NTT DoCoMo and Apple Hold Hands but Won't Confirm Wedding Plans

godzilla-iphone.jpg

iPhone may soon come to the land of the rising sun. Word on the street is that NTT DoCoMo head honcho, Masao Nakamura, has been seen in public holding hands with a certain American wearing faded denim jeans and black mock turtleneck sweater. He confirms today that his company is actively engaged in talks with Apple, but shrugged off questions concerning terms or product release dates.

I'll lay you odds that Apple won't swindle the same lucrative revenue sharing margins out of NTT that they've managed to extract from other wireless carriers, like our very own AT&T. And unless this agreement concerns the upcoming 3G model, iPhone has zero chance of success in Japan, which is a much more tech savvy market that doesn't look kindly on non-HSDPA phones.

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NTT DoCoMo and Apple Hold Hands but Won't Confirm Wedding Plans

29 Comments

I hate to point this out but the current model iPhone literally doesn't work in Japan—there is no GSM network in Japan. Therefore it has to be a 3G model. Your correct, though snide, comments about the Japanese telecom market are… well… stupid. The only phones that work in Japan are reversed frequency CDMA phones (all three), 3G UMTS phones (NTT DoCoMo & Softbank Mobile), and EV-DO phones (Au/KDDI) of which UMTS is the 3G standard for AT&T (albeit on a different frequency) and Europe.
Sadly Au/KDDI is the best network in Japan, so the iPhone follows the tradition set by earlier deals in winding up with a crappy network partner—in this case NTT DoCoMo.
The only question is whether there are two iPhone 3G models or one. Having one requires a tri-band UMTS chip running on 850/1900 MHz for AT&T and Rogers (Canada) along with 2100 MHz for Europe, Japan, and South Korea. However from what I know tri-band chips remain fairly bulky so Apple may choose to release a North American 3G model and a Europe/Japan/South Korea model to keep the iPhone slim.
The more interesting thing is whether the iPhone supports the Japanese mobile market features: e-cash, QR barcodes, one-seg TV, and the like.

Whoops, it's reversed frequency (from the North American version) CDMA phones on Au/KDDI while NTT DoCoMo used a Pacific Rim network standard called PHS. (Softbank Mobile didn't exist back then, and has only ever used UMTS.)
Regardless Japan is basically UMTS or EV-DO only mobiles at the moment. So Japan will get a 3G iPhone when Europe does, as they operate on the 2100 MHz band with UMTS. (Of course Apple may choose to produce a CDMA/EV-DO handset that'll work on Au/KDDI but that's pretty unlikely.)

Yeah, but the Japanese will always prefer Samsung and Motorola. SCH-U940... i760... Moto Q 9c... they're all built for the Japanese culture. They'll reject an American product. Having used those other phones (and the iPhone), I can't really blame them.
http://comparati.com/comparisons/iphone

they’re all built for the Japanese culture. They’ll reject an American product.

Japan has always been a rather zenophobic market that favors home grown consumer electronics makers, particularly SONY. Apple historically does well there, despite the bias, at least where its Mac line is concerned.
Whether iPhone will succeed there is a crap shoot. From my understanding Japanese culture seems to favor what we in North America might consider flip phones on steroids; sporting large displays and decked in every color in the pantone color wheel. An entire market exists for consumers to adorn their phones with charms and dangly lanyards things.
iPhone has certainly generated enough hype outside the US to spark demand even in a monoculture market like Japan. I'm optimistic.

The problem is in that the current apple iphone is not 3G and Apple have no intentions of releasing such an iphone until mid-2008 - so perhaps that's the wedding date you are looking for.

I think they will actually use Japan as a test market for the 3G model - gaining user feedback before a USA/Europe release of the new apple iphone. This would put the wedding date at Spring 2008.

He doesn't have time to update his blog because he's still texting "Happy New Year homeslice!!!1!" to each of his friends individually thanks to iPhone's lack of a multi-recipient text capability. Man I wish they'd fix that, ugh. Such a simple feature; I have no clue why it wasn't included or fixed in a firmware update.

Douchey McGee, apparently in the next update (1.1.3) there will be a multi-recipient text capability. (So says the folks over at gearlive.com) Apparently they received an early release of the 1.1.3 update. There are also some other cool updates coming. The question is when? Prolly later on in the night of the MacWorld Expo. I think it will be before the February release of the SDK that Jobs and his minions are planning on releasing. Check out the link.
http://www.gearlive.com/news/article/q407-iphone-113-firmware-feature-ga...

Wow, that's great to hear Tony G, thanks for the update. :-)
I don't text all that much but when I do want to send a quick message off to a few friends regarding happy hour or something like that, it really is a pain to have to do each one individually. I'm really looking forward to the multi-recipient feature being added.

Word on the net is that the firmware update will hit Saturday sometime, (the 15th) weather this be true or not, only time will tell. In the mean time, keep pluggin them iPhones in and wait to get an update message.

Hey Shopcorrect, it sometimes helps if you SPELL your website properly. Way to go asshat!
As far as Kent's blog, I think it's as dead as old poop. Too bad. Off to MacRumors instead.

Check this out. Wanna bunch of stuff for your iPhone? it's cheap! I just paid 50 bucks for a lifetime membership.
What I'm saying is, after that one flat rate I got unlimited downloads for everything.
Seriously, music, movies and loads more.
I'm not a salesman, just a fellow iPhone owner.
Check out, http://themaz.downloadcb.hop.clickbank.net/

Since this blog appears to be dead, can anyone suggest another good blog or news source for the latest iPhone info and updates? Thanks!

Ever since Kent got hemorrhoids, he can no longer sit at a computer and type out a Blog. I've been going to http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/ for a while not to get more updated news.
It's a good site that is updated more than other iphone blogs out there. If waiting for Kent's hemorrhoids to deflate is getting boring and you're looking for another place for iPhone news, I highly recommend it.

Kent... where are you? Is there anybody out there? I know you were having some difficulty with time management, but perhaps you could squeeze out a WEEKLY update? We miss you.

Hemorrhoids? How the bloody hell did you know about that? Do I have an asscam attached to my toilet? That really burns my... well, enough of that.
@Brad
No, it's not dead, but definitely old poop. Even the flies have left. But I have returned from the vacuum of space to resume writing, so maggots will soon be feasting on my work once more.

Actually if I owned a laptop I would be posting ten thousand times more often. But alas, my wallet is anorexic right now, and I'm saving my coinage to buy a shiny new MacBook Pro someday. Someday. I have my annual MacWorld Drool bib ready for next week's Stevenote, in anticipation of cool new portables, if only to gawk at.

Hmm, ikeep pluggin them iPhones in and wait to get an update message. But it doesn´t update. Anyone same problem?

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