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Japan's largest carrier sees no urgency to get Apple's iPhone

post #1 of 105
Thread Starter 
Asked when his company might try to win back some customers by carrying Apple's iPhone, a representative of Japan's largest wireless service stayed noncommittal on the issue, saying that Apple's phone is no longer "the god of all smartphones."

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"The question we need to ask is how many customers will continue to leave DoCoMo from now on because we don't have the iPhone," said Kazuto Tsubouhi, NTT DoCoMo's Senior Executive Vice President in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "There will always be some customers who switch to the iPhone, but things have changed from the time in the past when the iPhone looked like the god of all smartphones."

Tsubouchi went on to explain that the carrier is not opposed to the idea of selling Apple's handset, which has drawn customers away to other carriers. Doing so, he said, would likely prove a boost to DoCoMo's marketing efforts.

DoCoMo, though, says that other Japanese carriers are selling the iPhone at a very low cost, meaning that their sales expenses must be quite high. The DoCoMo exec cast the issue as one involving a number of tradeoffs. Chief among the carrier's concerns would be Apple's strong stance against letting carriers preinstall software on its phones.

"Also, some of DoCoMo's own services that we provide on Android phones won't work on the iPhone," Tsubouchi continued, "which doesn't leave room for much customization, so we have to give up on them."

Asked whether it was absolutely necessary for the carrier to have an iPhone among its supported devices, Tsubouchi noted that some customers were asking when DoCoMo would carry the iPhone. The company is taking those concerns into consideration, but Tsubouchi said that the improvement in other handsets is mitigating the need for Apple devices.

"t's not that DoCoMo won't be able to survive without the iPhone. I don't think it is indispensable for us to sell the iPhone," he said. "What has changed since last year is that Android phones have become more competitive."

DoCoMo last year noted that the lack of an iPhone option cost the carrier 40,800 subscribers in the month of November. While it doesn't carry Apple's handset, the carrier ? with its more than 60 million customers ? does have a range of high-end Android devices on offer.

In the past several weeks, DoCoMo has been strongly promoting two handsets from Samsung and Sony. The carrier's sway in the Japanese market is such that the promotion lifted Sony to the number one overall position in units shipped from May through mid-June. Apple saw its share of Japanese smartphone shipments drop over the same period.
post #2 of 105
In other words... "We are in intense negotiations for the next iPhone, and we need to look strong in public to get the best deal"
post #3 of 105
Or they can provide the iPhone as a choice for their customers, you know, to do the right thing. This isn't good business when the fundamentals are money driven over the service they claim to provide.
post #4 of 105

I have to agree that the iPhone is no longer the God of all smartphones. There are actually alternatives with their respective pros and cons.

That said, I'll be sticking with the iPhone for years to come as long as Apple creates a quality product.

post #5 of 105
Show me one sensible CEO from a telco, and I'll show you who I really am.

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post #6 of 105

Apple reached the limit for what a 4" premium can do. If they want a higher volume of sales (if) and more profit they need:

 

- A premium 5" line together with the premium 4" line and current models (or a iPod-like phone, with only 1 or 2 gen behind hardware, not 3 or 4);

- A cheaper iPhone together with the current 4" (oh no, don't do it like that!);

- keep doing the same thing, but let carriers putting some crapware on it.

 

If they don't do one of those, they will lose the "extra" power that's so useful to have carriers doing what they want. DoCoMo, China Mobile, etc won't need to bend to Apple's demands.

 

But a 5" premium line? Oh yes they would.

post #7 of 105
"Also, some of DoCoMo's own services that we provide on Android phones won't work on the iPhone," Tsubouchi continued, "which doesn't leave room for much customization, so we have to give up on them."

Says it all. The mind of the Japanese is often an enigma. When you are the biggest, you can better afford to call the shots and for enough, size counts.

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post #8 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Apple reached the limit for what a 4" premium can do. If they want a higher volume of sales (if) and more profit they need:

 

- A premium 5" line together with the premium 4" line and current models (or a iPod-like phone, with only 1 or 2 gen behind hardware, not 3 or 4);

- A cheaper iPhone together with the current 4" (oh no, don't do it like that!);

- keep doing the same thing, but let carriers putting some crapware on it.

 

If they don't do one of those, they will lose the "extra" power that's so useful to have carriers doing what they want. DoCoMo, China Mobile, etc won't need to bend to Apple's demands.

