SoftBank’s CEO explains how the iPhone came to Japan

The iPhone is probably one of the more desired smartphones in the world at the moment, and despite what its critics and detractors have to say about it, they have to admit that it is true to a certain level. What this also means is that carriers are more than happy, for the most part, to offer the phone on their network. However getting the iPhone onto a network isn’t as simple as placing an order with Apple. 

The iPhone, it’s safe to say, is big in Japan. Toward the end of last year, three out of every four smartphones sold in Japan were iPhones, according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Tim Cook said during Apple’s most recent earnings call that its phone sales in the country shot up 40 percent after it signed a deal with NTT Docomo. Breaking into Japan was no cheap trick. To get there, Steve Jobs took a chance on a self-made Japanese billionaire who had a crude drawing of an iPod phone and no mobile carrier to speak of. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son recounted how he scored the deal to become the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in Japan in a television interview with Charlie Rose that aired this week.

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