can be done with the iPhone.