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iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone

Which one is better?

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1 iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 3:55 am

Shar

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For those that are there in Japan right now - which would you recommend? An Apple iPhone or a standard Japanese mobile phone? It seems that standard features on mobile phones in Japan are much more advanced & fancier than on phones here in the states.

If voting for a standard phone, any model or brand in particular?

Based on this article, it seems that the iPhone is growing in popularity. The XPERIA X1 Sony Ericsson seems to be a popular model too and reminds me of my Motorola Rival in form (but not features).

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2 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 5:53 am

I would pick the Docomo Xperia if you want reception in the inaka. However, the iphone is just too good. If you don't mind getting your calls dropped from time to time, definitely iphone. I really want one, but I'm in a family plan with Masako and she is contracted with docomo

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3 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 7:26 am

cl wrote:I would pick the Docomo Xperia if you want reception in the inaka. However, the iphone is just too good. If you don't mind getting your calls dropped from time to time, definitely iphone. I really want one, but I'm in a family plan with Masako and she is contracted with docomo

Which carriers carry the iphone?

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4 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 7:45 am

Softbank

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5 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 8:04 am

Also, how important are mobile suica, 1seg, and the IR reader as features? I notice a lot of the smartphones don't have those features.

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6 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 8:43 am

lol mobile suica is good if you live in Tokyo. 1seg might be cool if you're on a train in Tokyo (I don't get reception in my neck of the woods). The IR feature is the one I find most useful, because it's fast and simple. My current phone has all of these features. I like them all....I just hate typing emails on the damn thing. Japanese people never want to talk on the phone it seems. A lot of the people I know just email...which is why I sometimes wish I had an iphone.

You might want to ask Ray about the pro's and cons of the iphone, because he actually has one.

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7 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 1:11 pm

I had to vote a Japanese mobile. You can get a relatively cheap package as a student at least with softbank...

BUT without the gakuwari, the iPhone has some good features. I had an iTouch so it was somewhat redundant for me.

Yet, the GPS feature, the aps in Japanese and such really are pretty good for the iPhone in Japan from time to time. Some regular phones can be rather limited. Mine doesn't even have GPS like others do. However, I only pay 1800 a month for the fee. The iPhone is like 5000 or something a month after you are locked into a contract.

I'd say, consider the iPhone if you come here (just don't drop it again lol) but be warned that Softbank's reception seems to be total crap :/

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8 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 5:52 pm

Yeah I wonder if those QR barcode readers are any good on the iphone.

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9 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 13, 2010 6:00 pm

Shar

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Brian - with the iTouch, were you able to rely on WiFi fairly often or were you pretty much using offline apps?

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10 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Fri May 14, 2010 2:41 pm

Rely isn't the word to use, but I have been able to find wi-fi in various ways. Many people don't have secure connections so I often can pass by a house or apartment and find one connection I can use to update things, but it certainly isn't reliable, but it is an option.

I mostly use anki and various apps, and I connect to my college wi-fi when I can so I use it instead of my laptop for checking email and such at times. The iPhone of course has the dependable GPS, internet, and other stuff, but if you DO have an iTouch already (that works) then iPhone I'd say is a bit redundant in many ways.

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11 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Fri May 14, 2010 4:03 pm

Shar

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Yeah, I'm sure if I get the iPhone, I will not be using my iPod Touch anymore - or at least, I'll only use it when I go jogging. I have the older generation 8GB so it's slow, but what I do on my lunch breaks right now is walk to Embarcadero in SF where there's some free wi-fi floating around. But I wish I had internet/email access on me at all times, and ability to look up things on the maps.

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12 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Sat May 15, 2010 2:01 am

It might get down to where you get placed. If you get put in some place waaaaay out there, then you might want to get an iPhone for the gps ability since there wouldn't be much free wifi you can snatch nearby. Keep in mind you might want to just use the internet in general too, and that could be hard to come by in inaka areas. Especially if you get near mountains.

If you get placed in something like Saitama city or so... just finding a few wifi-spots might not be too hard. Really depends what you will use it for.

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13 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Mon May 17, 2010 10:01 pm

I believe Softbank is relatively the newest carrier out of the ones in Japan, so not everywhere, especially the deep inaka, will have reception for Softbank. However, before you purchase anything from Softbank, you tell them your town/address and have them search to see the strength of the signal down there.
A lot of folks in my area are with AU because their reception is everywhere. I'm pretty sure the same goes with Docomo.

The iphone doesn't have the convenience of sekigaisen (IR) like Japanese phones, but everything else is easy to use. I like being able to type my keitai mails with a normal keyboard, since I suck at the normal keypad. The iphone is more expensive to acquire. However, unlike the plans back in the states, Softbank doesn't continuously charge you if you like using the online features. My plan has my bill cap at around 8000-something yen if I just abuse the hell out of the online stuff (which I usually do, considering I'm always bored at work).
That and all the apps make life very convenient. Also, your kids will be impressed by the iphone.



Last edited by Raybuster on Thu May 20, 2010 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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14 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Tue May 18, 2010 12:02 am

Thanks Ray! I'm leaning towards the iPhone or the HTC Desire if I go with Softbank. If I go with NTT Docomo I'm going to get the Sony Ericson Xperia X10!

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15 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Tue May 18, 2010 2:22 am

Shar

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Raybuster wrote:Also, your kids will be impressed by the iphone.

Always a plus! Actually I was just reading this article a few days ago about how the iPhone/iTouch has been popular in the classroom due to the math and English game apps.

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16 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 20, 2010 7:47 am

Jamie

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Out of my group of 30 CSU exchange students, about 3/4 of them have au and the rest have Softbank. I'm the only docomo, because I was essentially forced into it (long story involving apartment leasing, foreign registration, and more...) Docomo is rather expensive unless you're on a family plan like me. My friends that use Softbank complain that they don't get reception a lot of the time. I think one of the perks to au is that calls and free to anyone with that service.

Oh, and mobile suica and 1seg are fairly useless. You won't ever use mobile suica outside of Tokyo, and even then, not many people use it. And my phone has 1seg but I never use it. There's never really a situation where you'll want to watch Japanese TV on-the-go, and it sucks the life out of your battery ASAP. Also, it's finnicky about picking up signals. But IR is something that's extremely useful, in my opinion; you could definitely get by without it, though.

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17 Re: iPhone vs. Japanese mobile phone on Thu May 20, 2010 2:50 pm

You can pick a few people with AU to call to for free I believe, but Softbank is the one that you can talk for free with other Softbank, but only before 9pm or so.

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