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Japanese "Hate" For the iPhone All a Big Mistake 327

Posted by Soulskill
from the downloading-the-ifud-app dept.
MBCook writes "AppleInsider has posted a great article explaining that Wired's story about Japanese iPhone hate was completely false and has been edited at least twice. The comments in the article were recycled and taken out of context, with those interviewed blogging about the mistakes. The piece then goes on to analyze the iPhone's standing in Japan, as well as some of the major factors working for and against it. At last it points out that the Wall Street Journal tried the same myth of failure just after the phone's launch in Japan, recycled from a myth the year before, pushed by a research company with a possible anti-Apple agenda."
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Japanese "Hate" For the iPhone All a Big Mistake

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  • by peektwice (726616) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:18AM (#27029805)
    but they keep re-electing their congressmen. Same thing applies here.
    • by gravos (912628) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:20AM (#27029821) Homepage
      Why do people persist in propagating the myth that there's cultural opposition to US products? Apple absolutely dominates the MP3 category with the iPod here, and the Macbooks sell like gangbusters. US cars don't sell well because a) they don't sell well in the US either b) half of the overseas models don't even come in RHD versions. Of course they don't sell. I won't consider an iPhone for all the reasons others have listed. Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?
      • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:43AM (#27029989) Homepage Journal

        Why do people persist in propagating the myth that there's cultural opposition to US products? Apple absolutely dominates the MP3 category with the iPod here, and the Macbooks sell like gangbusters.

        US cars don't sell well because a) they don't sell well in the US either b) half of the overseas models don't even come in RHD versions. Of course they don't sell.

        I won't consider an iPhone for all the reasons others have listed. Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?

        Why do people persist in propagating the myth that there's cultural opposition to US products?

        Because its not a myth. By and large, it is easy to bring goods into the USA because the USA has a tradition of a generally free trading country. Do a google and see what's involved into bringing goods from the USA into Japan, and then see what's involved in vice versa. If they wanted to bring in more competition and other goods, you'd see those doors being opened. But they aren't.

        • by pohl (872) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:25PM (#27030309) Homepage

          Do trade barriers count as "cultural opposition", though? Political and economic opposition, sure. But cultural?

          • Why not?

            If barriers exists that limit the exchange of ideas and customs, why would that not be considered a cultural barrier?

        • Why do people persist in propagating the myth that there's cultural opposition to US products? Apple absolutely dominates the MP3 category with the iPod here, and the Macbooks sell like gangbusters.

          US cars don't sell well because a) they don't sell well in the US either b) half of the overseas models don't even come in RHD versions. Of course they don't sell.

          I won't consider an iPhone for all the reasons others have listed. Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?

          Why do people persist in propagating the myth that there's cultural opposition to US products?

          Because its not a myth. By and large, it is easy to bring goods into the USA because the USA has a tradition of a generally free trading country. Do a google and see what's involved into bringing goods from the USA into Japan, and then see what's involved in vice versa. If they wanted to bring in more competition and other goods, you'd see those doors being opened. But they aren't.

          Bad example. Japan doesn't want anyone (U.S. or otherwise) entering their country at will and damaging their domestic industries. You know, like we let them do to us. I know you want to show that there's a specific bias against U.S. products, but you'll have to do better than that.

          • Bad example. Japan doesn't want anyone (U.S. or otherwise) entering their country at will and damaging their domestic industries. You know, like we let them do to us. I know you want to show that there's a specific bias against U.S. products, but you'll have to do better than that

            Alright, that's a fair observation. It's an anti-foreign thing. I can buy that. That's weird thing for Americans to grasp, as acceptance of foreign is so entrenched that I've been to dinner with people bitching about Japanese ca

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zero__Kelvin (151819)

          "Because it's not a myth."

          And how ma' brotha! Someday I hope there will be McDonald's restaurants all over the world, that Marlboro cigarettes will be prized by overseas citizens, and that Levi's will be a world reknowned brand, but until then, we just have to accept the truth and stop thinking it is a myth!

        • French cheese ? (roquefort) 300% import tax.
          Goose liver ? (foie gras) 300% tax.

          Reason ? France doesn't want to import "hormon treated" veal meet. (ever had a piece of veal that lost 50% of it's size when cooked ? => doped veal grow much much faster...)

          Importing french wine ? 50 different laws (one per state), named importers that all ask for exclusivity and try to dictate their prices because, well, they are the only ones you can pass through to import wine...

          Opening a good french restaurant in the US wi

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Scrameustache (459504)

          By and large, it is easy to bring goods into the USA because the USA has a tradition of a generally free trading country.

