Barely three weeks after cutting the minimum price of owning an iPhone, sole Japanese carrier Softbank has whipped out its red pen again and pushed the Apple handset to a new low.

Lucky Japanese iPhone 3G owners can now get hold of the device for as little as ¥2,324 (£11.70) a month, making it the cheapest place in the world to own the new phone.

Data to the fore

The move comes as rival carriers in the country battle to retain customers, with a strong focus falling on offering cheap data plans as blogging and viewing PC websites on phones become popular.

Softbank announced the cut two days after market leader NTT DoCoMo offered a similar price for use with its handsets. All major networks began the price war in earnest last year with rock-bottom prices for monthly voice plans.