iphone japan

...But cheaper though. Despite of the ads everywhere there is no such things as a 0 yen iPhone.

iphone japan

But 2 discounts are done, one on the price of the phone itself : 30720 yen (1280*24) and one on the packet price being reduced to 4410 yen from 5995 yen, so : 1585*24 = 38040 yen. The whole discount (after 2 years) is about 70000 yens. It's a good discount but not a 0 yen iPhone.

After these 2 discounts the price difference between the 8 and the 16Go iPhones is only of 11520 yen, that's why I chose the 16 Go. Once you understood this, you go to Yodobashi Camera, you buy the iPhone and you come back at home happy like a kid who just received his Christmas presents... wait wait, it can't be that easy !!

Because you are a gaijin :D

Ok, let's say if you are a gaijin with a visa still valid for 27 months (which is quite unusual (*)) and a credit card(**)) you don't have any problem.

If you have the credit card but not a "valid" visa (in the eyes of softbank) : it's still ok you can buy the iPhone, but only in cash and not in 24 times. So for a 8 Go you must give 30720 yen and for a 16 Go : 42240 yen which is not 0 yen.

If you don't have a credit card AND don't have a 27 month visa or driving license : you need a wife! (or someone who really trust you).

For Japanese people having a credit card is easy, almost everyone have more than one so no problem for them.

So my yasashii (gentle) wife applied for me to pay the iPhone but still, as I am the "official" user of it, I had to show my ID card (gaijin card) plus my insurance card! (yes we are still talking about buying a phone...).

Then I will save you the details of the payment procedure but the whole story took more than 1 hour.

All I can say : if you are a gaijin, it's way easier to get married in Japan than to buy an iPhone!!

(Well, actually if you want to read a story of a "difficult" wedding registration you can read Adrian's blog with an interesting and funny article)

But this story has a happy end as I got a present from Softank : a talking dog :D Yep! No more no less. Explanation :
Otosan ((お父さん, meaning "Dad") is a dog and also the father in an unusual Japanese family used in Softbank commercials for quite a while now (2 years?).
Here is Otosan who got an iPhone and try to hide :

And not only he can talk, but also he can speak French!

And here is the figurine mascot I got as a "puresento" :

iphone japan otosan

For sure it made me forget the process to get it! ah ;-)

* : visa for foreigner can be 1 year or 3 years usually. Of course you can renew it without a problem if you need. So people who have a valid visa for the 27 months are the ones who just received their 3 years visa or who have a permanent visa, I don't think it is the majority of the gaijin here...

** : For a foreigner to get a credit card can be a long, very long journey. Even with a good salary you can be rejected many times to an application for a credit card. And I must say the reasons are most of the times "not fair". I think the "easiest way" to get one is to go to the bank with a representative of your company (if possible a Japanese).

Posted on : by Not Free iPhone in Japan...

Tags : iPhone Softbank Apple

Add a Comment - Ask a Question

By Billy At 2009-03-08 08:32:26
from Tokyo ,I wish I had a job

Thank you for the informative article. You just saved me a trip to softbank. I think I would have been pissed off if I was put through the ringer like you I'm really lucky that I saw this post...and so is someone at Softbank.

By Kuma At 2009-03-08 20:38:47

I live in Sapporo... been here 3 years now... had no problem getting a CC.

When I went for the iPhone they asked to see my gaijin card.. I said No.. as per their rules (at the time) a drivers licence was satisfactory.. so I showed them my Japanese drivers licence... and walked away with my iPhone.

By namaikisaru At 2009-03-08 22:28:13

They gave me the phone without a credit card or indeed any fuss at all. I have been with softbank since back when they were j-phone though. That might have helped. However.....
when I asked for, nay pleaded with them for the talking dog they point blank refused.

By FrugalistaJapan At 2009-03-10 01:20:29
from ? ,Teacher, IT Support

Yet another article talking about how "hard" it is to get an iPhone eh? Sorry, but this has nothing to do with the iPhone specifically - its about making a new contract with Softbank. You would have the same problem whatever keitai you chose.

I on the other hand, had no such problem - since I've been using Softbank for about 5 years from back when it was JPhone, then Vodafone.... My Visa was never questioned - a good thing too as it only had less than a month left on it at the time.

As for a credit card - you might not even be able to get one with your japanese bank. You just have to live here a while and pay your bills on time. I guess its a reward for being a long-termer!

By Jérome At 2009-03-10 07:42:55
from Kamaya cho ,blogging

I think everyone has a different story about getting a phone here, there is no unique pattern (and it's true for many things : getting a visa, getting married, find an appartment etc etc...)

So if you got it easily : good for you! It was just my own experience nothing more.

@FrugalistaJapan : Actually I first wrote this article just to explain the discount and notice that it has been "smoother"(?) to get married here than to buy the iphone (technically I could not, my wife did) which is in my opinion, weird.
(Plus I also could add that I was already a Softbank client for more than 2 years...)

By KP At 2009-03-10 18:02:57

Hmm that's too bad about the problem you had in signing up. Do you speak any Japanese? That usually plays a big factor in how easy things go.

I just got an iPhone, and I got an excellent deal.
I paid the up front fee which was reduced due to me being a long time Softbank customer. Ended up paying 15,000 yen, but after 2 years of 1600 yen discount per month for the 8 GB I'll actually come out ahead.

I pay using a bank account btw, they don't even have a CC of mine on record. And actually I have it set up so that they don't even take the payment directly out of my account, I get the bill and pay it myself. Another benefit of being able to talk to the Softbank people one on one instead of going through a interpreter.

