iphone frenzy hits Japan

iPhone Fever Hits the Streets
By Teresa von Fuchs
WirelessWeek – July 08, 2008

Japanese carrier Softbank plans to open its store in the Harajuku district at 7 a.m. local time this Friday to accommodate iPhone enthusiasts who just can’t wait to get their hands on Apple’s new 3G handset. The launch on Friday marks the first time Japanese consumers will be able to buy the much-hyped handset, since the original iPhone ran on networks incompatible to those in Japan.

But even New Zealanders will beat the Japanese at being first to get the device. Vodafone announced that it will open three stores across New Zealand at just 1 minute after midnight on July 11, making it the first country in which the 3G iPhone will be available. Australia will be second and then Japan.

Not being first has not stopped a group from camping out in front of Apple’s flagship New York store. Starting last Friday, a full week before the handset goes on sale, the group reportedly said it is trying to set a Guinness World Record for the most time spent waiting in line to buy something, and trying to promote sustainable agriculture.

Calling itself Waiting for Apples, the group is presumably waiting for a week outside in order to purchase iPhones, but in interviews the group also said its goals are to use the stunt to promote the idea that the next U.S. president should plant an organic farm at the White House, and that “it’s a good idea to grow food.”

David Bowman Simon, spokesman for Waiting for Apples, also reportedly said that he plans to buy a 3G iPhone for both U.S. presidential candidates.

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