In the first product release of the post “Steve Jobs Era”, its no surprise that hundreds of Apple fans lined up at flagship stores in Tokyo on October 14th to get their hands on the new iPhone 4S. At Softbank stores in Tokyo, 100′s of people anxiously queued for the morning launch of the new model. When the doors finally opened, fans and staff cheered & clapped as silver confetti streamed down from the ceiling to mark the occasion.
The big news in Japan is not about Softbank but that rival AU KDDI has now joined the game. Softbank will no longer be the exclusive carrier and perhaps a little “competition” is a good thing. In typical “rival-type” fashion both Softbank & AU celebrated separate yet simultaneous launches in Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando district. Soon after launch however, Softbank suffered a slight setback as a server problem left them unable to process registration information throughout much of the day. Bad timing at a time when Softbank faces fresh competition from AU KDDI.
Whatever happens, it is all good news for Apple and the new iPhone 4S. Contrary to some sceptical forecasting, pre-orders in the first 24 hours were a record breaking one million plus and continued to exceed expectations. AT&T by itself topped 1 million activations within a week – read more here.
This is all most surprising as the 4S boasts smaller upgrades and less new features as in previous releases. The 4S offers faster speeds, a voice-controlled assistant called Siri and an improved camera. Nonetheless, this was more than enough for another strong iPhone release keeping Apple’s impressive track record alive as “best-selling smart phone”.
The new voice activated function called Siri seems to be getting the most buzz as it can handle a diverse array of tasks – from sending text messages, to setting up reminders, to even finding a restaurant. Not sure how thoroughly Apple tested that name in the Japanese market though – the name “Siri” pronounced “Shiri” in Japanese is a slang word for “buttocks”. Oddly enough, that might explain why the launch of Siri didn’t include support for the Japanese language?
For more reading here is the full article at google hosted news