Despite speculation that the Apple iPhone 3G would fail to catch on in any significant manner in Japan – a country so used to advanced cellphone features that it makes the iPhone 3G’s feature-set look dull – it seems that Japanese geeks are just as enamored with Apple’s glossy-finished touchscreen handset as the rest of the world. A new Japanese survey reveals that many Japanese mobile enthusiasts consider the iPhone 3G the “Best Smartphone of 2008.”
Of the 3,000 survey participants, the iPhone 3G was voted 2008’s best smartphone 1,286 times. A solid 61% of those surveyed though the iPhone 3G, available from Softbank in Japan, was the leader of the smartphone pack – no small feat in a country that defines high-technology. The Japan-only WILLCOM 03 was voted as the second-best smartphone of 2008, garnering just 321 votes (about 15%).
The iPhone 3G was criticized for its lack of an integrated mobile TV receiver, but it seems that Japanese smartphone fans have looked past the iPhone 3G’s feature-set and embraced its innovative UI and slick design aesthetic. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that Softbank released an external iPhone 3G mobile TV receiver a few months ago.
The iPhone 3G’s popularity around the world is a given at this point. But, it remains to be seen if the iPhone 3G can carry over its fanatical growth into 2009. Apple is rumored to be working on an iPhone Nano, which could give Apple more form-factor options with which to push their iPhone brand. We’re still holding out for an iPhone 3G HD with a larger, higher-resolution display and a 3- or 5-megapixel camera. Apple, you listening?