“The iPhone, it’s safe to say, is big in Japan. Toward the end of last year, three out of every four smartphones sold in Japan were iPhones, according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech,” Mark Milian reports for Bloomberg. “Breaking into Japan was no cheap trick. To get there, Steve Jobs took a chance on a self-made Japanese billionaire who had a crude drawing of an iPod phone and no mobile carrier [of which] to speak.”

“SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son recounted how he scored the deal to become the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in Japan in a television interview with Charlie Rose that aired this week,” Milian reports. “Two years before Apple had officially acknowledged the iPhone’s existence, Son called Jobs and arranged for a meeting. Son showed up with a rough sketch of what he thought an Apple phone should look like.”

Milian reports, “‘I brought my little drawing of an iPod with mobile capabilities. I gave him my drawing, and Steve says, ‘Masa, don’t give me your drawing. I have my own,” Son recalled during the ‘Charlie Rose’ interview. ‘I said, ‘Well, I don’t need to give you my dirty paper, but once you have your own product, give me for Japan.’ And he said, ‘Masa, you are crazy.””

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]