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Japan's NTT DoCoMo wants iPhone access as Apple partners gain subscribers

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Japan's No. 1 cellular carrier NTT DoCoMo on Friday said it would be willing to negotiate a deal to sell the iPhone, a device that has become a driving force in net subscriber growth for Apple's partner carriers in the country.

DoCoMo iPhone


The president of NTT DoCoMo, Katoru Katō, said his company would be willing to add the iPhone to its existing lineup if the telecom can reach a mutually beneficial arrangement with Apple, reports the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (via Brightwire).

Apple requires partner carriers to sell a predetermined amount of iPhones per year and Kato said that DoCoMo can reach that number if the handset accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the company's overall smartphone sales. The telecom expects to bring in over $11 billion from Android-related e-commerce sales by the end of 2015.

A DoCoMo iPhone may not happen anytime soon, however, as the company is only now in preliminary negotiations to bring Apple's popular device onto its smartphone network.

News of Kato's willingness to adopt the iPhone comes one day after the Telecommunications Carriers Association announced that rival SoftBank raked in the most subscribers in December, signing up a total of 274,700 net contracts. The Japanese telecom, which started in the mobile industry after taking over Vodafone's Japan business, recently expanded into the U.S. after buying a controlling interest in Sprint.

Coming in second was KDDI with 239,200 net contracts while DoCoMo was third with 235,100 net subs. The statistics come one month after NTT DoCoMo announced its biggest ever net loss of subscribers in November, blaming the mass exodus on the iPhone.
post #2 of 23

NTT DoCoMo then and now.

 

post #3 of 23
When DoCoMo start selling iPhone, it means game over.
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post #4 of 23
"Mutually beneficial". LMAO. How about you better start carrying it or your going to turn into the #3 carrier. How is that for "mutually beneficial"

Same goes for China Mobile. Apple should not give in and should continue to build its business with aggressive, second place carriers to help them take share

Same approach as what happened in the US. Make the leader feel pain. NTT already is

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post #5 of 23
Well analyst were wrong that Apple needs a $99 phone to grow its business.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Well analyst were wrong that Apple needs a $99 phone to grow its business.

 

True, but businesses can always grow another step.

 

This doesn't change the need for something less expensive, if Apple wants to get into poorer countries.

 

As for Japan, the iPhone barely sold at first.  It didn't get popular until it got subsidized down to free or almost free.


Edited by KDarling - 1/11/13 at 4:48am
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

True, but businesses can always grow another step.

This doesn't change the need for something less expensive, if Apple wants to get into poorer countries.

As for Japan, the iPhone barely sold at first.  It didn't get popular until it got subsidized down to free or almost free.

Why would Apple want to get into poorer countries? If the country can't support a price that Apple needs to be profitable, why bother?
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why would Apple want to get into poorer countries? If the country can't support a price that Apple needs to be profitable, why bother?

 

True, although it's not about just being profitable.  

 

Anyone can make a small profit, and the low pricing of other companies' products (partly due to the way that ETSI members charge each other royalties by device price) is why billions of people can use a cell phone today, and why Apple had a ready made market for theirs.    

 

The difference is, Apple desires to be hugely profitable.   Which is, of course, their choice... and their market limiting factor.


Edited by KDarling - 1/11/13 at 6:13am
post #9 of 23
>The president of NTT DoCoMo, Katoru Kat%u014D, said his company would be willing to add the iPhone to its existing lineup if the telecom can reach a mutually beneficial arrangement with Apple, reports the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (via Brightwire).

I'm sure this has Apple quaking in its boots and willing to cut NTT a really good deal to get their business.:-) Not!

>The statistics come one month after NTT DoCoMo announced its biggest ever net loss of subscribers in November, blaming the mass exodus on the iPhone.

