Softbank Mobile Corp. has signed a deal today with Apple to provide the iPhone in Japan.
Their June 4 press release is the shortest iPhone announcement yet:
"SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple¬Æ to bring the iPhone‚Ñ¢ to Japan later this year."
This is a direct blow to NTT DoCoMo who announced their plan to provide the iPhone earlier this month.
Softbank Mobile clearly won the bidding and swayed Apple away from NTT DoCoMo. Congratulations Softbank. Sorry NTT DoCoMo.
Furthermore, an analyst firm EuroTechnology Japan K.K. has announced that the "terse one-line press announcement is a clear indication that the 3G iPhone really is real."
Japan shut down nearly all of it’s 2G networks and has stopped selling 2G phones for several years now. Also, the current iPhone uses GSM. Japan no longer has GSM! So unless Apple is planning on releasing two different versions of the iPhone – one for Japan and one for everyone else (won’t happen) – the iPhone will definitely be 3G.