Softbank announces iPhone 3G pricing in Japan

“Softbank Corp, Japan’s third-biggest mobile phone operator, said on Monday it would sell Apple Inc’s iPhones starting from 23,040 yen (US$214.6) in Japan,” Sachi Izumi reports for Reuters.

“Softbank said the monthly charge for iPhone users would be 7,280 yen, including unlimited data-transmission usage, if subscribers sign up for a plan that allows them to talk free between Softbank subscribers most of the day,” Izumi reports.

“An entry-level version of the new iPhone with 8 gigabytes of memory will cost 23,040 yen, while a higher-end model with twice the memory will cost 34,560 yen. Users can pay for the device over the course of two years,” Izumi reports.

Izumi reports, “Softbank and bigger rival NTT DoCoMo had been fighting for the right to launch the iPhone in Japan. Softbank won a contract to sell the much-hyped device from July 11, but DoCoMo said it had not given up on talks.”

More in the full article here.


  1. To Jayavarman VII: I’d be glad to if there was anything funny! (Carlin’s passing has left a void in the comedy universe.)
    This announcement from Softbank does sound like good news for the Japanese Apple fans. 7,280 yen is pretty close to the monthly fee in the U.S. if I’m reading that correctly.

  2. Expensive for me as I only pay for 2 White Plan monthly contracts, about 2 700 JPY, with family discount (free calls and mail between ‘family’ 24/7 etc, etc) but no data plan.


    The iPhone data plan is almost the same as the old Vodafone monthly contracts with a data plan (and the handsets were virtually free then).

    Is the iPhone cheap? As a handset to purchase it’s almost the same price as the US given the current exchange rate.

    Is the data plan cheap? Not really, it’s on the wrong side of 5 000JPY.

    Will it be successful? In terms of market share, the other carriers will most likely launch cheaper data plans to thwart the uptake of the iPhone.

    If the 7 280 JPY includes the cost of the handset then it’s more reasonable. If the cost of the handset must be added on top then 8 240 JPY to 8 720 JPY per month will make it tougher.

    Either way, I’m priced out of the market.

  3. “Expensive for me” – you have no data plan now. That’s alright, Polymer, ’cause you’re not using data now, and it looks like you won’t need it in the future, so I guess iPhone is too much ‘more than a phone’ for you. The data plan here (for me) is cheap as I am browsing on the web with it every day, everywhere I go. With free AT&T;to AT&T;calling, my rollover is in the thousands.

    Most importantly here, is that ‘other carriers will most likely launch cheaper data plans to thwart the uptake of iPhone’ is funny to me – ‘other carriers’ won’t be selling iPhone, and iPhone’s browsing (and UI in general) BLAST any other ‘handset.’ I know – I kind of giggle after someone pulls out an ‘iPhone-killer’ (insert model # here) and it loses every time! How gross are those UI’s running MS-M, anyway? I have yet to see a UI even come close to iPhone.

  4. I predict the Japanese sales will be over 10% all cell phone users and debunk the 91%-not-buying survey result posted last week. You can count on the Japanese to try out the latest and greatest tech gadgets. They have everything else, but they don’t have the iPhone.

    Interesting that NTT DoCoMo sees the iPhone as important market too, knowing that they were very into the Linux/open source platform early on. I would think they’d rather put Android front and center.

  5. For those that use a “smart phone” type of phone with Softbank currently (X series phones), they pay ¥9,800 for the unlimited data plan, plus ¥980 for the basic white plan family charge (total of ¥10,780). If they use a standard phone with unlimited data, but use the regular web browser, as opposed to the stripped down internet version, then they pay ¥5,985 per month (total of ¥6,965). The ¥7,280 price is in between the cost you pay for a cheap phone (just barely over) and the “smart phones”, which actually ends up being quite an aggressive price.

    That and the fact that when you buy a “good phone”, you are always ending up subsidizing the price of your phone in your monthly contract. The cost of the iPhone, White Plan (account type), and unlimited data is all included in the monthly rate, which is actually quite good compared to what already exists in regards to phone rates.

  6. Edit: The cost of ¥7,280 is the data only part. For the phone plan, you need to add on the ¥980 price as well for ¥8,260. Users will be allowed to subsidize the cost of the phone into their monthly plans and pay for it during the two years contract they sign.

  7. I stand corrected… I just read the press release in Japanese, which states that the ¥7,280 price includes everything in the basic plan costs, including the “White Plan” service, unlimited data, and the ¥315 email basic charge (tack on that ¥315 to the other prices I quoted). This makes the iPhone cost the same as other non-“smart phones” with full browser capability.

    This is an even better deal than I originally thought (compared to other models and phone types here in Japan).

  8. gone down in flames…………….

    Well, this pretty much puts an end to my hopes for an iPhone. Our household bill now (for two 3G phones with no data usage) is under 5000 yen.(My wife’s phone is around 3000yen and mine is about 1500yen). I showed the press release to her last night and her basic comment was “that’s ridiculous”. She’s borderline borderline anti-tech, so it’s not too surprising to hear her comment. Anyways, it looks like I may still have to carry around a phone AND an iPod ! (Here wishing for miracles on July 11th!)

  9. iPhone pricing details from the Japanese press release:


    White plan (calls) ¥980 +
    Data plan ¥5985 +
    Mail ¥315

    Total: ¥7280 (taxes included). This is about $68 per month, which is in-line with plans in other countries.

    The iPhone costs about ¥23 000 or ¥960 a month for twenty-four months for a total of ¥23 040 for the 8GB iPhone.

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