invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“The debut of Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer in Japan is generating a level of hype and excitement rarely seen these days for a new electronics product in this gadget-loving nation, underscoring the paucity of buzz-worthy, homegrown devices,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“While Japanese companies prioritized hardware muscle and superior specifications, overseas rivals emphasized user interface and software to enhance ease of use,” Wakabayashi reports. “After already selling more than one million units in the U.S. since going on sale April 3, the iPad launches Friday in Japan and eight other countries. Softbank Corp., Apple’s exclusive mobile carrier in Japan for the iPad, stopped accepting reservations for the device after only three days.”

“More than a half-dozen Japanese business and technology magazines ran cover stories about the iPad’s debut, with one declaring in English: ‘Here comes the game-changer,'” Wakabayashi reports. “Lines were forming Thursday at Apple stores and Softbank outlets in Tokyo. Most of the waiting customers had already reserved an iPad a few weeks earlier, but they were willing to wait overnight to get the device as soon as the doors open. ‘Japanese products are very capable and powerful, but they don’t have the same charm as ones made by Apple,’ said 21-year-old college student Kazuto Ishimura, who was the third customer on line outside the Apple store in the upscale Ginza neighborhood.”

“In one Twitter exchange, Mitsuru Yoshii, who works at a music school in Tokyo, sent a message to Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son saying that the iPad was the ’21st century’s black ships,'” ” Wakabayashi reports. “In response to the historical reference to the U.S. Naval fleet that opened up Japan to the West in 1853, Mr. Son, who aggressively sought out Apple to bring the iPhone and now the iPad to the carrier’s network, wrote back: ‘Indeed!'”

Full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Note to analysts: Bump up those iPad unit sales estimates yet again and maybe someday you’ll get up into realistic ranges.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]