          [Citation needed] [bbc.co.uk]

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?

        Because the iPhone is a status symbol and your SoftBank isn't.

        Like I said in the last thread, I was traveling overseas when it came out and people were going crazy for it.
        Why would anyone buy a 2G phone in a country(s) blanketed by 3G towers?
        People who want to show off their wealth.
        /Not to mention that SoftBank phones are all just rebadged from major manufacturers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Status symbols are for fools. I have no interest in "keeping up with the Joneses" or even what they think about me using some ten-year-old phone. Most of today's economic recession was caused by people boring money they didn't have to try to impress others with shiny new gadgets/homes. AKA fools.

          • by mdwh2 (535323)

            Status symbols are for fools. I have no interest in "keeping up with the Joneses" or even what they think about me using some ten-year-old phone.

            I entirely agree. Although having said that, I always love it when I show that my crappy old cheap phone can still do the features that they've just bragged about their Iphone doing.

          • by Veggiesama (1203068) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @05:17PM (#27032853)

            Status symbols are for fools. I have no interest in "keeping up with the Joneses" or even what they think about me using some ten-year-old phone. Most of today's economic recession was caused by people boring money they didn't have to try to impress others with shiny new gadgets/homes. AKA fools.

            Correction: most of today's economic recession was caused by profit-driven lenders allowing people to borrow money and purchase homes that were beyond their means.

            You can't fault people for taking a good opportunity when they see it (stupid people or not), but you CAN fault snake oil salesmen for knowingly pushing shitty products onto stupid people for short-term gain.

            I don't mind fools as much as I mind people taking advantage of fools.

        • by mdwh2 (535323)

          Because the iPhone is a status symbol and your SoftBank isn't.

          Ladies and Gentlemen, next time you hear someone saying that people don't buy the Iphone to be cool, we can all reference the parent post.

          (I dispute that anyway. Sure, you might think it's a status symbol when you get it out and say "Look everyone, I'm dialing numbers and talking to someone who isn't here on my IpHoNe - isn't that cool?" but the rest of us just use our phones without making a fuss about it, suggesting we don't care. After all, if

      • Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?

        The reason I bought it was that it had one feature that actually worked, unlike other phones -- a web browser that didn't suck. I had been waiting for that for a LONG time.

        • by filthpickle (1199927) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @01:10PM (#27030689)
          This is the same reson I got it. And I haven't been disappointed at all...and I just paid the bill about 2 minutes ago.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Yes, but the Japanese web is mostly designed for use with crappy cellphone browsers, so it already sucks. Because their phone company charged by the minute, no one used dial up internet back in the day, but their cellphones were really good, so everyone used cellphones. So, their web has always had the assumption that your browser sucks built in.

      • by beelsebob (529313) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:00PM (#27030101)

        Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?
        Because less is often more.

        Take for example the most commonly cited complaint about the iPhone â" no MMS. Why would you want MMS? You have email. All MMS does is adds another option to the menu system and makes life more complex. Not only that but because there's no fixed standard, it more often than not sends messages that the receiving phone can't read. And finally, MMS is massively more costly to send than email.

        So there you go, you'd buy something with fewer features, because often, fewer features but well implemented is better.

        • by hitmark (640295)

          complex? depends.

          with mms you do not have to know two pieces of info about a person. only one, the phone number...

          there is a standard, but its largely ignored as its somewhat outdated (most specific in its image size limitation).

          and i have yet to see a mms that a reasonably modern phone cant read. now, if you send from a recently bought phone to a phone that was new when mms was first introduced, you may have issues. but hey, thats always a problem with legacy equipment.

          as for price, not a tech issue, but a

          • by beelsebob (529313)

            with mms you do not have to know two pieces of info about a person. only one, the phone number...
            Yes, but then if your phone has a well designed address book (like the iPhone) then all you need is one piece â" their name.

            if you send from a recently bought phone to a phone that was new when mms was first introduced, you may have issues. but hey, thats always a problem with legacy equipment.
            Really? I can send email to machines from the 1990s and they'll read it just fine!

            • by mdwh2 (535323)

              Yes, but then if your phone has a well designed address book (like the iPhone) then all you need is one piece â" their name.

              That's not what he means. If you know someone's number, but not their email (either on your phone, or at all), then even with the best address book ever (like the Motorola V980), it won't help you.

              Also the problem is that many people don't have phones that can read email attachments.

              Really? I can send email to machines from the 1990s and they'll read it just fine!

