Softbank announced that they agreed with Apple to sell the iPhone in Japan.
SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple® to bring the iPhone™ to Japan later this year.
Masayoshi SON, president of Softbank and investor of Yahoo! Japan, Alibaba, etc. attended the conference during Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in the USA. So there has been some ties between them since then. However, Apple shakes hands with No.1 cariers in many countries so there have been long discussions and rumors whether Japan’s No.1, NTT Docomo, or Softbank will win Jobs’ favor. (No.2 player KDDI au uses different cellularphone technology from iPhone.)
According to CNET Japan, NTT Docomo’s public relations made some short comments: “It is regrettable.” and “We are currently reviewing our future options”. They also stated “We are also providing a phone with a touch panel, such as the PRADA Phone by LG”.
[Update] There is also a rumor that Steve Jobs is visiting Japan secretly to make an announcement. We are not able to confirm this yet.