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Survey: 91% of Japanese Will Not Buy 'iPhone'

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.

To a question asking how they are planning to position the iPhone after purchasing, 6.2% said "as my primary handset," while 2.7% said "as my second (or lower) handset." By gender, the intent to purchase was much higher among male respondents. Meanwhile, respondents that are "not planning to buy one now" constituted 91.0% of all respondents.

iSHARE said it had also conducted an iPhone purchase intention survey in July 2007. At that time, 9.6% said "I'm willing to buy (replace) one," while 62.2% said "I will consider buying one after examining the price or circumstances" if the iPhone is released from the carrier they are using.

Compared with these results, the intention to purchase an iPhone has greatly weakened and grown negative from a year ago, iSHARE explained.

The company also asked about consumer preferences on the replacement of a mobile phone battery. It asked this question because battery replacement is said to be unavailable for the iPhone, iSHARE said.

Respondents who said "I prefer replaceable batteries" accounted for 77.1%, while those who said "I don't care if the battery is replaceable or not" made up 22.9%. Of respondents that have replaced a mobile phone battery before, 88.0% said "I prefer replaceable batteries."

iSHARE determined that the unavailability of replacement batteries could be significantly weakening purchasing intention, considering the fact that a two-year subscription has been added to iPhone service in the US, for example.


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