“Although there were teething pains associated with using an iPhone in Japan at first, the product’s breakthroughs were no less revolutionary here. Apple’s brand was already very strong, and the iPhone was always going to find at least some audience among Japan’s affluent, tech-savvy consumers,” Sam Byford writes for The Verge. “But it wouldn’t have reached critical mass without some extremely aggressive moves from its initial carrier partner, SoftBank.”
“SoftBank secured exclusive rights to the iPhone in Japan much like AT&T did in the US. Japanese carriers, however, were traditionally far more involved in the development of phones, and Japan’s two biggest — KDDI and the dominant NTT Docomo — refused to sell the iPhone for years,” Byford writes. “This gave SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, a longtime friend and admirer of Steve Jobs, an opening to differentiate his also-ran network. Son deployed audacious pricing and smart marketing campaigns to position the iPhone as an exotic, advanced, and attainable device. I got my 3G in 2009 for essentially nothing via a campaign called ‘iPhone for everybody.'”
“The SoftBank CEO’s relationship with Jobs also helped Apple tailor the iPhone for Japan,” Byford writes. “‘Masayoshi Son was quick to start persuading Apple how important emoji is in the Japanese market and Apple decided to make the change,’ veteran Japanese tech journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi tells me. ‘If the initial iPhone carrier were someone else, I am not sure if they could successfully persuade Steve Jobs to add emoji to the iPhone.'”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Kakumei-teki!
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