“First came ‘iPod shock,’ which knocked Japan’s favorite gadget — the Walkman from Sony, and its line of successors — off its long-held perch at the top of the tech-savvy wish list. Then came ‘iPhone shock,’ which sent Japan’s cellphone companies — long used to scoffing at the clunky offerings from their overseas peers — scrambling to develop similar smartphones,” Hiroko Tabuchi reports for The New York Times. “On Friday, ‘iPad shock’ hit Japan, threatening to bring upheaval to an ever-widening slew of industries in a nation once proud of being on the cutting edge of technology.”
“The iPad tablet computer from Apple went on sale in Japan and eight other countries — Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland — after selling more than one million units in the United States,” Tabuchi reports. “A flood of orders in Japan for the iPad caused Softbank, the exclusive phone carrier of the iPad in Japan, to stop accepting them after three days. About 1,200 people lined up for the release of the iPad at an Apple Store in central Tokyo on Friday… Similar lines were seen at Apple stores in Europe.”
“The hype around the iPad in Tokyo highlights what has become a sobering reality for a country once considered the technological trend-setter. Japan now frequently looks overseas for innovation,” Tabuchi reports. “Other industries are being shaken up by Apple’s latest export. Once solely focused on creating video games for dedicated consoles like the Wii from Nintendo and more recently for cellphones, the Japanese game developer Konami Digital Entertainment released an iPad version of its popular Metal Gear Solid Touch this year. Another game maker, Capcom, says it will reformat its BioHazard 4 for the iPad.”
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