Well, the International Day of the iPhone is here, when Apple's new 3G iPhone launches around the world. In Japan, the line outside Softbank's flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo reached 1500 people and over a kilometer in length, as Japanese fans lined up to get their hands on the device for the first time. Masayoshi Son, the enigmatic president of Softbank and the mind behind the success of Google-trouncing Yahoo Japan, was beaming as he watched the lines of iPhone buyers, most of whom were switching from competing cellphone companies au/KDDI and NTT Docomo. Being a maverick has helped make the UC Berkeley-educated Son, a third-generation Japanese of Korean descent, the richest man in Japan, and his ability to "think different" probably helped him win the contract for the iPhone from Steve Jobs. While I'm still not sure if the iPhone will bowl over Japanese keitai users, who are extremely hidebound and love their flip-fones with the fancy styling and easy-to-type (for them) numeric keypads, I do love the coming havoc the iPhone will wreak in the Japanese cellphone marketplace as users realize they don't have to give cellular providers power to dictate everything about their phone, from what music formats they can listen to to what applications they can run -- they can just stick anything in iTunes and sync it over. Today I updated my (first-gen) iPhone to the updated 2.0 firmware and downloaded the app I've always wanted, a light saber sound simulator (iTunes link). Any phone platform that can bring that kind of awesomeness to its users will certainly find a niche in Japan.