By >Akihabara News Team
Was Softbank’s iPhone Launch Successful?
Far from what many said in Japan, the iPhone 3G launch was truly a great success for both Apple and Softbank with thousands of Japanese queuing up for several days at different locations. A first I would say for a phone released in Japan!
Was the launch perfect until the end? Well, almost… While more than 1500 people queued-up for hours in front of the main store in Harajuku, very few had a chance to get one on the first day while many others had to return the second day or this Sunday. A price to pay to get the first REAL Internet capable phone in Japan? (It seems that Access has much to learn and fix on their NetFront PC site browser ). Even if things were acceptable at two or three Tokyo stores, in Yokohama and Kawasaki things were completely different in regular Softbank stores and BicCamera, Yodobashi Camera or Yamada Denki stores (Best Buy equivalents).
VERY few units to none were shipped to regular Softbank stores and other Softbank points of sale, and over the past three days all Softbank employees had the same answers to these questions:
- Do you have iPhones? : No.
- When will you get one in? : We have no idea, and our HQ has given us no further information.
- Can I pre-order? : No. We don’t know if or when we’ll get more iPhones.
The feeling we had after checking on “D-Day +1 is that many customers are frustrated and angry with Softbank due to their failure to prepare for the huge demand here in Japan. We have yet to call Softbank to get “official” answers, but it seems to us they weren’t ready for the launch and may have been too small a company to handle it.
Here’s another question we have concerning the launch. Was this simply a marketing ploy to increase customer expectations for the famous iPhone?