              Well, that's very

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Archimonde (668883)

              You are missing the point of what MMS is (or was) all about. It is very similar to instant/push e-mail. You can write as many text as you want, add some pictures and recipient will get the message virtually instantly, *on their mobile phone*. I can imagine that the e-mail is clearly superior if you have push system installed (exchange, mobileme, whatever) and you receive the e-mail immediately. But, if I'm not very much mistaken, large majority of mobile phones don't have push mail. I can see "smartphones"

            • "and i have yet to see a mms that a reasonably modern phone cant read. now, if you send from a recently bought phone to a phone that was new when mms was first introduced, you may have issues. but hey, thats always a problem with legacy equipment."

              "Really? I can send email to machines from the 1990s and they'll read it just fine!"

              If you send E-Mail conforming to RFC 822 [faqs.org] you'll be fine, bit if it uses MIME (RFC 1521 [faqs.org]) you will have at best a 50/50 chance. You see the MIME standard wasn't written until 1993,

        • If e-mail is so much better (and I agree, with that part), why does the iphone have SMS?

          If e-mail is better than MMS, then it must be better than SMS too. One could consider MMS legacy they don't want to support. But why support SMS then? Is there a reason why would you support only one part of the "legacy" system, and the other part you discard even though 99% of other mobile phones support it?

          • by beelsebob (529313)

            Because the number of phones that can receive emails is roughly the same as the number of phones that can receive MMS, while the number of phones that can receive SMS is massively higher. I fully expect SMS to disappear in favor of an instant messaging app on the iPhone in a few years.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Darkness404 (1287218)

              Because the number of phones that can receive emails is roughly the same as the number of phones that can receive MMS,

              Errr... No. While a lot of phones can use e-mail, few can use push e-mail like the iPhone and BlackBerry. In fact, taking out the iPhone, BlackBerry and some other smartphones (Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian), the list is very short. Compare that to where every phone made in the last ~5 years can get MMS messages, from low-end freebies to the latest in technology (obviously excluding the iPhone).

        • So there you go, you'd buy something with fewer features, because often, fewer features but well implemented is better..

          That pretty much sums up the iPod/iPhone's appeal. Not that the feature crazy among us will ever understand why.

        • by MrCrassic (994046)
          Then how do you explain the inability to delete ALL SMS or mark ALL email messages as read? This still doesn't answer back the missing copy and paste.
        • "Why would you want MMS? You have email.

          It actually turns out that it is not good enough to have E-Mail, the other person with whom I wish to communicate needs to have it too. Since that is often not the case, MMS is extremely useful, and you just gave me reason 1001 why the G1/Android Platform is far superior to the iPhone.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Take for example the most commonly cited complaint about the iPhone â" no MMS. Why would you want MMS? You have email.

          I don't have email on my phone. If you want to send me text, you're going to have to send me a SMS. (I don't pay for MMS...)

          The end of SMS and MMS can't come soon enough. But it hasn't come yet...

      • by Val314 (219766)

        Why would I intentionally saddle myself with a phone that has fewer features - ALOT fewer - than my current Softbank model? A model that's 1.5 years old now?

        I had a "smartphone" a view years ago that had pretty much everything: GPS, web browser, UMTS,...
        But nothing was usable. it was expensive, slow, confusing, huge, crashed constantly and had a poor battery life.

        I've switched to a "dump" phone that can do one thing: make phone calls (and Sync with my Computer)

        So (for me) more features are not important. it has to have the right features and those have to work.

        (and no, i wont buy an iPhone anytime soon, because its plans are way to expensive)

    • by Jurily (900488)

      but they keep re-electing their congressmen. Same thing applies here.

      Are these people elected? You're right bout the lack of responsibility though.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      That makes absolutely no sense. And out of that bunch, this article was the most interesting to read:

      http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/28/japanese_hate_for_iphone_all_a_big_mistake.html [appleinsider.com]

    • You know, I've often thought that "newspaper editor" should be an elected position. It's at least as important as any elected official, and the way that newspapers are slanted these days needs some new faces and fresh viewpoints.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430)

      ...except they don't.

      In case you didn't notice, a little while back, Congress went from mostly Republican, to mostly Democrat.

      I'd hardly call that 're-electing' their congressmen.

  • by nametaken (610866)

    Nice work, Wired.

  • by yotto (590067) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:34AM (#27029923) Homepage

    Oh woe is me! How will we ever survive if all print media dies from the internet? Where will we get our hard-hitting, guaranteed-factual news from then? /Yes, I know Wired isn't a newspaper.