And I never had to show any ID except gaijin card. Never been asked for an insurance card, passport or anything else.

By Jérome At 2009-03-10 18:28:07
from Shibuya ,Working

Yes, I can speak Japanese ( I am not fluent though but enough to work in a Japanese company). I wonder if all you guys bought it from a Softbank shop or from a Softbank counter in Yodobashi or Bic? I bought it from yodobashi camera to get some points. Maybe their rules are different. As for the bill, I was actually paying my previous softbank keitai from my own bank account automatically every month without any problem...
KP, I guess you have a long terme visa ?

By mark At 2009-09-07 21:13:11
from Japan ,office worker

Howz it going? I finally found an article about purchasing an Iphone in Japan. I had ordered a 3GS and yesterday I went to the local Softbank shop with a BIG smile on my face not knowing I would be leaving dissapointed. Unfortunately, my period of stay is not 27 months(who thought of this number??) and I do not have a credit card. So, they would not let me purchase the Iphone. Now, I realize its my fault for not checking this out beforehand but I had gone to this local shop prior to ordering and explained I was a Gaijin and these people had no idea on these special rules made up by Apple. I have a few choices, get a credit card, change my citizenship, or purchase the phone without going through this (Iphone for everybody)campaign but now I am so dissapointed that I might just stick with my DOCOMO phone. Life SUX sometimes huh!!

By Jérome At 2009-09-09 00:13:20
from the Office ,Coding

If you are at Docomo I can just advise you to get an Android HTC, it's a very good alternative to the iPhone (and even better fro some stuff imho) and maybe you'll have less trouble...

By Trma At 2009-10-03 07:04:59

Hey, could You, please say, what's the idea of buying iPhone from Yodobashi instead of Softbank shop?

By Jérome At 2009-10-03 07:59:04
from Home ,Drinking tea

Good evening,
first I want to remind you that this article was written on March 09, so the current campaign certainly differs.
As for yodobashi camera, it was interesting for me as I use their point card. Paying cash the phone I could receive some points... That's all ...

By Trma At 2009-10-06 10:40:24

Thank you! Although, it seems that the terms of the campaign haven't changed much. I will have to pay full discounted price to buy an iPhone, as people with 27 month visas can pay in chunks. Anyway, this doesn't matter much. For me the problem is more like if I should buy an iPhone at all or wait for some nice Android phones to appear on the market.

By formersoftbankcustomer At 2010-05-05 11:53:34

I had been a softbank customer for 5 years when they recently announced that service to my phone(which was free and acquired within 20 minutes of documentation with some 16 year old child representing the company) would be discontinued, thus mandating a new unit and new contract. My gaijin card(my photo id required for PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTITY VERIFICATION) was scrutinized as though softbank was some arm of law enforcement. It was expired- I was well aware of that fact. I was turned away. I returned to the same office with 4 forms of verification(VISA, apartment contract, one of their bills, etc). I was refused service. I went back again with a renewed gaijin card. The ID was sufficient, but since my VISA had only one year remaining and the typical contract is for 2 years, they stated that "they could not extend my service contract"- UNLESS, I paid around 25,000 yen as some kind of 'good faith' money! Let's face facts, people......SOFTBANK DOES NOT WANT FOREIGN CUSTOMERS! I have now forgone even having a cell phone....a home phone is sufficient. FREE YOURSELVES!

By alneko At 2010-07-28 14:56:08

Je venais d'avoir mon visa de 3 ans, avec un job, une carte d'assurée... tout ce qu'il faut et on m'a refusée l'iphone payable en 24 mois. Il fallait que je paie la totalité sinon rien... j'ai choisi rien.

By Ashley At 2010-12-09 12:58:58

It seems that the rules at Softbank have changed (just recently). I went to upgrade my old 3G to a 4, and they let me have it no problem. I didn't have to pay upfront, the new payment plan just starts again on my current bill (have been at softbank over two years). My visa expires (have to get it renewed) in the spring, but they didn't seem to care about that. In fact, they even said they don't offer contracts anymore. I don't know the details... but that's just what they said. I didn't want to argue, just in case they decided not to give me my new phone. :)

By Jerome At 2010-12-09 23:28:54

Thank you Ashley for the information. My wife and I actually upgraded also recently for the iphone 4. Thing is, now, I have an other 3 years visa but we did not even asked them about that and continued to use my wife's card for both of our phones ... it made the process easier. Anyway certainly a good info, thanks.

Add a Comment - Ask a Question

Shots from Instagram

Youtube Channel

More Articles About  Stuff

  • 6 months

    Posted on : 2011-05-30

    After 6 months away from the blog, I was not sure where to start again. I'm going for the easy solution :  a summary of these 6 past months.I use also this blog to remember what I've been up to a...

    Read more 2

  • CP+ Camera and Girls Show in Yokohama

    Posted on : 2010-05-04

    Okay I am lying a bit, the real title is "CP+  Camera and Photo Imaging Show" :-)It was about one month ago and it was the first time I visit such an event dedicated to cameras. It turned out the...

    Read more 5

  • Freelance in Japan and new Mac Book Pro

    Posted on : 2010-04-29

    After a little bit more than 3 years at Samurai Factory, I am now working as a freelancer (the ultimate goal is to be able to work from anywhere but that's an other story). I first thought it would be...


  • CGM Night at Akihabara

    Posted on : 2010-02-16

    I could not attend the last CGM Night organized by Danny and Andrew so it was a while that I met some of my "CGM comrades". This time was a special Dollfie and Cosplay edition. I am pretty sure everyo...

    Read more 3