 

But a 5" premium line? Oh yes they would.

agreed. It's time to expand the iPhone line-up to include cheaper (not cheap) & bigger (4.7" to 4.9").  

post #9 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Apple reached the limit for what a 4" premium can do. If they want a higher volume of sales (if) and more profit they need:

- A premium 5" line together with the premium 4" line and current models (or a iPod-like phone, with only 1 or 2 gen behind hardware, not 3 or 4);
- A cheaper iPhone together with the current 4" (oh no, don't do it like that!);
- keep doing the same thing, but let carriers putting some crapware on it.

If they don't do one of those, they will lose the "extra" power that's so useful to have carriers doing what they want. DoCoMo, China Mobile, etc won't need to bend to Apple's demands.

But a 5" premium line? Oh yes they would.

You think a 5" phone is what Apple needs for China? 1oyvey.gif

How do people think this stuff up...
post #10 of 105

"Apple's phone is no longer "the god of all smartphones."   This is a very strong line by CEO in the Business world. I wonder if he was drunk during the interview or if it was his Ego coming in for some reason. By stating such line, is he thinking himself as a god by bashing Apple?

post #11 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Apple reached the limit for what a 4" premium can do. If they want a higher volume of sales (if) and more profit they need:

- A premium 5" line together with the premium 4" line and current models (or a iPod-like phone, with only 1 or 2 gen behind hardware, not 3 or 4);
- A cheaper iPhone together with the current 4" (oh no, don't do it like that!);
- keep doing the same thing, but let carriers putting some crapware on it.

If they don't do one of those, they will lose the "extra" power that's so useful to have carriers doing what they want. DoCoMo, China Mobile, etc won't need to bend to Apple's demands.

But a 5" premium line? Oh yes they would.

You think a 5" phone is what Apple needs for China? 1oyvey.gif

How do people think this stuff up...

Who said something about China? But now that to mention it, yes.

 

In Europe, India and Chine is ALL about big screens. Apple can have it all, they don't even need a cheaper iPhone, just another premium 5" line. Then, 500 stores in China, 500 india, 600 Europe and Global iTunes and Ecosystem. No delays, no "US" App store crap. Just "global" app store.

 

Here, the tips for iOS domination. Give me a beer.

post #12 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


You think a 5" phone is what Apple needs for China? 1oyvey.gif

How do people think this stuff up...

I have to agree with the original post. Large screen phones are doing well in Asia and Europe. I also know a few people who only went Android for the larger screen. I personally will stick with the 4'' screen, unless the larger phone has way better features and specs. 

That said, I think Apple is nearing a huge turn in the road. Samsung is some serious trouble. Apple will never complete on the low-end, cheap side of the market and I do not want them to try. A mid-level cheaper iPhone is fine by me. But I believe for Apple to maintain or even expand it's market share, a new, larger screened iPhone will be needed, on the order of 4.5-4.9''. Failure to do so, may be a really bad idea.

 

I am sure I will get the typical Apple lovers all mad at me. But the market is really shifting and many people really like the 4.5 inch screens, I am not sure I like that big of a screen for a phone but Apple needs to respond to keep iPhone sales growing. I believe Apple just saw a year over year hold in iPhone sales? roughly? 

This to me is troubling news. I have no Apple stock but I wish to see the company dominate the high-end smartphone market. They are still doing very well here; however, making a 4.5''+ iPhone would really give Apple some speed moving forward.

post #13 of 105

Yet another knuckle-headed telco CEO.  Nothing to see here...

post #14 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Who said something about China? But now that to mention it, yes.

 

In Europe, India and Chine is ALL about big screens. Apple can have it all, they don't even need a cheaper iPhone, just another premium 5" line. Then, 500 stores in China, 500 india, 600 Europe and Global iTunes and Ecosystem. No delays, no "US" App store crap. Just "global" app store.

 

Here, the tips for iOS domination. Give me a beer.

 

I am sure Apple wants a Global store for apps and itunes. Sadly, it is not that simple. They licencing deals they have to work out and such, prevent such a simple system from existing.

post #15 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Asked when his company might try to win back some customers by carrying Apple's iPhone, a representative of Japan's largest wireless service stayed noncommittal on the issue, saying that Apple's phone is no longer "the god of all smartphones."

 

1eek.gif  What?!  How dare he!

post #16 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

I have to agree with the original post. Large screen phones are doing well in Asia and Europe. I also know a few people who only went Android for the larger screen. I personally will stick with the 4'' screen, unless the larger phone has way better features and specs. 

