My cell phone can't access cell phone sites!
October 4, 2008 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Getting fed up: how to access Japanese cell phone sites from my MacBook or iPhone?

I'm trying to visit and (Hi, I'm DoctorFedora, and I'm a big Japanese arcade dork) but my iPhone seems to identify to these web sites as a computer, rather than as a cell phone. This is problematic inasmuch as I would love to be able to take advantage of the features on these sites. I've got the Firefox User Agent Switcher plugin installed on my MacBook, but I've long since stopped caring about how to use it, so I can't even remember how to set up a new user agent even if I could find one that might work.

Can anyone at least point me in the right direction, if not offer a walkthrough? It's getting a bit frustrating, to be honest, since it'd be nice to be able to get the full use out of those little arcade cards I paid for.

Thanks, folks.
posted by DoctorFedora to Technology (4 answers total)
I'm not sure what you mean by "identify as a computer rather than as a cell phone". Maybe because the iPhone talks real IP+HTTP instead of WAP?
posted by hattifattener at 12:15 PM on October 4, 2008

I know of no way to do this on the iPhone. (Someone will have to probably make a specific version of safari with a agent switcher, and that doesn't seem likely.) Frainly I'm surprised they don't have a mobile/pc option on thier sites to allow for misidentification.

Use User Agent Switcher and try setting up a new user agent string with:

KDDI-KC31 UP.Browser/ (GUI) MMP/2.0

Which is what my Japanese phone sends, though its pretty old. Others are available here.

To set up a new user agent for UAS in Firefox, go to Tools, choose User Agent Switcher and then Options.
posted by Ookseer at 1:04 PM on October 4, 2008

Response by poster: Maybe I'm not setting up the user agent properly, because still gives me a 403 error. Could it also be that the problem may be that I need to find some way to go through WAP instead of HTTP as Firefox is wont to do? Although I tried the Opera Mini demo on their web site, which may or may not have worked (and didn't) — still the same 403 error, at best. : \

Maybe I should just give up and borrow someone else's cell phone or something.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:07 PM on October 4, 2008

I held off on this overnight because it doesn't actually answer the question, but I noticed that (for example) this site says that supports "only docomo, SoftBank, and au (excluding some models)" and specifically does not support the iPhone, WILLCOM, or regular computers. This might just mean "We aren't set up to handle requests from other devices", but it might also mean "We rely on something that these devices can do which other ones can't" (e.g. the protocols for paying for something via cellphone and having that charge automatically added to your phone bill). In the former case, spoofing might work; in the latter case, probably not.

Also, logically, if what you are able to do with these sites by pushing buttons on a cellphone could conceivably be exploited by script kiddies running software on PCs to farm something valuable (free credits, powered-up characters for resale), chances are that the sites are locked up tight except to verified/accountable docomo/SoftBank/au regular-cellphone users.
posted by No-sword at 8:24 PM on October 4, 2008

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