    • by peragrin (659227)

      it is simple Wired was just fulfilling a contract obligation they have when they bought windows corporate licensing from MSFT. Isn't it obvious that it came out at the same time that Ballmer stated that the Iphone wasn't going anywhere, even though the iphone is selling more units by itself than all windows mobile handsets combined?

      Or maybe i should loosen the tinfoil around my neck and head.

    • >>>Yes, I know Wired isn't a newspaper.

      When I was in college Wired used to hand-out free magazines to the students. Do they still publish a magazine?

  • Either way... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:40AM (#27029967)

    Who gives a fuck? Japan hates the iPhone, Japan doesn't hate the iPhone; it's a god-damned fucking piece of electronics, not an economic programme or school of politico-philosophical thought. Is it really so important for your sense of self-satisfaction that people you'll never meet in a country you never go to buy the same plastic shit as you do? Fucking Christ, what a sorry species.

    • Re:Either way... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:48AM (#27030023)

      It is instinctive that people want to feel that they are making the right decisions. So when other people act similarly they receive validation that their choices are correct, even in minor lifestyle choices like buying Apple products.

      So when a whole country (well, not really) rejects a lifestyle choice that an iPhone user made, it makes them uncomfortable and they try to find reasons why their choice is different from the foreign norm. In this case, either they try to invalidate the data (which is hard to do) or they try to explain away the problem by diminishing the importance of the data.

      It is just a phone, but for many people it is also an expression of their personality. They don't want to be diminished, so they seek out those who are like-minded. This is the same type of behavior that can be seen at comic book conventions, furry conventions, and Star Trek conventions. Those of us who have no horse in this race should probably just stay as far away from the commotion as possible.

      • >>>So when other people act similarly they receive validation that their choices are correct

        Yeah but most people are Idiots who make BAD choices. I can understand the need to "fit in" when you're in high school, copying the same style as everyone else, but you'd think people would grow out of that phrase by the time they hit 30. Apparently not.

        • by khallow (566160)

          Yeah but most people are Idiots who make BAD choices. I can understand the need to "fit in" when you're in high school, copying the same style as everyone else, but you'd think people would grow out of that phrase by the time they hit 30. Apparently not.

          Since we're kind of on the subject, when are you planning to stop making BAD choices? The rest of us who make BAD choices, need a little guidance here.

      • Those of us who have no horse in this race should probably just stay as far away from the commotion as possible.

        Truer word were never written. Then again, I'm one of those people who will probably end up with an Android G2 just because it isn't an iPhone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      I agree, exactly - trying to claim that Japan "hates" the Iphone is buying into the pro-Apple Iphone hype just as much. As you say, it suggests that people in the US are offended that the Iphone isn't the best selling phone elsewhere (if it is even in the US - that seems to be another myth based on hype), and it implies that even for people who don't like it, they view it as a special case, in the same way that people "hate" Windows. People might hate Windows because it's the dominant platform, but it's lau

    • Re:Either way... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @02:34PM (#27031403)

      Who gives a fuck? Japan hates the iPhone, Japan doesn't hate the iPhone;

      I don't think that is the story here. I think the story is that the longer Fox owns the Wall Street Journal, the last we can trust their articles to not be utter fabrications or intentionally misleading. The real question to ask is what caused this particular bias.

  • by hackstraw (262471) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @11:52AM (#27030043)

    and that you have set the people in Japan and Wired straight.

    Keep up the good work Steve, and take care of yourself.

    -hackstraw

  • Wired Blatant Errors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by olafva (188481) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:01PM (#27030105) Homepage

    This shows just how shoddy WIRED stories are fabricated and sensationalized. I can't help but take that into account in reading future WIRED stories. WIRED credibility is seriously called into question by such blatant errors which articles source denies.

    • WIRED credibility? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hwyhobo (1420503) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:24PM (#27030291)

      WIRED credibility is seriously called into question by such blatant errors which articles source denies.

      WIRED credibility? I don't want to be disrespectful, but do people take WIRED seriously as a news source? I always thought it was just hundreds of pages of ads with a few fillers here and there masquerading as articles.

      To be sure, they didn't invent it, they were just particularly blatant about it. PC Magazine & others have done it before, but at least they tried the "comparo"-style fillers to attract readers and create a pretense of content. WIRED never bothered to go to such lengths. To quote WIRED is a bit like using one of those supermarket stand recycled-paper car trader brochures as a source of auto industry news.