That said, I think Apple is nearing a huge turn in the road. Samsung is some serious trouble. Apple will never complete on the low-end, cheap side of the market and I do not want them to try. A mid-level cheaper iPhone is fine by me. But I believe for Apple to maintain or even expand it's market share, a new, larger screened iPhone will be needed, on the order of 4.5-4.9''. Failure to do so, may be a really bad idea.

 

I am sure I will get the typical Apple lovers all mad at me. But the market is really shifting and many people really like the 4.5 inch screens, I am not sure I like that big of a screen for a phone but Apple needs to respond to keep iPhone sales growing. I believe Apple just saw a year over year hold in iPhone sales? roughly? 

This to me is troubling news. I have no Apple stock but I wish to see the company dominate the high-end smartphone market. They are still doing very well here; however, making a 4.5''+ iPhone would really give Apple some speed moving forward.

5" is no longer a phone.

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post #17 of 105

Docomo is suffering from their hubris from bygone days when Japan led the world in cool phones with features no one else had and they controlled 75% of the Japanese market. This was before the iPhone. Japanese phones were the envy of the world back then with big beautiful displays all sorts of features that no other country had in their phones. They invented something called i-mode which allowed the internet over the phone in a way that had not been done before. Think of it like AOL or Compuserve but for phones. It was a very big deal at the time because no other phone or company in the world could do that in that time period. BUt then smart phones appeared and offered the real internet and all of a sudden i-mode and all those Galapagos island phone made just for Japan began to look like dinosaurs. 

 

Back then Sharp, NEC, Toshiba, Casio, Sony, Matsushita dominated the Japanese market and couldn't make enough phones to meet demand. But they never tried to sell overseas and they never really tried to move to smart phones soon enough. So they got crushed when the iPhone and Android arrived. Docomo is still trying to push i-mode services through Android since it is still a big revenue earner. Apple will not allow them to include all that carrier bloatware. In the U.S. Verizon and Sprint also had plenty of carrier type apps but they just moved it to the app store and let customers decide to download it or not on their own. That is also what their two Japanese rivals do Softbank and KDDI. Softbank was the first to carry the iPhone and they have been growing far faster than the other companies. Part of it has to do with the iPhone but also a big reason is they offer far more flexible plans at far better rates. Docomo think since they are the biggest they can offer restrictive and expensive plans and get away with it. Even if they get the iPhone unless they change their rates they will continue to decline. 

 

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post #18 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

I have to agree with the original post. Large screen phones are doing well in Asia and Europe. I also know a few people who only went Android for the larger screen. I personally will stick with the 4'' screen, unless the larger phone has way better features and specs. 

That said, I think Apple is nearing a huge turn in the road. Samsung is some serious trouble. Apple will never complete on the low-end, cheap side of the market and I do not want them to try. A mid-level cheaper iPhone is fine by me. But I believe for Apple to maintain or even expand it's market share, a new, larger screened iPhone will be needed, on the order of 4.5-4.9''. Failure to do so, may be a really bad idea.

 

I am sure I will get the typical Apple lovers all mad at me. But the market is really shifting and many people really like the 4.5 inch screens, I am not sure I like that big of a screen for a phone but Apple needs to respond to keep iPhone sales growing. I believe Apple just saw a year over year hold in iPhone sales? roughly? 

This to me is troubling news. I have no Apple stock but I wish to see the company dominate the high-end smartphone market. They are still doing very well here; however, making a 4.5''+ iPhone would really give Apple some speed moving forward.

5" is no longer a phone.

No? Who said that?

 

Isn't the HTC one a great looking phone? If a crap company like HTC can do it, Why can't Apple? I think that they are leaving it for something special, like IGZO, but why? Most users don't care about that level quality or awesomeness, ask samsung.

post #19 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

5" is no longer a phone.

Merely your opinion (which i somewhat agree with), nor did I ever say 5'', where 4.9 may be close to 5, it is not 5.

post #20 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Here, the tips for iOS domination. Give me a beer.

Wow! World domitation for a beer! 1biggrin.gif

post #21 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

No? Who said that?

 

Isn't the HTC one a great looking phone? If a crap company like HTC can do it, Why can't Apple? I think that they are leaving it for something special, like IGZO, but why? Most users don't care about that level quality or awesomeness, ask samsung.

