AU is aggressively pursuing new customers with it's iPhone 4S, which goes on sale from 10/14/2011. First, the 16 GB model is available fully subsidized (zero yen). Next, AU is also offering ¥10,000 "cash back" for customers who switch their phone number from another carrier (MNP).
I've read this release (PDF) several times now, and it seems this is in addition to the advertised iPhone prices, so the 32 GB model would cost ¥320 after the rebate. To be eligible you must:
- Start a new contract for an iPhone 4S with a number ported from another carrier between 10/14/2011 and 1/31/2012
- Apply for IS NET
- Apply for the iPhone start campaign (2 year contract)
For those wanting to jump to AU for a better network, it would be wise to look into how the availability of a CDMA iPhone on US Verizon's network revealed that AT&T's network, though much maligned, really wasn't that bad. Also keep in mind that Softbank's theoretical maximum downlink is about 4 times faster than AU's. How this adds up in to a real world speed difference between the two carriers depends not only on network congestion but also on Apple's experience with CDMA basebands (or lack thereof) and how closely they are working with KDDI (if at all) for optimization.
The iPhone Start Campaign discounts the data price from ¥5,460 to ¥4,980 for two years. After two years, the discount will cease. There are two plans available, the "Plan Z Simple" and the "Plan F (IS) Simple". Here are the differences between the two
Plan Z Simple
Plan F (IS) Simple
Monthly base charge
Free to AU phones (1am - 9pm)
Free to AU phones
Phone price (16 GB)