iPhone for Foreigners

Japan Probe has posted some disturbing news regarding the newly launched iPhone 3G in Japan. According to the terms on the Softbank website: “If you have less than 15 months left on your visa, you wont be able to make a contract, but they’ll sell the phone to you without a plan for ¥80.000.”

What??? That’s absolutely ridiculous, and would mean that I can’t get one. Yes, my current 3-year visa expires next summer, as which point I will renew, like I’ve been doing for the past 8 years I’ve lived here. So this means you can only get a new phone when you’ve just renewed a visa?

Of course I can’t check for myself to see if they are really enforcing this rule, since I’ll only be back in Japan at the end of the month, but if this is true, then I am not going to be a happy camper.

Update: Someone posted the following comment in the thread:

I just gave them a call, mainly with the intention of complaining. The woman, Kuro-san, told me that in lieu of the passport and registration card I could show my Japanese health insurance card and any valid credit card. This would be sufficient for the required ID to get a two year contract, regardless of actual visa information.