• Move Over China, Hello Japan! Not So Fast, iPhone

    Image via iPhoneBuzz

    In only two short years, we have seen an almost unbelievable amount of growth in the iPhone's popularity. Spreading from continent to continent like wildfire, Apple's revolutionary device remains one of the most sought-after mobile phones in the world by those yet to experience what the rest of the planet still can't seem to get enough of (even amidst growing competition and competitor jabs at every turn).

    But despite all the attention given to China's introduction to the iPhone this month, elsewhere in Asia there isn't the same affection for and interest in the iPhone as one might expect, particularly from the tech-savvy people of Japan.

    This morning on PC World, Sumner Lemon of IDG News Service, acknowledged that only recently has the iPhone found some "love" in The Land of the Rising Sun.
    Apple's smartphone received a lukewarm reception when it was launched here last year and has seen only moderate success since then. But there are signs the future might be brighter for the iPhone in Japan -- and not just because Japanese operator Softbank now gives some models away for free with any new two-year contract.
    Some analysts have suggested that a popular iPhone in Japan could ultimately facilitate more growth, popularity, and revue for the iPhone globally than if it becomes equally popular in China despite the exponentially larger mobile community there. The logic? If Japanese consumers fall in love with the iPhone, so too will Japan's innovative developers, programmers, and mobile marketers - all of whom could challenge Apple and the iPhone to improve upon the device's hardware and software in a relatively short period of time.

    At the Ceatec exhibition, where Japanese electronics companies show off the latest prototypes from their research labs, auto maker Nissan and audio specialist Yamaha demonstrated prototype iPhone applications for the first time. The demonstrations give a hint of what the iPhone's potential in Japan could be with the right applications.
    Although most Japanese mobile customers, according to the PC World report, prefer clamshell and slider handsets, the iPhone is starting to take root in Japan. And if it sticks (and grows, of course), the iPhone could see a world of potential out of Japan like it could never even begin to imagine from China or just about anywhere else.

    Wishful thinking for the iPhone? Maybe. But as the Japanese express more interest in the iPhone, perhaps Apple should show a little more interest in the Japanese.
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