Again, I have to agree with you here. I think Apple is too concerned with the draw backs of a larger phone. I think with a little better (and cheaper) technology, they will be ready to release one, and I am sure they have many prototypes with larger screens. 

 

My opinion, Apple needs to release a 4.5'' iPhone by holiday season of next year.

post #22 of 105
Isn't it funny how the people Captaining a sinking ship are the only ones unconvinced that it's sinking?
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post #23 of 105
I find it amusing that anyone would label the iPhone "god of..." That's such hyperbole, but if carriers ever thought the iPhone was god of all smartphones, that's quite a compliment!

Of course it is possible that these statements are what a carrier would say to leverage its hand in a poker game against a smartphone vendor who wants to win a carrier agreement. "We don't need you!" And it's probably true. The competitive landscape has changed since 2007. There's probably no single vendor that has any real leverage against carriers who want to offer "smartphones." But I personally think iPhones are a class on their own, due to its participation in the very sticky iTunes / App Store ecosystem.

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post #24 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

But I personally think iPhones are a class on their own, due to its participation in the very sticky iTunes / App Store ecosystem.

And lack of crapware installed by the telcos :)

post #25 of 105
Because carrier services are so great. I'm sure customers would rather be able to read their horoscope than have the option of buying an iPhone.
post #26 of 105
Why not create the services you want to integrate into an app they can download later?
post #27 of 105
I love my iphone and ipad...
But wonder why apple has not put out a bigger phone yet... This is a big mistake....
Ios is competing against android available on so many manufactures ... Sizes and price points.
To compete effectively apple has to address different sizes. It boggles my mind that they are so slow and kickback about expanding the iphone lineup. Just dont get it !!!
post #28 of 105

Apple should double down servicing and growing the Japanese carriers that are carrying the iPhone - Softbank and au.   It should be a key goal to make sure DoCoMo continues to lose customers.  That is the only way they way they will come on board 

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post #29 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Why not create the services you want to integrate into an app they can download later?

Well, because most people wouldn't...

 

:)

post #30 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

In other words... "We are in intense negotiations for the next iPhone, and we need to look strong in public to get the best deal"

No kidding. 

post #31 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


You think a 5" phone is what Apple needs for China? 1oyvey.gif

How do people think this stuff up...


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post #32 of 105
Sounds a lot like pre-iPhone Verizon (largest carrier, lots of crap-ware, hocking Android phones as a poor substitute). As earlier posts asserted, this is either a negotiating tactic or hubris.

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post #33 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

I love my iphone and ipad...
But wonder why apple has not put out a bigger phone yet... This is a big mistake....
Ios is competing against android available on so many manufactures ... Sizes and price points.
To compete effectively apple has to address different sizes. It boggles my mind that they are so slow and kickback about expanding the iphone lineup. Just dont get it !!!

Here is my thinking as to why Apple didn't release a bigger screen iPhone.

 

1.  When they were originally designing the iPhone 5, sales of larger screen phones just wasn't that big.  It wasn't until the Galaxy S3 started selling was there any significant sales for screen sizes larger than 4 inch.  By the time the S3 had decent sales, the iPhone 5 was already "cast in stone" from an R&D standpoint.

 

2. With a larger screen comes a lot of other aspects that Apple has to deal with.  One, is battery size/cost/battery time.  if they can't get a certain amount of battery life at the right cost, weight, and size, then it's not something worthwhile.  Apple has always pushed battery life as that is a BIG consideration for mobile devices.  If you look at the various products on the market, Apple is typically better with regards to battery life than the competition.  Something that the Samsung S3 had horrible track record.

 

3.  With a bigger screen, in order to keep the device with good performance, additional GPU might be needed and as we all know, additional processing power drains the battery and the chip size might increase, thus not allowing for enough room.

 

4.  Apple wanted to have a phone that one can hold and use with one hand for most operations, something the larger screen phones are not as good at.  Yes, some people can operate a larger screen phone with one hand, but most of the time they need two.

 

Apple is SUPPOSED to be working with Sharp on their IGZO technology, which is supposed to be considerably less power to drive those screens vs the screens they are presently using, so that might be another reason.

 

Obviously, Apple doesn't like releasing products just for the sake of having 50 different models, that costs too much to support for the long term, which drives profit margins down.  Apple needs to always be conscious of that.  Something the PC mfg don't quite grasp, which leads them to have low margins since they end up competing with other companies at different price points and all it does is confuses everyone and just costs too much to sustain that product line.

