Apple launched a new Apple Store Japan for mobile phones users in Japan from their AU and NTT handsets. To be able to use this new Apple Store, you will need to be within service coverage of the NTT and AU handsets, since Apple had programatically blocked access to this new store from users other then the ones with the correct browser.
According to reports (IT Media), Apple had made the full line of iPod devices and the Mac Mini available for purchase on this new site. Whether there is a discount or special offer compares to the regular Apple Store Japan I do not know. May be some of the Japanese readers can comment on this article and share this with my readers.
So, if you are one of the lucky users of the following handsets you can go check it out:
I realized that Japan has one of the largest, if not "the largest", mobile content consumers in the world, but the rest of Asia also have a very big intake of mobile technology. For example:
- Hong Kong citizens changes their mobile phone the most frequent in the world.
- South Korean citizens is the most wired [to the Internet] in the world.
- Philipine citizens sends the most SMS in the world.
- China citizens now make up the largest population within a country of installed cellular phone.
- India citizens has the highest density (based on spending power) of potential cellular phone user base.
Are we (the rest of Asia, Hong Kong in particular) always going to be playing "second fiddle" to the Japanese consumers? Are we really that phobic towards mobile content? I am sure Apple's Marketing and Product Development teams had done their homework before launching the site in Japan, but please don't leave the rest of Asia out.
SImilarly, the news of iTunes Music Store for Japan had been in the air for over a year now; ever since the rumors of a EU specific Store 2 years ago. Recent news place the launch date of the iTunes Music Store - Japan for end of 2005.
Throughout these rumors and announcements, no one seem to want to comment about the rest of Asia. Yes, during the recent rumors there is also news of a iTunes Music Store for Australia by end of April 2005, but what about the other large non-English speaking music consumers: Cantonese/Mandarin (Chinese), Hindu (Indian), Korean, Barhasa and Thai.
Apple's iTunes Music Store for US already have some foreign languages music listed, but speaking to local [Hong Kong] record companies (Avex, EMI, etc.) individuals, it seems that over the past 2.5 years they have grown to accept the inevitable of music download and online distribution for Hong Kong and rest of Asia. Of course like many other things that Apple does they do not comment on unannounced products or service offerings, but I hope they are already well on its way discussing with these regional record companies (Apple, if you're reading, please send me a personal note and I will forward some of these "record companies individuals" to you... :P).
WE WANT OUR iTUNES MUSIC STORE - HONG KONG!!!