Welcome again to JJNN for Friday July 11th, 2008. Today is technology day.
There is nothing more exciting for most Japanese people that the start of sales for a new piece of technology. It just so happens that today is the first day that the iPhone goes on sale in Japan. You can see some stories about it here and here.
I think that everyone that reads this probably knows what an iPhone is, but just in case I want to talk about that a little bit. The iPhone is a cell phone that went on sale in the states on June 29th of last year. Another version of the iPhone that is called iPhone 3G (3rd generation of cell phones) was released today in the states. That same cell phone is the one that went on sale in Japan and 19 other countries.
Let's get right to the price. A 8Gb iPhone will set you back 23040 yen while the 16Gb version will set you back 34560 yen. I guess all in all it is not a bad price. I mean it can be used to hold all your music and some other files. I don't see any real reason to get the 16Gb version unless you are into music. I guess all this talk of music makes it seem that the iPhone can only be used for music, but don't forget this is a phone (as well as an internet browser, a map, a contact list, a calendar and the like). The monthly fee for the basic plan for phone use is 7280 yen.
The phones started to go on sale at noon, but there were people waiting in line from at least 7 in the morning in places like Sapporo. In Yuraku-cho in Tokyo there was a countdown ceremony. A picture from the ceremony is below.
The lady on the right is named Ueto Aya. She is one of my favorite actresses. Maybe I will be getting myself an iPhone after all (I don't think I will really get one, but it looks nice).
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 携帯(けいたい). It is pronounced keitai and means cell phone or anything else that you can carry around. The Japanese love to shorten words. The actually word for cell phone is keitai denwa, but everyone just calls it a keitai. I guess simple is best.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.