Following on the apparent sluggish sales, here’s one comment on the iPhone “demise”. The author points to the lack of emoji. I would also add another important factor, albeit to a lesser extent: a Yahoo! Keitai-type of web for the oh-so-many services not available for iPhone users.
Yes, emoji, and emoji alone. It’s missing a FeliCa RFID smart card, but most people use them embedded in credit cards, not phones; everyone talks about wanting One Seg but most people don’t actually watch television on their mobiles; there’s no QR code scanner but there’s a free App Store program to download for that; SD memory cards are popular add-ons, but the iPhone has lots of built-in storage; there’s no place to hang a strap, but an after-market slipcase can be decorated instead; there’s no emoji, yet having a lot of text emoticons and smilies in the dictionary does not paper over the chasm.
It’s too soon to say if the iPhone is really a failure in Japan. The market for high-end handsets is shaking worldwide and the Japanese market will adapt in one way of another.
At the moment, it seems some people are buying the Apple phone while keeping their old handset at the same time. We’ll see if this pattern continues, especially with the possible introduction of emojiin the next firmware update.