Using a Japanese phone stateside?
October 16, 2009 4:28 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to use my Japanese Toshiba 810T in the States?

I'm moving back to the states, and would love if I could use my little black phone to email my Japanese friends. It's Softbank, and does use some kind of SIM card. Basically I want to be able to use the Japanese input and also the handy dictionary. Is this just a pipe dream, something that will cost a lot, or just a plug-and-play situation? If it's no good, can I at least transfer the dictionary to a US carrier's phone, or is there anyway I could have a US carrier phone that would work with Japanese input?
posted by greasepig to Technology (5 answers total)
If it is unlocked, you should be able to throw in any US GSM-based carrier sim card. it appears to support the requisite GSM bands.
posted by biggity at 5:48 AM on October 16, 2009

Carrier unlocked, that is.
posted by biggity at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2009

after moving back to the states i couldn't get my keitai to work over here :(

but i can fake k-mail my friends now that i have an iphone because it has japanese input... i just email to their keitai mail addresses.
posted by raw sugar at 10:09 AM on October 16, 2009

No, you cannot. The 810T is SIM-locked by default. Unless you unlock the phone you're stuck with using it with SoftBank only.

(Disclaimer: I used to develop mobile phones for SoftBank for a large Japanese electronics manufacturer.)
posted by armage at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2009

As for your question regarding phones that support Japanese input, obviously the iPhone is one, and Android-based phones also seem to support it via a third-party app.

Service through KDDI Mobile is available in most major markets; the Sanyo 6600-J and 6750-J appear to support Japanese text input and display.

Be aware that just because a particular phone appears to be Japanese-capable in Japan does not mean that you can use Japanese on that same model in the US. The Blackberry Bold is a case in point -- reports I've seen say that there are a lot of problems with mojibake in messages.
posted by armage at 8:18 PM on October 18, 2009

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