I'd be willing to bet that Apple isn't going to cut NTT any deal, but that NTT is going to sign up with them as soon as they possibly can. In the meantime, this is typical Japanese face saving talk. i.e.: We don't really need Apple, we don't really like Apple, but if the deal is right, we might consider adding their phone to our lineup." Ha!
post #10 of 23
Well, good news for customers at least. And of course, Apple, which has had a barrier all along to get into the Japanese market.
post #11 of 23
I don't understand the push to have Apple make a low cost phone.

Apple is the number two mobile company in the world by volume.
Apple is far and away the number one smartphone company in the world by profit.
Apple has the largest ecosystem and has the only ecosystem which is internationalized and localized.
Apple connectors are proprietary "standards."

I don't understand how Android sells so well outside the United States since many of their products and services are not internationalized and localized. Many of the key features of the iPad and iPhone which are intrinsic to the devices have no first party equivalent functionality on Android.

I could argue that the only threat that Android poses to Apple is that is frustrates so many users that the users don't consider a new smartphone.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I don't understand how Android sells so well outside the United States since many of their products and services are not internationalized and localized. Many of the key features of the iPad and iPhone which are intrinsic to the devices have no first party equivalent functionality on Android.

I think it comes down to cost. Some off-brand vendor in a country can build an Android-based device without any import taxes. Add in all the other factors that lower the cost of a device and you have a market Apple simply doesn't play in but one that is huge. Have you seen the number of Android-based tablets on Amazon for under $100?

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post #13 of 23
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Originally Posted by jpadhiyar View Post

Well, good news for customers at least. And of course, Apple, which has had a barrier all along to get into the Japanese market.

Apple has been selling the iPhone in Japan since June 26th, 2009 starting with the 3GS.

Also, the iPhone 4 had a 5th band tested according to the FCC but their spec sheet only listed 4 bands. This 5th band was for NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest carrier. I'm guessing that expected a deal would be reached at some point but it feel through.

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post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I don't understand how Android sells so well outside the United States since many of their products and services are not internationalized and localized. Many of the key features of the iPad and iPhone which are intrinsic to the devices have no first party equivalent functionality on Android.
 

Which functions and/or features are you thinking of that make Apple devices a better match than Android (and others?) outside the US?

 

iOS doesn't have native support as many languages as Android AFAIK. Nor offer mapping in more countries. Nor offer TBT navigation for more of them. Nor offer Voice Search support for as many dialects. Nor offers paid app support for more countries. Those all seem pretty good candidates for an "internationalized and localized" category don't they? 


Edited by Gatorguy - 1/11/13 at 8:12am
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post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

True, but businesses can always grow another step.

 

This doesn't change the need for something less expensive, if Apple wants to get into poorer countries.

 

As for Japan, the iPhone barely sold at first.  It didn't get popular until it got subsidized down to free or almost free.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

True, although it's not about just being profitable.  

 

Anyone can make a small profit, and the low pricing of other companies' products (partly due to the way that ETSI members charge each other royalties by device price) is why billions of people can use a cell phone today, and why Apple had a ready made market for theirs.    

 

The difference is, Apple desires to be hugely profitable.   Which is, of course, their choice... and their market limiting factor.

 

I think Apple may have a slightly cheaper iPhone up their sleeve, but my comment was mainly directed at the analyst that said Apple NEEDS a CHEAP iPhone in order to succeed and grow.

 

If Apple makes a smaller cheaper iPhone it will only be to expand the brand not out of a necessity to survive as some analyst have made it seem.

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


iOS doesn't have native support as many languages as Android AFAIK. Nor offer mapping in more countries. Nor offer TBT navigation for more of them. Nor offer Voice Search support for as many dialects. Nor offers paid app support for more countries. Those all seem pretty good candidates for an "internationalized and localized" category don't they? 

iOS does cover a lot of languages, perhaps not in the growing Siri collection at this point but it is, as I said, growing, as is maps and turn by turn.

And in the app front, that is the developers not Apple.

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post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


iOS does cover a lot of languages, perhaps not in the growing Siri collection at this point but it is, as I said, growing, as is maps and turn by turn.

And in the app front, that is the developers not Apple.

