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iPad Fever in Japan

June 10th, 2010

I am consistently surprised by the level of interest and often sheer enthusiasm for the iPad in Japan. The iPhone received some good attention after it was released, but with the iPad, things are almost at the crazy level. I have people coming up to me all the time asking to see it, and showing an even more positive reaction to it than people did with the iPhone when it was first released here. Just yesterday, a teacher asked me to come in and demo it for his class, which all eagerly gathered around and made a lot of noise every time something new was done. In short, they loved it. Studentshiba-1I am getting similar reactions on trains, with people making comments to each other, often stealing glances and sometimes asking questions. I thought the interest would subside soon after the release of the iPad in Japan, but if anything, it has only gotten stronger.

On another Apple mobile device front, my students are getting the iPhone in droves. Initially, they wanted it but stayed away since SoftBank’s plans didn’t allow for cheap calling of their friends, who mostly had non-SoftBank contracts. But then SoftBank initiated a special student plan, and now the students are buying them in droves. Sadly, many bought in with a recently discount plan–not knowing that iPhone 4 was just a few weeks away. I told a few of my students who just got iPhones about this until I noted I was just disappointing them, then I shut up.

Still, SoftBank and Apple mobile products are just getting stronger and stronger in Japan, building on both brand recognition and new devices and features.

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  1. Tim Kane
    June 11th, 2010 at 07:46 | #1

    Since the release in November (late November I think it was), Apple has sold over 750,000 iphones. That would be the equivalent of nearly two million in Japan. This is truly a remarkable development. Koreans are chauvinistic about the local champions of their economic development. Only rarely do they buy the non-Korean product, and usually it’s bought by the elite to distinguish themselves.

    For me, personally, this is a point of small pride – to see an American company overcoming mercantilism like that, in an age where we are in general collapse all around.

  2. Troy
    June 11th, 2010 at 16:18 | #2

    yes, Apple stock has gone from $100 to $250 in the teeth of the worst recession since the 1930s. Unbelievable, really.

    Everybody thought their consumer-biz would just wither in 2009. Quite the opposite. I guess people are willing to pay for small luxuries.

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