iPhone in Japan – in the press

Here some articles about the panel discussion at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on the topic “Will The iPhone Trigger A Turning Point In Japan’s Mobile Phone Industry?”

Apple iPhone is having success in Japan against local internet mobiles (The Australian)

The iPhone’s impact in Japan (BusinessWeek)

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75% of mobile phones in Japan ship with digital mobile TV

Digital mobile TV started in Japan in 2005 – about 3 years ago: KDDI/AU sold the first phones with digital mobile TV starting in October 2005, at the same time mobile TV was available for public testing. The official commercial service of mobile TV started on April 1, 2006.

Today more than 75% ship with 1-seg mobile digital TV tuner and software, and the percentage is rapidly increasing as the figure below shows. Quite soon, almost all mobile phones in Japan will ship with digital mobile TV.

Percentage of Japanese mobile phones shipped with 1seg mobile TV built in
Percentage of Japanese mobile phones shipped with 1seg mobile TV built in

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Last 2G phone shipped 8 months ago in Japan

Second generation (2G) phones silently bowed out of Japan’s market 8 months ago: the last 2G phones in Japan were shipped in December 2007. KDDI/AU switched off their 2G radio network in March this year, and both DoCoMo and SoftBank announced that they will switch off their slow and expensive 2G networks in the very near future (about 2009). Almost all other countries in the world either depend on legacy 2G networks only, or keep legacy 2G going while building out third generation in parallel. (Today’s 3G HSDPA phones transmit data up to 250 times faster than 2G phones did on a good day).

Dynamics of 3G mobile adoption in Japan: ratio of 3G and 2G mobile phones shipped in Japan
Dynamics of 3G mobile adoption in Japan: ratio of 3G and 2G mobile phones shipped in Japan

The last 2nd generation (2G) phones shipped in Japan in December 2007. Almost all other countries keep legacy 2G networks running – Japan just switches them off. More in our JCOMM report.

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Will the iPhone trigger a turning point in Japan’s mobile phone industry?

Tetsuzo Matsumoto (Senior Executive Vice-President and Board Member of SOFTBANK MOBILE Corporation),
Gerhard Fasol (CEO, Eurotechnology Japan KK)
and
Dennis Normile (Japan Correspondent of SCIENCE Magazine, and FCCJ)
discuss about the future of Japan’s mobile phone market.

“Will the iPhone trigger a turning point in Japan’s mobile phone industry?”
(Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Tokyo Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 12:00-14:00)

(Photo: Copyright Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, used with permission)

Left to right: Gerhard Fasol (Eurotechnology Japan), Tetsuzo Matsumoto (VP SoftBank-Mobile) and Dennis Normile discuss the iPhone market entry to Japan
Left to right: Gerhard Fasol (Eurotechnology Japan), Tetsuzo Matsumoto (VP SoftBank-Mobile) and Dennis Normile discuss the iPhone market entry to Japan

Copyright·©2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

How many iPhones were sold in July 2008 in Japan?

How many iPhones did SoftBank sell in Japan during July?

Our estimate: between 75,000 – 125,000. Read on about how we arrived at this estimate.

Net growth of mobile subscription numbers in Japan (Japan’s mobile market grows by about 5.5 million per year – for more analysis read our JCOMM-Report).

Growth/loss of mobile subscriptions of Japan's mobile operators during the period 2006-2008
Growth/loss of mobile subscriptions of Japan’s mobile operators during the period 2006-2008

How did we arrive at the estimate of 75,000-125,000 iPhones sold in Japan during July?

When we analyze the Figure above, we can see that SoftBank‘s subscriber numbers increased by 158,900 during June 2008, and the monthly increase jumped to 215,400 during July 2008. We can also see that for no other month except for March 2006, March 2007, and March 2008 was there such a jump (in Japan March is the month of peak mobile phone sales, because new jobs traditionally start with the beginning of the financial year on April, 1). Since SoftBank did not introduce any other spectacular phones during July 2008, we can safely assume that most of the 56,500 net increase jump from June to July are iPhone sales to new subscribers, or new subscriptions for second phones, or number portability users moving over from DoCoMo or KDDI. However, this number would not count current SoftBank subscribers who are upgrading existing subscriptions from a previous older phone to an iPhone. Since we are not aware that SoftBank announces this number, we need to estimate it. If we assume that there were equal numbers of new subscriptions for iPhones as replacements, we would arrive at an estimate of 100,000 iPhones sold during July 2008 in Japan. If we estimate, that this second assumption has a +/- 50% error margin, then we arrive at an estimate of between 75,000-125,000 iPhones sold in Japan during July 2008.

Our estimate: about 640,000 – 1 Million iPhones may be sold in Japan during 2008:

If we assume that iPhone sales in Japan will continue at the current rate, then we can estimate that between 640,000 – 1 Million iPhones could be sold during the remaining part of 2008 in Japan, which would be about 1.2% – 2% of mobile phones sold during 2008.

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NTT-Data expands to Europe: Acquisition of Cirquent GmbH

NTT

NTT Data and BMW agreed today, that NTT Data will acquire 72.9% of outstanding shares of Cirquent GmbH

NTT Data thus gains BMW as largest customer in Europe

Today, August 1, 2008, NTT Data and BMW agreed, that NTT Data will acquire 72.9% of the outstanding shares of Cirquent GmbH in order to globalize.

Cirquent was part of the BMW Group, and is Germany’s 7th biggest system integrator

Between 1992-2008 Cirquent was part of the BMW Group. Cirquent is No. 7 in the Luenendonk ranking of German system integrators. Among Cirquent customers are BMW, Deutsche Boerse, Muenchner Rueck (reinsurer), and T-Mobile Germany. Cirquent has about 1800 employees and achieved sales of EURO 286 Million in 2007.

Cirquent share ownership ratios after this acquisition:

  • 72.9% NTT Data
  • 25.1% BMW AG
  • 2% Cirquent GmbH employees

After this acquisition, BMW becomes NTT Data’s largest customer in Europe. We consider this acquisition an excellent move by NTT Data, NTT Data acquired Germany’s 7th largest system integrator, including about 1000 highly qualified employees, and at the same time also gained BMW as largest customer in Europe, together with a number of other blue chip customers such as Deutsche Boerse, Muencher Rueck and T-Mobile Germany.

Read more about Japan’s telecom sector in our J-COMM report.

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