      • by db32 (862117)
        WIRED is a f'ing joke. They are clueless sensationalists. My favorite is anything regarding the military. First they go on a huge rant about how security on military networks is a joke and the military is stupid and blah blah blah and they are wasting tax payer money surfing the web. Then a few months later they run a story about the Air Force locking down the proxy and blocking social networking sites among other things and suddenly it is all how they are crushing freedom and stealing free speach from
    • by samkass (174571)

      Yeah, that's par for the course for Wired these days. I used to think they were at least halfway credible until they did an article last year on a topic about which I know quite a lot. The article was, in most respects, the opposite of true. And it also "quoted" people who told me they'd said no such thing and stated as fact things that were verifiably false.

      Wired is pretty much The Inquirer of the tech world these days.

    • by mrsquid0 (1335303)

      I am not sure if Wired has ever been credible. I read it for a while in the mid-90s, not long after it started up, and it was not a reliable source of information even then. I have no idea what Wired is like now, but my early experiences with it were not good.

    • This is what happens when you read about wireless devices in a periodical called WIRED...

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      Because obviously an article from AppleInsider is completely trustworthy and unbiased when it comes to the Iphone!

  • Next article: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:01PM (#27030107) Homepage
    Why Slashdot Hates Journalistic Standards
  • by v1 (525388) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:14PM (#27030205) Homepage Journal

    $344 of actual examples of popular Windows Mobile apps included on the iPhone:
    -Dashboard: WorldMate Pro $75 "world clocks and weather forecasts, flight and travel information"
    -real email client: Pocket Informant $25 "replacement for Pocket Outlook on the Pocket PC"
    -real web browser: none seem to exist.
    -real contacts: Photo Contacts PRO $30
    -Photo browser: Imageer $15
    -iPod: Pocket Player MP3 player $20
    -Movies: Pocket DVD studio $30
    -TV: HandiTV $20 "watch TV from mobile devices"
    -Dial up networking: PDANet $34 "use your mobile as a modem!"
    -Calculator: Revolutionary Calculator $30
    -Touch screen type input: Full Screen Keyboard $10
    -PDF: PDF Reader $25
    -Notes: List Pro $30 âoeManage your notesâ

    Wow... I had no idea windows mobile apps were so expensive! I just got a touch recently and have about 20 apps installed on it, all but three of which were free. The three I bought were $0.99, $1.99, and $2.99. The most expensive app I saw while browsing was an incredible VNC client that does everything plus makes breakfast, for $24.99. over 1/2 the apps in the above list are more expensive than that.

    Does MS get some insane cut on the apps or what? Why are they so incredibly more expensive?

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      I think that list just shows you how biased that article is - and people are complaining about Wired? I think this shows who the real untrustworthy ones are.

      I don't know about Windows Mobile particularly, but large numbers of phones have decent built in browsers for free, and even for non-smartphones, anyone can (well, except Iphone users) download Opera Mini for free. Just about every phone on the market plays mp3s and views photos as standard.

      I suspect what they've done is track down expensive application

    • by DavidD_CA (750156)

      I have no idea what that list even is. I have a Windows Mobile phone from HTC and it came with nearly everything on that list. Opera Mobile, Pocket Outlook (which is a dame fine mobile email client), Contacts w/ Caller Photo ID, TouchFlo 3D which makes everything snazzy looking, Windows Mobile Media player plays MP3s movies and more, Internet Sharing and dial-up (who uses that anymore anyway?), the built-in Calculator is just fine, the built-in keyboard is fine, it came with Mobile Acrobat Reader, and a N

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      The list is misleading in a few ways. For example, IE on Windows Mobile is a "real" web browser, and it's included. (Although I don't know what definition of "real" they're using, I'm guessing it's one specifically designed to include mobile Safari and not mobile IE.) There's also a free Firefox version for Windows Mobile which I can't remember the name of right now.

      Also, the iPhone has dial-up networking? Seriously? WTF. I have one and I've never noticed that "feature" if it indeed exists.

    • $344 of actual examples of popular Windows Mobile apps included on the iPhone:
      -Dashboard: WorldMate Pro $75 "world clocks and weather forecasts, flight and travel information"
      -real email client: Pocket Informant $25 "replacement for Pocket Outlook on the Pocket PC"
      -real web browser: none seem to exist.
      -real contacts: Photo Contacts PRO $30
      -Photo browser: Imageer $15
      -iPod: Pocket Player MP3 player $20
      -Movies: Pocket DVD studio $30
      -TV: HandiTV $20 "watch TV from mobile devices"
      -Dial up networking: PDANet $34 "use your mobile as a modem!"
      -Calculator: Revolutionary Calculator $30
      -Touch screen type input: Full Screen Keyboard $10
      -PDF: PDF Reader $25
      -Notes: List Pro $30 âoeManage your notesâ

      Wow... I had no idea windows mobile apps were so expensive! I just got a touch recently and have about 20 apps installed on it, all but three of which were free. The three I bought were $0.99, $1.99, and $2.99. The most expensive app I saw while browsing was an incredible VNC client that does everything plus makes breakfast, for $24.99. over 1/2 the apps in the above list are more expensive than that.

