Kudos to the dedicated reporters at AppleInsider for their recent fluff piece, proudly proclaiming that the new iPhone 3G rocks the Japanese smartphone market.
Here’s the synopsis of this fine bit of reportage:
Mobile providers in Japan are crediting the launch of Apple’s iPhone 3G with dramatically shifting large numbers of subscribers between providers.
Such a bold statement would have you believe that Japanese handset makers are simultaneously committing seppuku at the arrival of the JeebusPhone on their native soil. There’s just one little problem here: While not technically incorrect, AppleInsider’s premise is far more truthiness than truth.
Following the first external link leads to a story about KDDI losing subscribers to rival carrier SoftBank because of the iPhone. The page also states that SoftBank currently boasts more than double the subscribers of the mighty DoCoMo — a bit hard to believe, given that DoCoMo reached the impressive milestone of 50 million subscribers back in 2005. In fact, the company experienced a 41% growth in profits for Q1 2008, and continues to lead the world in revenue from mobile data.
AppleInsider then proceeds to list Japan-specific handset features like “QC Codes” (actually QR) and the “impractical” 1seg broadcast video service. Impractical or not, 1seg is actually quite popular in Japan, and 20 million handsets supporting the free service have been sold there.
And finally, there’s this little chesnut:
“Just the interface itself is enough reason for me to buy the iPhone,” said Andrew Shuttleworth in a Macworld story exploring the iPhone’s potential in the Japanese market.
Good for you, Andrew Shuttleworth! I guess the fact that, (1) you shill for MacWorld and (2) you speak and read English, just like the owner of the only iPhone I actually saw in the wild when I was in Japan last month, doesn’t give you any kind of bias on such matters?
While I can’t fault AppleInsider for telling zombie Mac fanboys exactly what they want to hear, I can tell you from firsthand experience that rumours of the iPhone supplanting the most advanced mobile phone market in the world have been greatly exaggerated…