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Thread: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

  1. #21
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    They are all about the same but it's most about what (company) works for your placement. Talk to your pred, maybe all the carriers work. Maybe only AU really works.... There is no telling what they will be offering in August as they get desperate to dump those 5C and 5S models. I would start looking a week before you come.

    Also what model is Docomo offering because they never had the "5"....


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    Last edited by ihatefall; April 23rd, 2014 at 18:12.
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  2. #22
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Sorry, it's the 5C.

    Both Softbank and AU are offering pretty much the same deals.
    Last edited by MJN; April 23rd, 2014 at 23:04.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    The problem with that plan is that you'll have carry over payments. For example my coworker upgraded from the 4S to the 5 on Softbank. So she was paying 2000 a month per handset for a year.

    Also around a new release the previous handset models really reduce in value. Because 1.) new shiny thing and 2.) everyone dumping them at the same time.


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  4. #24
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    No, the phone is free.

    My girlfriend got herself a free iPhone 5 (With AU), with the 30k of points a month after the 5S/C came out. There's no monthly fees on the phone on her contract, and there was no upfront charges for it. The phone was completely free.

    However, I'm not sure if it's exactly the same now - it's just being advertised the same way. I'm guessing the best deals won't be until the 6's launch window.

    Edit: Checking through AU's site just now a 5C will cost 33,480 upfront, no other monthly cost, but I'm sure that'll drop once the 6 has more detailed announced. There's no iPhone 5 mentioned on Softbank or AU's sites, but the stores I know for a fact still have them - chances are, that'll be your free phone right now.
    Last edited by MJN; April 23rd, 2014 at 23:12.
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  5. #25

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    No, the phone is free.

    My girlfriend got herself a free iPhone 5 (With AU), with the 30k of points a month after the 5S/C came out. There's no monthly fees on the phone on her contract, and there was no upfront charges for it. The phone was completely free.

    However, I'm not sure if it's exactly the same now - it's just being advertised the same way. I'm guessing the best deals won't be until the 6's launch window.

    Edit: Checking through AU's site just now a 5C will cost 33,480 upfront, no other monthly cost, but I'm sure that'll drop once the 6 has more detailed announced. There's no iPhone 5 mentioned on Softbank or AU's sites, but the stores I know for a fact still have them - chances are, that'll be your free phone right now.
    When I went to get a phone first week of August 2013, the old gen of Apple phones (I'm in the android ecosystem, but I think it was the 4S or 5?) was on special for 1 yen through Softbank. A similar campaign will probably happen when the 6 comes out.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    I want to basically get my hands on the iPhone 6 when it comes out, so here's what I'm thinking (as of right now):

    - Get to Japan, and when I am able to, go to a Bic Camera and get a free iPhone 5c w/ Docomo and earn all dem points

    - when the iPhone 6 comes out, sell the iPhone 5c at a used shop

    - Go to a Docomo store and buy an iPhone 6 full price from them with the points and cash difference


    Am I thinking about this correctly?

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Unless you pay for the iPhone upfront full price, you'll owe money I am pretty sure.


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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Full price for the phone is not $200,300,400 that is a subsidized price


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  9. #29
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Unless you pay for the iPhone upfront full price, you'll owe money I am pretty sure.


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    There are offers where the phones are literally free, where a free phone is free. No monthly charges, no upfront cost. The only catch is signing into a 2-year contract. Currently, the 5C is not free, but that might (And I do stress might) change closer to the launch of the 6 if they need to get rid of stock.

    "Full price" for the iPhone 5C 16GB right now, as a new customer to AU, is 33,840. You can sign into a contract and own that phone with that upfront and no monthly charges for the phone itself. It's 54,480 with Softbank and 62,208 with docomo. Contract prices for data/calls/etc vary on top of that, but there is no extra charges for the phone itself.

    The 5, not the 5C, is on a store-by-store basis (because they are getting rid of stock) and is coming with some nice incentives attached - free phone, points etc - where it's actually available.
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoobyDoobyBoob View Post
    I want to basically get my hands on the iPhone 6 when it comes out, so here's what I'm thinking (as of right now):

    - Get to Japan, and when I am able to, go to a Bic Camera and get a free iPhone 5c w/ Docomo and earn all dem points
    - when the iPhone 6 comes out, sell the iPhone 5c at a used shop
    - Go to a Docomo store and buy an iPhone 6 full price from them with the points and cash difference


    Am I thinking about this correctly?
    That's fine and dandy, but keep in mind if you have a rural placement your nearest bic camera / large electronics retailer with an in-built phone shop could be a long drive away. You might also find there's extremely limited service on what you can get - docomo is bad for being the only provider in a lot of more rural areas and charging through the teeth.

    The 5C might not be free when you come - that's just trying to predict the future based on what has happened before.
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    When I was comparing, the 64GB 5S with the same plan, it was actually more at Softbank vs Docomo. Not a lot, like 1000 less and that was with unlimited calling softbank to softbank, but for unlimited calling docomo to docomo you had to pay but it was still like 200 less.


