Japanese Interest in iPhone Grows After Price Announcement

Jul 14, 2008
Yukiko Kanou, Nikkei Electronics
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Japanese mobile phone users' willingness to buy "iPhone," a mobile phone of Apple Inc, increased after its price was announced, according to a survey by iShare, a research company in Japan.

iShare conducted a survey on the willingness to buy an iPhone June 5 to 6, 2008 (See related article). But the company did another survey June 27 to 30, 2008, to know how the users' willingness to buy the iPhone changed after the handset price and the price plans were announced.

The respondents are 427 Internet users, and the majority of them are in their 20s to 40s. The mobile phone carriers that they subscribe to are NTT DoCoMo Inc (40.5%), KDDI Corp (28.6%), Softbank Mobile Corp (21.5%), Willcom Inc (6.3%) and other carriers including eMobile Ltd (3.1%).

According to the survey, 14.5% of the respondents are planning on/considering buying an iPhone, a 5.6% increase from 8.9% of the previous survey. More specifically, 6.1% began to plan on/consider purchasing one because of the announced handset price and price plans, 6.3% had been planning on/considering buying one before the announcement, and 2.1% are planning on/considering buying one for other reasons.

By mobile phone carrier, more than 20% of the subscribers to Softbank Mobile are planning on/considering purchasing an iPhone, and about 10% of the subscribers to other carriers are planning on/considering buying one.

On the other hand, 85.5% of the respondents answered, "The iPhone is unnecessary" or "I am not interested in the iPhone." The reasons are as follows: "I prefer the mobile phone that I am currently using" (29.3%), "The handset price is too expensive" (18.4%), "The mass media made too much fuss" (16.7%), "It seems difficult to use" (14.2%), "It does not have a 1-seg digital TV tuner" 12.6%) and "It does not feature 'Osaifu-Keitai (contactless mobile IC card)' capabilities" (11.2%).

Also, some respondents are not satisfied with the carrier. In fact, 25.0% of those who answered "The iPhone is unnecessary" or "I am not interested in the iPhone" said they would buy an iPhone if it were released from other carriers, NTT DoCoMo (11.8%), KDDI (8.8%), Willcom (3.3%) and eMobile (1.1%).