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Buying phones in Japan 2015/1/24 13:14
Hi guys :)
I am going to Japan in 3 days!! I am really excited.

I am looking to buy electronics (especially a new phone) in Japan. I am going to Akihabara (electronics capital) - just wondering are prices the cheapest here? I will be staying in Shinjuku but will move to Kyoto and Osaka in the second week. Are prices generally cheaper in Tokyo or Kyoto?

Also, if I am looking to buy phones, will they work overseas? Are phones generally locked? If I ask the seller whether they are locked or not, will they lie to me? (ie. pretend it's unlocked when it's locked so I buy it?).

What are some ways to haggle in Japan electronics as well? is it just by comparing prices and telling them their prices aren't cheapest?

Thanks so much guys!!
by Murphy (guest)  

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2015/1/24 18:20
All mobiles from Japan are locked to their respective service provider.
2nd hand shop may sell some unlocked mobiles.
If you buy Docomo mobiles, you can get it unlock at Docomo shop for a fees. ID such as passport are required.

FYI eventhough you get the phone unlocked, Japan mobiles are bloated with unnecessary app, and you can't easily/impossible to root.

Also, software upgrade if available in the future, you cannot do it.

checkout below links:-

http://iosys.co.jp/cgi-bin/zaiko_list/list.php?BG=01
they have shop in Akibahara.

http://www.musbi.net/sys/c/116107.html
online mobile flea market
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2015/1/24 19:09
as for working overseas, it's up to you to know the requirements of the carrier you plan to use the phone with back home.
by john (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2015/1/26 12:12
I am looking to buy electronics (especially a new phone) in Japan. I am going to Akihabara (electronics capital) - just wondering are prices the cheapest here? I will be staying in Shinjuku but will move to Kyoto and Osaka in the second week. Are prices generally cheaper in Tokyo or Kyoto?

They are fairly uniform at the big box stores, cheaper at the smaller retailers. Check kakaku.com for prices on specific items. In general the cheapest place to shop is online.

Also, if I am looking to buy phones, will they work overseas? Are phones generally locked?

First off, which types of phones (smartphones, domestic flip phones, etc.) are you looking for and where do you intend to use them?

Unlocked phones are sold in Japan (by independent retailer, not by the mobile phone service providers), but they tend to be expensive and the domestic models often have features and services that will only work in Japan.

If I ask the seller whether they are locked or not, will they lie to me? (ie. pretend it's unlocked when it's locked so I buy it?).

No

What are some ways to haggle in Japan electronics as well? is it just by comparing prices and telling them their prices aren't cheapest?

It's ok to ask for discounts at electronics stores. They don't always give them though.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2015/1/27 12:24
You can buy factory unlocked phones in IOSYS at Akihabara. Some are cheaper than others, but iPhones are expensive.
If you can find the right DoCoMo phone, with the right frequencies for your home country, then you can get a good deal once you go to DoCoMo to unlock it. Someone I know actually got the shop to unlock a few phones at DoCoMo at extra cost, but these phones ended up being good value.
The key is knowing the price for an unlocked phone (e.g. on Ebay), and knowing your home frequencies.
by Sandy (guest) rate this post as useful

Do not buy phones in Japan 2017/6/14 13:21
Putting this here just in case anyone might be thinking the same thing. With the plethora of phones everyone in every high street store and via on line shopping, I cannot imagine why anyone would think of going to the trouble of buying a phone in Japan. There are no advantages, yet there are many pitfalls and disadvantages.

I doubt you'd get any discount - and if you do it would be a matter of just a few dollars shaved off.

In Japan you 'd need to get it unlocked. It might not work when you got it home. Many stores in Japan would not sell it anyway without it being tied to a local provider.

As a long term resident of Hong Kong, I can say this request seems to be redolent of what things were like in the eighties. At that time, Hong Kong (and perhaps Japan and Singapore) were famous as places where people could come in and load up with the electronic goods of the time (Walkmans, digital organisers, yay!) and the money they'd save would pay for the trip.

Those days are long, long gone. What you pay for an iPhone or Samsung in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and your local high street store is about the same.
by Stephen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2017/6/14 13:42
Whether buying in Japan is cheaper than buying at home obviously depends on both the price in Japan and the price at home. I don't know about prices in Hong-Kong, but I do know that there are many places where the prices are much higher than in Japan; most of Europe, for one.
by Firas (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2017/6/14 19:54
So many mix ups here

1) most phones are locked to carrier.
2) you can unlock phones which are from an certain sold date.
3) unlocking phone cost money and need to be done with the provider.
4) some shops do also unlocking which is not legal. Also you phone can be disabled by the carrier.
5) unlocked phones cost more than locked in Japan. Also grade depending of the phone.
6) iPhone which are locked can be unlocked from 5s version.
7) Japanese phones sometimes work only in Japan because of carrier frequency. Most newer models just work.

Enjoy your buying.
by justmyday (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying phones in Japan 2017/7/4 14:45
I purchased an Asus Zenfone from Yodobashi Camera and it was unlocked over the counter. Not only did I get it tax free, they also gave me a discount based on the type of credit card I used. If you go to a mobile phone service provider they will automatically lock their phones and foreigners (non residents) cannot buy prepaid voice phone services (SIM cards) in Japan, only data. The prices for mobile phones at Yodobashi were better than I could buy on ebay back home in Australia.
by Rob (guest) rate this post as useful

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