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Japanese carrier ditches local models for iPhone

Softbank phones
Softbank is ditching its local phones at one Tokyo store

Buoyed by the successful launch of the new iPhone in Japan, the sole carrier there is taking an unusual step and opening an entire shop dedicated to the Apple handset.

From Friday, Softbank Mobile's Shibuya branch in downtown Tokyo will sell only iPhones, foregoing the homemade handsets that all Japanese carriers have long based their business models on.

After sales

Naturally, there will be plenty of accessories on offer to eager punters looking to add screen protection, new headphones and the like. In fact, Softbank says it will stock about 3,000 different iPhone-related items.

Detailed data released today shows such confidence is probably well-founded, as the iPhone snared just under 45 per cent of all phones sold in Japan on the launch day of 11 July.

Supply issue

At 36.8 per cent, the 16GB model was by far the most popular, with the 8GB version accounting for 8.1 per cent. If Apple can keep the supply of iPhones coming, Softbank looks set for a rosy few months.