    I didn't get it because I FaceTime Audio / Line call / Skype everyone anyway.


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  12. #32
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Also, good thing to know for you apple lovers here. Japanese iPhones are locked, and not able to be unlocked. Don't consider this phone a long term investment, it's only good in this country.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Thanks for all the feedback. Damn, I'm really confused as to what I should do now.

    Will I be able to use the points earned from a Bic Camera at a carrier store? Or are those points like bic camera points and only able to be used at bic camera?

    Cause if so, then I don't see the point in going that route now. I may just hold off on buying any phone until the 6 comes out...

    Or get some sort of non-contract phone for a few months.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Maybe buy an old style flip phone. They are very cheap I think, when I bought one when I was here on a tourist visa a few years ago it cost like 5000 yen. Your school will probably want you to have a phone so they can contact you so they will probably not allow you to not have a phone.

  15. #35
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoobyDoobyBoob View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback. Damn, I'm really confused as to what I should do now.

    Will I be able to use the points earned from a Bic Camera at a carrier store? Or are those points like bic camera points and only able to be used at bic camera?

    Cause if so, then I don't see the point in going that route now. I may just hold off on buying any phone until the 6 comes out...

    Or get some sort of non-contract phone for a few months.
    Store points are store points, they have nothing to do with the carrier. It's a "thank you for coming to us, cuz we made a small kick back on this sale, and want you to come buy the rest of our overpriced stuff".

    You can't hold off having a phone of some sort in Japan. I knew a kid who tried that and was basically a social pariah for his first few months. By the time he finally got a phone, he was so out of the loop that people pretty much forgot they existed. The ONLY reason he wasn't forced into getting a phone when he got here was because he teaches at a school with another ALT, who also lives in the same complex.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Store points are store points, they have nothing to do with the carrier. It's a "thank you for coming to us, cuz we made a small kick back on this sale, and want you to come buy the rest of our overpriced stuff".

    You can't hold off having a phone of some sort in Japan. I knew a kid who tried that and was basically a social pariah for his first few months. By the time he finally got a phone, he was so out of the loop that people pretty much forgot they existed. The ONLY reason he wasn't forced into getting a phone when he got here was because he teaches at a school with another ALT, who also lives in the same complex.
    Well fuck me...

    Dammit, why must my first world problem cause me so much distress.

    Anyone have any recommendations on services that may offer phones off contract for cheap? Willcom?

    Or what if I buy a cheap Japanese service phone on eBay? If I take let's say a Docomo flip phone I got from eBay to a Docomo retail store, will they let me get just a sim and pay month to month, or prepaid?
    Last edited by ScoobyDoobyBoob; April 25th, 2014 at 13:02.

  17. #37
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoobyDoobyBoob View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback. Damn, I'm really confused as to what I should do now.

    Will I be able to use the points earned from a Bic Camera at a carrier store? Or are those points like bic camera points and only able to be used at bic camera?

    Cause if so, then I don't see the point in going that route now. I may just hold off on buying any phone until the 6 comes out...

    Or get some sort of non-contract phone for a few months.
    The odd thing about the way Bic Camera does its business with the phone stores is that you're buying the phone from the shop, and the contract from the phone company. You can use Bic camera points to buy a phone from docomo, as long as it's a docomo shop in bic camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Also, good thing to know for you apple lovers here. Japanese iPhones are locked, and not able to be unlocked. Don't consider this phone a long term investment, it's only good in this country.
    This is true, but if you keep the phone in good condition, alongside the box and all cabling, then you can get a pretty amount back - ever after subsequent models are released - through second hand stores, let alone selling privately, when you are going home.


    The way I ended up getting my current phone (Note 3), through Bic camera: 71,000(ish) phone to begin with, I got a 21k discount for going through the MNP program switching from Docomo, used 35,000 of bic camera vouchers I had from beforehand/other reasons, and bought an AU MNP coupon from yahoo auctions (for about ~1800JPY) discounting it a further 10,500 so ended up with a 71,000 phone for something around 7000JPY. [I'm about to be moaned at for being a cheap bastard]
    Last edited by MJN; April 25th, 2014 at 13:32.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    No way! That's being smart and I always do stuff like that back home!


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  19. #39
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    And to further, I'm selling it for 32000 as I leave the country.

    On a related topic: Can I cancel my AU contract at Kansai airport?
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    I'm in the same boat! I want to wait for the iPhone 6 to come out so I don't want to have to sign up for any contract until then. I was thinking about going the cheap flip phone route, trying to find a pre-paid phone/plan, or rent a sim card (if possible). When I studied abroad in Japan 1 1/2 years ago, I used my internationally unlocked iPhone 4S with a SoftBank sim card that I bought at the airport. The only bad thing is that it was expensive as hell and I could only make/receive calls. Does anyone know of any cheap data/voice sim card options out there?

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