Apple 's new iPhone made its strong Japanese market debut Friday morning, with more than 1,500 customers making a long line from the night before in front of the first store to sell the cool gadget in central Tokyo.
The iPhone 3G, launched at Softbank Mobile Corp.'s retail outlet in the posh Omotesando district, is becoming available for purchase at other Softbank shops and electronics retail stores across Japan from noon.
Buying the iPhone 3G by 24 installments would cost users 8,240-8,720 yen per month, inclusive of the handset price and data communications fees.
Apple is rolling out the new iPhone in more than 20 countries -- including New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong.
MobileMe closer to release
In the eve of iPhone's release, Apple's new data synching service got off to a rocky start Thursday, as some users were denied access to their accounts.
MobileMe is a the $99-per-year service and will let people view, update and sync e-mails, calendar appointments and contacts across iPhones, Macs and Windows PCs. Like its predecessor, Apple's .Mac, MobileMe also lets users store and share files over the Internet.
Apple has said it will begin selling MobileMe on today (Friday).
Existing .Mac users got word via the .Mac home page earlier in the week that the site would be offline from evening until midnight Wednesday, as their data was moved over to the MobileMe system.
But by Thursday afternoon, blogs devoted to Apple news and rumors were clogged with messages from people who couldn't log on to either account using their Web browser.
Apple said that the MobileMe transition was underway but it was taking longer than expected.