au/KDDI, Japan’s second biggest cell phone carrier, has just confirmed it will carry the iPhone 4S. I predicted that right.
It will go ahead with the sale of this new handset irrespective if its mobile email service —a key element for Japanese users— is made compatible in time.
KDDI had 2012 in mind
Earlier plans had KDDI releasing the iPhone in January 2012, in order to upgrade its EZweb email conduit first. It seems however that the possibility of reaping nice profits at the launch of the new iPhone 4S in two weeks made the company change its mind.
Yes, you read that right, iPhone 4S could be sold from au/KDDI this month already.
Apple makes it official
Apple Japan has updated its “where I can buy” page with the new au/KDDI option (and it seems the website is getting hammered by requests already, showing amazing interest: it’s 4am in Tokyo now)
The iPhone hasn’t appeared on au/KDDI’s website yet, either because it’s very late in the night or for a specific date hasn’t been set by KDDI yet.
SoftBank is feeling the heat. It’s releasing no less than 11 Android-powered handset for its fall collection. The iPhone 4S will arrive in SoftBank’s store on October 14 for sure.
UPDATE, October 5 2011, 6.45pm JST: au/KDDI’s website was briefly updated with the iPhone 4S before removal, confirming the impending launch. However, the mobile site still features the handset, with a direct link to Apple Japan:
Credits: iSummit Ustream channel, Nikkei