 

I agree that they should offer at least 2 or 3 screen sizes since there is a big enough market for even the 3.5 inch models which people use that aren't playing video games or watching much video, they use it more for simple operation.  Then there is a crowd that uses more features and desires a larger screen, etc.


The problem is what size screen?  4.3?  4.5?  4.8?  5.0"?  NO matter what size they come out with, there will always be a percentage that wants something slightly smaller or slightly bigger and it would be foolish to make more than 3 different screen sizes until there really is a market for more size options.

I hope they release a bigger (but not TOO big) of an iPhone, but I'm not in a hurry.  Any time by Jan 2014 is fine by me.

post #34 of 105

I love that one of his biggest reasons for not carrying it isn't high subsidies...it's that Apple won't let them preinstall their carrier bloatware on it.  And mind you, they could offer that crap in the App Store just like the "My Verizon" app and other things the carrier offers.  But it's up to the consumer to go download it.  But without being able to forcefeed it to us, he's upset. 

 

Eff him and the horse he rode in on.

post #35 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

Again, I have to agree with you here. I think Apple is too concerned with the draw backs of a larger phone. I think with a little better (and cheaper) technology, they will be ready to release one, and I am sure they have many prototypes with larger screens. 

My opinion, Apple needs to release a 4.5'' iPhone by holiday season of next year.

Thanks for your opinion.
The article quoted a carrier who says iPhone isn't special in a sea of alternatives. How does chasing the screen bigger trend make it more unique? It doesn't. It makes iPhone even more like another copy (of a copy), another follower of a trend. If Apple makes a 4.5" iPhone, people will just whine they need to make a 5" iPhone. If Apple makes a 5" iPhone, they'll whine Apple needs to make a 5.5" iPhone. If they make a 5.5" iPhone, well, you where I'm going. It's a race to put ever larger 23" chrome dubs in our pockets. It has to stop somewhere. What makes the arbitrary size of 4.5" the "right" size? Or is it a race to one-up to ridiculousness?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #36 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

I love my iphone and ipad...
But wonder why apple has not put out a bigger phone yet... This is a big mistake....
Ios is competing against android available on so many manufactures ... Sizes and price points.
To compete effectively apple has to address different sizes. It boggles my mind that they are so slow and kickback about expanding the iphone lineup. Just dont get it !!!


Because the tradeoffs in costs for the larger Retina displays, battery life, size and weight, manufacturing capacity for Retina displays and such haven't hit the mark yet for Apple.  Plus, Apple isn't Samsung...they aren't going to have a 4", a 4.2", a 4.5", 4.8" and 5" model.  They're going to do their homework and decide on the one size to add to the lineup that differentiates it enough from other their other products and meets the criteria I mentioned earlier.  Apple just doesn't do a lot of hand wringing over matching features and such as soon as humanly possible.  They do an update with different specs when they think it makes sense in the big picture.

post #37 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


You think a 5" phone is what Apple needs for China? 1oyvey.gif

How do people think this stuff up...

 

I was under the impression we were talking about Japan here...

post #38 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Apple reached the limit for what a 4" premium can do. If they want a higher volume of sales (if) and more profit they need:

 

- A premium 5" line together with the premium 4" line and current models (or a iPod-like phone, with only 1 or 2 gen behind hardware, not 3 or 4);

- A cheaper iPhone together with the current 4" (oh no, don't do it like that!);

- keep doing the same thing, but let carriers putting some crapware on it.

 

If they don't do one of those, they will lose the "extra" power that's so useful to have carriers doing what they want. DoCoMo, China Mobile, etc won't need to bend to Apple's demands.

 

But a 5" premium line? Oh yes they would.

 

 

I think Apple should release a 4.8 inch phone. Does it have to? No. But it is ceding market share by not doing so. The iPhone is the best phone on the planet in terms of quality, however, some people look at a big screen and that is the most important feature for them. I doubt we will see a larger phone this year, but I bet next year Apple will come to its senses. 

post #39 of 105
Samsung is scaling back on their oversized phones as they aren't selling nearly as well. The span of the human hand most commonly known is the target.
post #40 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

5" is no longer a phone.

 

I guess for a 5' tall geek maybe. I wear 34" waist pants and a 5" phone fits perfectly in my pockets... I dont mind people that prefer a 4", but at least give me a choice.

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