I would completely agree with your comments. Apple is improving their local support with every iOS update and certainly aims to cover what they feel are the most important regions and languages.

 

MacBook Pro said that Android doesn't have the international and localized features that iOS does which I'd have to disagree with. That's unless he has some significant examples of those iOS key features that show where Android lacks in that regard.

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post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

iOS doesn't have native support as many languages as Android AFAIK.

Wikipedia says Apple supports 34 languages but only listed "multi-lingual" on Android's wikipage I was able to find an article that stated "While Froyo (2.2) only had 26 languages, Gingerbread comes in with a whopping 57 languages" That is clearly more than iOS but to what constitutes language support? I see in the list that the same language is support multiple times with a regional variant. Does iOS catalog them the same way? Just like with their cut/copy/paste when Apple includes it they tend to do a more thorough job of it.

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post #19 of 23
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Wikipedia says Apple supports 34 languages but only listed "multi-lingual" on Android's wikipage I was able to find an article that stated "While Froyo (2.2) only had 26 languages, Gingerbread comes in with a whopping 57 languages" That is clearly more than iOS but to what constitutes language support? I see in the list that the same language is support multiple times with a regional variant. Does iOS catalog them the same way? Just like with their cut/copy/paste when Apple includes it they tend to do a more thorough job of it.

The list of native Android languages is here Soli. 

http://us.dinodirect.com/Forum/Latest-Posts-5/Android-Versions-and-their-Locales-1-86587/

 

iOS supported language list is here:

http://kb.applingua.com/2011/07/which-languages-does-ios-support/

 

If you want to also look at voice search support Android is here:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/voice-search-arrives-in-13-new-languages.html

 

While iOS is here:

http://www.apple.com/ios/siri/siri-faq/

 

Yes, it appears Apple breaks the languages down by dialect, with both French and Canadian French (and both Spanish and Mexican Spanish separately noted too) listed among the 15 supported voice languages.


Edited by Gatorguy - 1/11/13 at 9:11am
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post #20 of 23
Wasn't DoCoMo the company that loudly and proudly proclaimed that if Apple won't let them customize the iPhone (read: install crapware), they won't sell it?

My.... how quickly do they change their tune... 1smile.gif
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65C816 View Post

Wasn't DoCoMo the company that loudly and proudly proclaimed that if Apple won't let them customize the iPhone (read: install crapware), they won't sell it?

My.... how quickly do they change their tune... 1smile.gif

Nice memory.

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post #22 of 23
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Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

True, although it's not about just being profitable.  

 

Anyone can make a small profit, and the low pricing of other companies' products (partly due to the way that ETSI members charge each other royalties by device price) is why billions of people can use a cell phone today, and why Apple had a ready made market for theirs.    

 

The difference is, Apple desires to be hugely profitable.   Which is, of course, their choice... and their market limiting factor.

Apple don't need a cheap phone and market share is not important but only to the analysts. 

 

Profits as in money are kings. 

 

Only analysts live in dreams and promises and market share.

 

Btw making money is what keeps a company alive and not marketshare and this is what Apple chose to be.

 

And since they are highly profitable why do the still need to sell small potatoes and is it really limiting their market?

post #23 of 23

Tim Cook just said that he expected the Chinese market to be big... to eventually outsell the American iPhone market.

 

He's also said in the past that Apple won't allow a price umbrella to protect lower priced competition.  In other words, if they need to go with a lower price, they will.

 

Not to mention how much space Apple devotes in their lawsuits to complaints that their current (and future) market share is being taken by competitors; about how if they lose a sale to Android at first then they usually have lost that customer forever.

 

Apple is definitely interested in market share, and in getting new smartphone / tablet users at the start.   The question is, can they manage to do this without diluting their brand.  I suppose it depends on what you think is their most important pull to customers.  Is it the apps?  Is it iTunes?  (seems doubtful overseas)  Is it the materials?  Is it actually the higher price?  Can they afford to give up any of those?


Edited by KDarling - 1/12/13 at 6:43am
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