Japanese iPhone gets official digital TV WiFi tuner/battery extender

Softbank Mobile today announced the release of a One-Seg digital TV tuner for the iPhone [JP] for the middle of December. One-Seg is a digital TV system only available in Japan and Brazil and usually stands for great picture and sound quality.

The device makes it possible to watch digital TV via WiFi by converting TV signals into IP-based data. Buyers can use the TV tuner (weight: 80 grams) continuously for three hours and can get a free One-Seg application from the AppStore. The device doubles as a battery extender when plugged into the iPhone 3G’s dock connector.

SoftBank hasn’t officially put a price tag on the tuner but Japanese media are reporting it will cost around $100. This is a smart move by the company, considering the lack of a TV tuner was one of the main weak points of the handset in Japan, but I doubt this will have a huge effect on future sales.