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Thursday, 12th September 2013
In Events In Japan,

Japan gears up for the iPhone

Apple fanatics in Japan are already queueing up for the chance to purchase the US smartphone giant's latest offering to the industry, following an unveiling of the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C on Tuesday (September 10th ).

Tetsuya Tamura, a Japanese businessman, has made national headlines after arriving at the store to queue for the new handsets several hours before they were even announced.

"I’m glad to have secured first place,” Mr Tamura told AFP, from his vigil outside the iPhone store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. "Being here gets my adrenaline going. I am using up my annual leave to be here, but getting the first handset will make it all worth it."

The new models go on sale in Japan on September 20th and will be available for the very first time from NTT Docomo, the nation's largest carrier.

According to Japanese media, the firm has lost around 3.5 million subscribers to SoftBank since 2008, when the rival company brought the first iPhone to Japan.

Apple revealed its latest products at a launch event in California two days ago, with the iPhone 5S featuring an innovative new fingerprint sensor that has sparked debate among technology commentators about security and biometrics.

The 5C has been met with less enthusiasm, with pundits dismayed at the high price in spite of speculation that the US giant would develop a much cheaper unit aimed at developing markets.

Despite a reputation for gadgets, Japan came to the smartphone relatively late compared to the UK and the US, with many consumers openly preferring their traditional clamshell handsets to the shiny rectangles purveyed by Apple and Samsung.

With enthusiasm now rocketing along with sales, however, actions similar to those of Mr Tamura are likely to become more commonplace in the future.

Written by Graham McPherson