Softbank, the official Japanese partner for the Apple iPhone 3G, has dramatically cut monthly tariffs.

The iPhone 3G saw a launch in Japan on 11 July, the same date as in the UK, that means the price reduction - of more than 50% - comes less than a month after the device's debut.

The slashed prices see the monthly contract cost for the iPhone 3G down to 2990 yen (£14.00) from the original 7280 yen (£34.50) with data charges also significantly dropped.

The company says the cuts are in order to attract more users to the phone, rather than due to poor sales, which had been predicted by some in a country where phones more advanced than the iPhone are already available.

"For the (iPhone) price plan, we are changing it so it will be easier for so-called entry-level users to jump in", chief executive of Softbank, Masayoshi Son, told a news conference.