Live in Japan? Want an iPhone 3G for FREE?

And we thought $99 rumors at Walmart sounded cheap! According to Apple Insider, if you live in Japan and don't mind signing a 2-year deal with official carrier SoftBank, you can take home an 8GB iPhone 3G for FREE!

No matter the exchange rate, zero is zero, so if you've been holding out for an iPhone of your very own, is this finally enough the sway you? And most importantly, what Emoji will you use to express your free iPhone feelings?

(For our non-Japanese readers think AT&T, Rogers, or any other carrier will match this deal any time soon..?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Here with t-mobile depending on the 2-year deal you choose you can get the iphone for free too. And that's both the 8 and 16 gig.
  • It's the same in the Uk on o2 on certain 18 month contracts. On the £45 you get the 8gb free and in the top £75 you get the 16gb free. This has been the case since the 3g launch. On the lowest contract (£30) the 8gb is £99
  • I know for a fact if it was for free here(in california) for AT&T my gf's whole family would get one. They just wont pay the $200+ price for the phone(even tho its totally worth it, same as the ipod touch) but thats about 6 iphones they can sell right there
  • Doesn't Japan use CDMA? If so couldn't you buy one there and get it activated here on a CDMA carrier? Assuming you wanted to pay full price just to be the only guy on Verizon with an iPhone. And assuming they would actually activate it if it even uses the same frequency.
    Sorry way off topic. :)
  • There are no CDMA iPhones in the entire world. Sorry.
    Korea is mostly CDMA, I believe. Japanese iPhones run on GSM, just like everywhere else :)
  • Rogers? Free? Ya, right.
  • GSM is not deployed in Japan. They use W-CDMA.
  • arg!
    hate these kinds of posts, and this kind of marketing. it's all subsidized by the contract, so these stories are meaningless unless the details of the contract are included along with the story.
  • @striatic absolutely.
    This won't be news to anyone outside of North America.
    For example Optus (and I assume the other Australian carriers) in Australia give away iPhones for "FREE" on a 24 month contract (yes OMG Free!!!!!!).
    The price is all built into the plan (in this case AUS$129/~USD$69 per month). Although some plans are better than other I don't think you can consider any of them giving you an iPhone for FREE.
  • @Rick
    So true!!
    The day Rogers gives the iPhone for "free", Bell and Telus would have to be GSM and giving away Storms at $0.
    If only...
  • For 8G, it is free with 2yr contract and for 16G, it is 115K yen (about US$120) and it is limited time offer up to the end of May.
    This phone support both WCDMA and GSM so that you should be able to use it around the world (well most of it).
  • @Daniel:
    These stories seems to counter what you claim of no GSM in Japan:
  • On the Softbank web site
    they have a page about the iphone, but its all in Japanese. When you hit the english button you get something else.
  • I've seen the N95 for $0 on Rogers with contract...
  • I don't think W-CDMA is the same as, or compatible with, North American CDMA/EVDO:
  • Hi. I am in Japan right now. There is no GSM system. The 2G system used here was developed in Japan and is called PDC.At first it did not include SMS or email. It was bolted on and introduced in the late 90's by J-Phone. J-Phone bacame Vodafone Japan which became Softbank.Softbank 3G is Wcdma at 2100 band. Au/Kddi mobile uses CDMA1X and Ev-Do.
  • Well Softbank has UMTS so that would give them a compatible 3G. They've been selling the phone since July, so they must have a fairly extensive 3g coverage area.
  • It's free in most markets. The USA seem to get screwed over with mobile pricing, surprising given the market size.
  • @ Glen. Yep, exactly what I was thinking. I am from Australia, and the iphone here is SOOO much better. Not only do we have the choice of any of the major carriers, we also haved tiered pricing plans (including $0 options), the option of buying outright and the option of officially unlocking it (for a fee of course). Also, because we have the choice of carriers, we can choose ones which don't have constant complaints drop-outs and poor reception, like AT&T. One of our major carriers Telstra, has built a 3G network not only for major cities, but for 97% of the population!!
  • Free!? Yeah right
  • Actually Telstra cover 98.9 percent of populated areas. I know because I used to be a mobile phone technician for Telstra I now work for optus and yeah we have wicked deals on it and it's 129 bucks to unlock the iPhone. Yeppp
  • I live in the Netherlands and my 16GB was free too.. 8 GB was always free here with a contract
  • @ jake. Yeah, Optus kind of sucks, they are cheaper, but their 3G coverage and speeds are horrible.
  • ok plz send me info iphone free
  • am looking for free ipod or iphone in japan
  • hello plzz send me info how to win or free iphone in japan
  • SoftTokyo Metro is correct. In order to use the iPhone in Japan, you must have 3G enabled (which is WCDMA). However, when I travel back to the USA to visit, I have no problem connecting to the cellular networks.. and paying expensive charges..