NOT FREE IPHONE IN JAPAN...
...But cheaper though. Despite of the ads everywhere there is no such things as a 0 yen iPhone.
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 ((ãŠçˆ¶ã•ã‚“, 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" :
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 : 2009-03-06 22:48:41 by Jérôme Sadou