Japan and the iPhone
Although not related to security, it seems to be a hot topic these days so I figure I would throw in my two cents.
Last Friday, someone was spreading rumors that Japan hates the iPhone.
This was followed up a couple days latter with someone claiming that this was all a lie.
I mostly agree with the second article.
I think there is a big misconception outside of Japan regarding cellphones here. Yes, we all know that Japan is several years ahead of the rest of the world IN HARDWARE but it doesn't mean Japan has the best cellphones in the world. That is mainly because only fancy hardware does not make a good phone. You need both good hardware and good software. And by far, the iPhone has the best software available to a phone that I have seen. (Although Android is probably going to catch up or surpass it in the next couple years...) There is no other phone in Japan with as big of a screen, a full fledged web browser (although not perfect...), millions of apps to satisfy your every needs, etc... (although it would be much better if if was jailbroken by default).
Yes, the camera sucks compared to all of the cameras in phones here, but when I ask my friends about it they say it is not a big factor in determining a phone. No, you can not charge money on it, or watch TV like with some local cellphones but people who actually use those functions are still an extreme minority.
I have only seen one DoCoMo P905i in real life that the first article claims that that is what everyone in Japan wants, and the person who owned it was American! And he does not even use any of the special features! It is completely false. That phone is way too expensive for anyone to buy here and just has extra fancy features that few would utilize.
To all of the friends here that I showed the iPhone to they are all very impressed and say they want one really bad.
The reaons why they do not buy one are:
1. No one I know has extra money to spend on a new cellphone even if it is only around $200. (Yes, the economy is bad and everyone is strapped for cash...big time...)
2. They can't change their carrier. The second article has some great insight in to why people do not like Soft Bank and would rather stick with their DoCoMo or AU.
3. They have no idea how to use it or what it is capable of.
Also, when the iPhone first came out, there was not very good marketing so no one knew what you could actually do with this phone. It got very bad reviews because the phone calls would drop, the browser would always crash, it didn't support emoji, etc...
Although all of these things have been fixed in the latest firmware, everyone still has the perception that this phone is nothing but problems.
Although it has emoji support now, it is still kind of lame and I can't put in as cool of images as my friends can do with their phones. Everyone I know is pretty crazy about having these cute little images in their text messages so this is actually still a big issue.
Also, typing on a touchscreen takes time getting used to and it is very difficult to do with one hand. This is also a big problem because most people do a lot of text messaging or fiddling with their phones on the trains where they need one hand to hold on to something so they only have one hand to manipulate their phone.
So Japan hates the iPhone as much as the U.S. hates Apple.
It is seen as a rich snobby person's toy that is impossible to use because they are not used to it.
It is the same reason why most of the world does not use OS X despite they it is a much superior operating system than Windows XP. They do not want the spend the time to learn a new OS, they do not want to pay for switching costs, there is a perception that all Macs require you to take out several loans in order to purchase, etc...
I do not want to make any specific predications of the future but I have a feeling that the iPhone will slowly but surely start replacing Japanese phones just like Macs are slowly but surely replacing people's PCs around the world.