July 11, 2008

Apple’s iPhone 3G Makes Strong Debut in Japan

Tokyo, July 11 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Apple Inc.'s next-generation iPhone mobile handset made its strong Japanese market debut Friday morning, with more than 1,500 customers making a long line from the night before in front of the first store to sell the cool gadget in central Tokyo.

The iPhone 3G, launched at Softbank Mobile Corp.'s retail outlet in the posh Omotesando district, is becoming available for purchase at other Softbank shops and electronics retail stores across Japan from noon.

The Internet-enabled handset features a touch screen that shows a visual keyboard. It also allows high-speed data communications based on the third-generation format.

Softbank Mobile, a unit of Internet and telecommunications service provider Softbank Corp. , has obtained rights to sell in Japan the iPhone 3G, a new model that made its worldwide debut the same day. The iPhone 3G's predecessor already has been sold in Europe and the United States and attracted strong demand there.

Appearing at the Omotesando shop just before iPhone 3G sales began, Softbank President Masayoshi Son said, "There may come a time when people find it more comfortable to access the Internet via iPhone handsets than via personal computers."

Buying the iPhone 3G by 24 installments would cost users 8,240- 8,720 yen per month, inclusive of the handset price and data communications fees.END

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