      Does MS get some insane cut on the apps or what? Why are they so incredibly more expensive?

      The vast majority of WinMo apps are free. If you work hard, like the GP did, you can find pay-versions of the free software.

    • What's worse is how many phone applications come as subscriptions. I know people who get charged $20 a month for an email application. And then sometimes they make it somewhat difficult to cancel.
  • I have to ask (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:20PM (#27030245)

    Who cares? Not who cares that Wired fucked up, but who cares if the Japanese do or don't like the iPhone? I mean Apple cares, because they want to sell as many as possible, but why does the average person care?

    It seems to me like there is some misguided ideal in the US of an extremely tech savvy Japan. That the Japanese are far advanced technology wise, and if they don't like something, well it must be no good. Well, not really. Japan simply has a different set of tech priorities than the US. Huge surprise there, it's a different culture, and a different environment.

    Well what this means is that if something succeeds or fails in Japan simply means that it is something the Japanese do or don't like/find useful. That has no bearing at all on how good of a product it is. Something very well may bomb in Japan and do well in the US, or fail in the US and have huge sales in Japan. Sometimes it is just because of different needs. High end headphones are more common in Japan because of the small living spaces. For the same reason, full sized speakers are not. If you live in a 200sq ft apartment, it matters that your sound gear doesn't take up too much space. If you live in a 2000sq ft house, it really isn't a concern.

    Personally, I don't give a shit what the Japanese do or don't like. Doesn't affect me at all. They can do as they please, and I'll do as I please. If I look at a cellphone I am going to get it based on if it does what I want, not how popular it is, and certainly not how popular it is in a country I don't live in.

    So regardless of the truth of Wired's story, who cares? Get the iPhone because you like it (or don't because you don't), not because it gets the approval of anyone else.

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      Why does any 'average person' care about ANYTHING that's posted to slashdot, or all places?

      'News for Nerds', remember. Doesn't mean if you personally don't care, given slashdot's small but focused tech audience, probably some here will.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      That's the way I respond every time someone tells me that the Xbox is a failure because it doesn't sell well in Japan. As if selling well in the other 200+ countries doesn't matter a bit. It's ridiculous, and I also don't understand why I should give even a third of a shit that the Xbox isn't selling well in Japan.

    • Re:I have to ask (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ukyoCE (106879) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @02:44PM (#27031509) Journal

      Agreed. I went to Japan expecting it to be time travel. They would be flying around in cars miles above the city, teleporting from place to place, and tentacles would be all over the place just like deer or squirrels in the US.

      The WIRED article intentionally promotes this false view of japan. In reality, I didn't find anything in Japan we don't have in the US. A few niche items (like the R4 card for the DS) are easier to find in Tokyo than in the suburbs of the US. But it would be just as easy to find in a major city like New York or Chicago.

      So of course the article is claiming the iPhone is hated in japan (false) and the reason is because they have such great amazing phones (false) that Americans won't see for a decade.

      If the second premise were true, I could see that being reason for US consumers to care about the Wired article. Why buy an iphone if some crazy awesome japanese phone will be arriving in a couple months?

      Fortunately for Apple, that isn't the case. I didn't think Wired was this trashy, especially reading about the dishonest quotes that were preserved (in some form) despite the complaints.

  • I'm not sure I could go as far at to say that the Japanese practically invented gadget love, but they certainly contributed a lot to its present state. One interesting aspect of Japanese gadget love is that the duration of any given infatuation is typically a LOT shorter than in the U.S. In the U.S., our gadgets tend to range in age from 0 to 10 years. In Japan, my experience shows that the age range is about half of that and they REALLY care about features. Apple's features are "old news" to the Japane

  • But they don't use it either. Here's the facts: The phone market for Japan is the tightest in the world. Frankly, the phones sold there are generations ahead of what's sold elsewhere in the world. These phones do video teleconferencing, can be used to do wireless credit card transactions, digital TV, some of them can be used as train/bus passes, and even interface with vending machines (just point and click, and viola). The "iphone" frankly has a poor feature set, and oh yes -- it is not a flip phone. The j

    • by Garse Janacek (554329) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:58PM (#27030563)

      ...from everything I've read...

