SoftBank prepares to offer iPhone 3G for free in Japan

The iPhone 3G might be selling like hotcakes here in the US but it looks like other countries may be a bit reluctant to hand over standard functionality such as MMS and copy/paste in exchange for the smooth touchscreen ride the iPhone affords. According to a press release issued by SoftBank Mobile early this morning, the Japanese carrier is preparing to introduce some unheard-of pricing for the iPhone 3G — free. And you thought $99 was a good deal… Starting Friday and extending though the end of May, SoftBank’s “iPhone for everybody Campaign” will offer the iPhone 3G 8GB for free or the iPhone 3G 16GB for $117 to new subscribers. There is a mandatory 2-year contract involved of course, and but the iPhone data plan will run $44.75 per month as opposed to the standard $60. So basically, new SoftBank subscribers are looking at an instant savings of around $230 on either iPhone 3G model — standard pricing is $230 for the 8GB and $350 for the 16GB — and they’re saving over $15 each month on data. Ok AT&T, what’s up?

Thanks, Jacob!

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