iOS 10.1 Update Launches Apple Pay And Transit in Japan – Updated

Update 10/25 5 am Japan time: Apple Pay went online at 5am Japan time. Twitter users report successful Suica loading. I successfully loaded a JR East View Card on iPad Pro 9.7. If you are not seeing Apple Pay on your Apple Pay supported device after updating, try restarting the device.

iOS 10.1 had been released. As expected the update brings Apple Pay to:

  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices sold in Japan for store, App and web purchasing
  • Suica transit and purchase support nationwide
  • Suica reloading with Apple Pay in Wallet and Transit Pass renewal

For Apple Pay information see the Apple Pay Q&A Intro.

iOS 10.1 also brings transit support to Maps for

  • Every major train, subway, ferry and national bus line. Local bus routes for Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
  • Underground arcade and major station passageway mapping, transit transfer information based on station premise mapping
  • Transit fare route comparisons

For a Japan transit introduction see the review.

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Apple Pay Ready Terminals Appearing Ahead of Japanese Launch

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Apple Pay ready terminals are appearing in stores ahead of the October 25 Japanese launch. This one was at the local Matsumotokiyoshi drug store which until now only accepted Rakuten Edy contactless payment. Japanese twitter users are reporting similar developments in their locales. The market disruption that Apple Pay is bringing to Japan will be fascinating to watch.

Apple Maps Japan Transit Goes Live in iOS 10.1 Beta

The new look of Shinjuku Station seen in iOS 10.1 beta transit view

(A full review of Apple Maps Japan Transit here)

Apple Maps Japan Transit service has gone live before the official iOS 10.1 release and Apple Pay Japan launch. iOS 10.1 beta users and macOS Sierra 10.12.1 beta users, can now search transit routes nationwide, even reaching tsunami recovery areas such as Yamadamachi in Iwate (screenshot below), with multiple transit time, fare and transfer results.

Apple Maps Japan cartography has been updated to show color coded train and subway lines, bus stops, completely new transit signage, enhanced station footprints and indoor mapping. Japanese Siri also supports transit route searches.

Rough spots remain and it appears as if this is a final beta test before the official Apple Pay Japan/Japan Transit rollout with iOS 10.1 update on October 25 (local Japan time). Indoor mapping for example, shows overall underground station connecting structures in pink, but multilevel underground detail, passageways and exit information is missing.

There is much to review and test in the next few days with more updates to follow. Until then, I posted some quick screenshots below. The images more or less resemble earlier Apple previews though there are some differences.

 

Apple Maps Japan transit coverage is nationwide, even reaching tsunami recovery areas.
Japanese Siri supports transit searches.

Apple Pay Japan Launch/iOS 10.1 Update Set for October 25

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During Tim Cook’s trip here Japanese media reported October 25 (local time) as the Apple Pay Japan launch/iOS 10.1 release date. This is confirmed with the major Apple Pay partners going down for system maintenance that day. Both Docomo iD and JR East Suica will be completely down for “unscheduled system maintenance” the early morning hours of October 25.

iOS 10.1 is confirmed as a requirement for using Apple Pay in Japan.

Check the Apple Pay Japan Intro Q&A for Apple Pay details.

10/19: updated with Suica system maintenance information.