      ...which apparently didn't include TFA. Wired fabricated a quote about how the iPhone is lame compared to Japanese phones, and tried to attach it to two separate Japanese "authorities" on the subject, and both of those people then repudiated Wired's attribution and said that actually the iPhone is their favorite phone. The whole point of the article is that the iPhone is doing fairly well and people like it a lot over there -- the main thing holding it back is its carrier, which is sort of an underdog. And it turns out the iPhone is primarily responsible for major growth in that carrier anyway.

      So, you're basically repeating the same myths that the entire article was written to refute, since the article explicitly responds to most of your points... but by referring to "everything you've read", you still got modded informative. Oh well...

      • by Improv (2467)

        Regardless of whether the articles about it were built on fabricated quites or not (and if they are, it is a pity), given what I have seen of Japanese phones and conversations I've had, it is true that mid-to-high-end Japanese phones have a much richer feature set than the iPhone (even if their interface is not as nice). Is the iPhone hated? I doubt it - it's overpriced for the pricerange it's in, but it does have a very nice interface (and Apple has pushed the envelope enough here that other phone vendors

    • by Reapman (740286)

      Agreed... I spent 6 weeks in Japan so although not very scientific, the people I met there were interested in seeing my iPhone because they've never seen one in use over there. I saw almost everyone there had a cellphone, never saw an iPhone. In Canada here I see them all the time. I agree my iPhone just doesn't have a lot of features compared to one of theirs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      I entirely agree - and similar is true for Europe.

      I would argue that trying to claim they "hate" the Iphone is still pro-Apple hate in a way - "If they're not buying the Iphone, it couldn't possibly be that they're happier using existing phones that have already been doing what the Iphone does, and more - no, it must be because they have an irrational hate for it", rationalises the Iphone fan.

      And then, for bonus points, we can follow up with an article whining that this is part of some "pro-Apple agenda" -

    • But as I'm sure there's someone who actually lives in japan around on the forums, please post back and tell us what the real story is... I only talk to people online.

      Ok.

      But they don't use it either. Here's the facts: The phone market for Japan is the tightest in the world. Frankly, the phones sold there are generations ahead of what's sold elsewhere in the world. These phones do video teleconferencing, can be used to do wireless credit card transactions, digital TV, some of them can be used as train/bus passes, and even interface with vending machines (just point and click, and viola).

      Most phones have a video call option, but I've never used it, nor do I know anyone that uses it. Digital TV (called 1seg) is popular now, and it might be a feature that effects purchasing decisions. Pasmo/Suica (digital train pass cards) are already widely used, so there's not a real need to add the feature to a phone. Vending machines are everywhere, but the kind you're talking about must be pretty rare. So, yes, Digital TV is an important feature, but that hardly equates to the iPhone having a poor

  • IMO (Score:2, Informative)

    by thexile (1058552)
    The rebuke comes from AppleInsider. How partial can it be?
    • Re:IMO (Score:5, Informative)

      by Garse Janacek (554329) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @01:02PM (#27030609)

      The rebuke comes from AppleInsider. How partial can it be?

      Good point. If only it cited its sources, thus allowing some way for its claims to be verified.

      Come on now. This story is about blatant journalistic fraud. They give explicit documentation on how Wired completely fabricated important facts in order to make a sensational-sounding story. If their claim was "The iPhone is the best thing evar and EVERYONE LOVES IT", you'd have a point, but the article is mostly about how Wired repeatedly lied in its article, and then they present data to basically argue "the iPhone is doing pretty okay in Japan". They aren't making particularly inflated claims...

  • #1 Music App (Score:5, Informative)

    by sabernar (245306) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @12:26PM (#27030323) Homepage

    My partners and I had the #1 Music app in Japan for several weeks last month (Boombox - http://tiny.cc/Lrd5g [tiny.cc]), so they are definitely interested in the iPhone. Just because they don't buy the phone in the same numbers as in the US doesn't mean they hate it. It seems like it's doing fairly well over there.

