Home > Focus on Japan 2008, Mac News > I Didn’t Blog Daily for the First 39 Years of My life

I Didn’t Blog Daily for the First 39 Years of My life

June 19th, 2008

The reason for the title of this article is to demonstrate how a rather impressive (or pathetic depending on your point of view) statistic, namely that I’ve blogged every day for almost the past 5 years, can be made to sound negative. I do this to demonstrate how the news article titled “Survey: 91% of Japanese Will Not Buy ‘iPhone’” is similarly misleading. Here’s how they present the data:

According to a survey by iSHARE, 91.0% of Japanese mobile phone users are not planning to purchase Apple Inc’s “iPhone” mobile phone.

This research was conducted in the wake of the announcement by SoftBank Mobile Corp that it will release the iPhone in Japan (See related article). Targeting Internet users aged primarily 20 to 49, iSHARE asked questions about their intention to purchase an iPhone, as well as other questions and received 402 responses over the Internet.

The survey had been conducted from June 5 to 6, 2008, before pricing for an iPhone handset was announced. Of carriers that the respondents were subscribing to, NTT DoCoMo accounted for 39.8%, followed by au at 26.9%, SoftBank Mobile at 22.9% and the other carriers including Emobile and Willcom at 6.5%.

Asked if they have a plan to purchase an iPhone, 36 respondents (8.9%) said “I am planning to purchase one.” Nearly half of these 36 respondents were SoftBank Mobile users, iSHARE said.

They then make a big deal about how most respondents see a non-removable battery as an issue, though they don’t say if that’s a deal-breaker. But the real misdirection is in the distinct impression they give of most Japanese not wanting to get an iPhone.

If the report is true, that means the iPhone is set to capture almost 10% of the Japanese cell phone market right off the bat–in a country where the iPhone is probably still a largely unknown product. Since half the users are already SoftBank clients, that means 4.5% of Japanese cell phone users would jump to SoftBank from other carriers, increasing SoftBank’s market share from 23% to 27 or 28% within a short span of time. Word of mouth and people seeing others using the iPhone would only increase sales.

That’s hardly negative news.

However, I somehow doubt the veracity of the study; I don’t think the iPhone will sell to millions of Japanese cell phone users right away (though that would be cool). The study doesn’t seem very scientific, had a fairly small sample size, was not universal (it ignored teenagers and those 50 and over), and took place only a day after SoftBank announced they would sell the iPhone, at a time when no pricing plans or tech specs–or even official word that such a device even existed–were available.

Update: I should have guessed: most of the media coverage which picked up on the useless iSHARE survey is blindly picking up on the negative headline, running with the “most Japanese couldn’t care less about the iPhone” angle. Ignoring the fact that 1% market penetration would be seen as a success, ignoring the fact that the survey was taken days before the iPhone 3G was even announced, ignoring the fact that the survey itself was unscientific–in short, the survey was useless, but even if you thought it held meaning, then the meaning was in fact great news for Apple.

Morons. But at least one reporter understood what the basic numbers would mean, even if he didn’t understand the concept of “20- to 49-year-olds.”

Categories: Focus on Japan 2008, Mac News Tags: by
Comments are closed.