Interestingly, this follows a trend of Japanese warming to cheaper foreign gadgets during the economic downturn. The high-end iPhone isn't exactly the sort of inferior goods one would expect to blossom when folks are short of cash, though. Brand-conscious Japanese consumers remain picky about quality even as they pay more attention to price, and that the iPhone should benefit from this trend says good things about the case in favor of the iPhone's price/performance ratio. The increased share in handsets should also give Apple a chance to build international software sales -- the apps really make the phone sing, and Japanese will want them as much as anyone else. Given Apple's platform's technical advantages in international competition, this promises to offer some durable advantage if established.