  • by zerojoker (812874) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @01:11PM (#27030697)
    I am sorry, but this is not true anymore. Or rather, it depends on how you define "ahead".
    Japanese cell-phones are all about the "bling".
    Take my phone for example, which looks great on the feature-list: 3 MP Camera, Japanese-English dictionary, Web-browser etc. etc.
    Thing is, that most of the features are so hard to use, that noone ever uses them.
    The Web-browser is a joke. It works in theory, in practice it completely fails at every second web-page.
    Sure, you can view i-mode pages (which is quite a big thing in Japan) but in the "western"-world everyone is interested in the "real"-web.
    There is basically no function to synch the calendar/mails with the PC. No software as far as I know (docomo). Nobody synchs his cellphone with the PC, that's why.
    There is no bluetooth, even among the latest models, so, how to connect to your PC, i.e. for sharing mp3/pictures etc.?
    It's so hard to enter a word in the dictionary (you have to go through 4 or 5 layers of menus), that you're faster looking it up in a paper-dictionary.
    Japanese people use their phone for three things: Phone, e-mail/messaging and surfing i-mode.
    That's it. In 2000, that was maybe 10 years ahead. Nowadays it's a joke.
    btw, you know what was the comment of my gf, when I said that I would like to have a phone with a full qwerty-keyboard, complaining that, at that time, no phone was available?
    Who would've want that anyway? It's too bulky, it looks ugly!
    It's all about the bling (TM). If the iPhone sells reasonable it's not because of the revolutionary way of actually being able to use the features. It sells because it from Apple and considered "cool" and "western". Brand recognition, like Starbucks.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by filthpickle (1199927)

      It's all about the bling (TM)

      I think that the forums here have conclusively proven that only Americans could be so crass. Are you suggesting that acting that way is just part of the human condition for some people? A bold statement sir.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      How do phones like Blackberries do in Japan? I find it really, really hard to believe that businessmen don't sync their phones with their email. That's a huge segment of the cellphone market here in the US. (And the smartest thing Apple ever did with the iPhone is adding in Exchange sync, so they could eat away at Blackberry.)

      • I don't know how well Blackberries do in Japan, but having just moved to Canada from England I am astounded by the number of Blackberries I see here!

        In Europe the only people who have one of those are the poor people who's boss has suckered them into accepting one so that they can be "at work 24/7". :) Well more seriously, the Blackberry market in Europe is driven entirely by BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) which was up until only 2 or so years ago the only reliable way to get corporate email on mobile d

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @07:08PM (#27033935) Homepage Journal

      the features are so hard to use, that noone ever uses them.

      And that's why Apple gets away with higher prices for similar devices: Their interfaces are polished and shiny and functional.

      There were MP3 players before the iPod, but none that worked so elegantly.

    • by earthbound kid (859282) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @07:48PM (#27034235) Homepage

      btw, you know what was the comment of my gf, when I said that I would like to have a phone with a full qwerty-keyboard, complaining that, at that time, no phone was available?

      The Japanese I know prefer cellphone-style input for Japanese to qwerty. The Japanese alphabet just so happens to split up logically into ten groups, so it makes a lot of sense to use a number pad to type them. Combined with predictive text, it's pretty quick. On the other hand, the layout of the qwerty keyboard is basically random. So, the Japanese aren't really interested in using micro keyboards when a number pad works well enough and doesn't hurt your thumbs.

  • ...And laugh at all the idiots who thought it was "obvious" the iPhone was doomed to be a failure in Japan.
  • by carlzum (832868) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @01:49PM (#27031027)
    The Japanese phone of choice, the Panasonic P905i [engadget.com], would be a tough sell in the US. Sure, a big screen and TV tuner are nice features, but it's big and ugly [phonemag.com]. Americans spend their time in their cars and homes, surrounded by televisions. A handheld TV may be useful in Japan, but I doubt many people in the US would waste their time uploading videos to their phone. The iPhone has a thin case, simple interface, and applications Americans want on the go (email, web, youtube, etc). Surprise, people in Japan and the US have different preferences.
  • by Oyume (464420) <jdshaffer@gmaiLISPl.com minus language> on Sunday March 01, 2009 @08:33PM (#27034591)

    I live in Japan and have been here for just over 9 years. And just about everyone I know (Japanese and foreigners alike) either have an iPhone or are dying to get one. Yours truly included.

  • by Swift2001 (874553) on Monday March 02, 2009 @12:43PM (#27041249)

    It's about some guy who had an obvious anti-Apple agenda. Don't like Apple products? It's a free country. But this article was twisted unfairly to make the facts fit the conclusion. That's unacceptable to tech journalism, if it actually exists. If there's a story about the iPhone's acceptance or lack of acceptance in Japan, then tell us the facts.
    It's getting so bad that even Wired is as useless as Fox or CNN to the provision of information. Enough yellow journalism, whether its source is the Hearst papers of yore or the hip Wired. Stop throwing sand in our eyes, you bastards.

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