Apple's restrictive pre-installed software policy halts NTT DoCoMo iPhone deal

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's policy that prevents partners from pre-installing software on the iPhone has stalled a possible partnership with Japan's largest wireless operator NTT DoCoMo.



It was revealed on Tuesday that ongoing talks to bring Apple's iPhone to NTT DoCoMo's network have come to a standstill, as the two companies have reached an impasse over installing the carrier's proprietary apps on the device, reports The Wall Street Journal.



NTT DoCoMo President and Chief Executive Ryuji Yamada said that certain conditions have made it difficult for the carrier to bring the iPhone onto its network. He cites Apple's large commitment requirements and a closed operating system in iOS as being the main factors of the slowdown.



"We haven't given up our hope of introducing the iPhone," but Apple usually asks carriers to commit a large volume, Yamada said. "If the introduction of the iPhone results in the mass majority of our products occupied by the iPhone, then that's a scenario that's difficult to us to swallow."



Yamada went on to say that Apple limits NTT DoCoMo from pre-installing applications he claims are important to Japanese customers, like the carrier's e-wallet and i-mode email service. He failed to mention why these apps couldn't be downloaded from the App Store after purchase, however secondary revenue may be a factor.



NTT DoCoMo President Ryuji Yamada



Pre-installed apps have the potential to drive revenue as seen in iOS 5's Newsstand, which is credited with creating a 268% rise in iPad subscriptions for major publishing house Condé Nast. The adoption of an i-mode app would be an advantage for NTT DoCoMo as the company has already invested resources to establish the service within Japan.



The carrier first rolled out i-mode in 1999 as a paid mobile internet option, providing content through official portals that allow the carrier to keep tighter control of billing. Special i-mode formatted services are hosted by the carrier and include a mobile browser and an email client, both of which require users to pay data transfer charges along with a monthly access fee. Many NTT DoCoMo feature phones feature a dedicated i-mode button that, when pressed, connects the phone to official i-mode portals.



The company's next-generation 3G service for smartphones, dubbed "sp-mode," rolled out in 2010 and carries with it many of the services that i-mode pioneered, with certain services like i-mode email now having separate apps.



The lack of easy access to i-mode apps on the iPhone could possibly cause a drop in subscriber usage leading to a decline in revenue as the service also charges a monthly rate for user access.



NTT DoCoMo's sp-mode mobile internet service for smartphones | Source: NTT DoCoMo



Since the release of the first iPhone, Apple has restricted carrier-installed applications and only pre-loads basic apps like Calculator and Mail, allowing users to customize their phone's software through the App Store.



Japan's second largest mobile carrier, KDDI Corp., recently joined wireless operator Softbank Corp. in carrying Apple's popular smartphone. Both companies reported net profit increases in the second quarter thanks in part to strong iPhone sales, while NTT DoCoMo saw a decline the same period as voice revenue continued to slip.



NTT DoCoMo's lineup of smartphones predominantly run on Google's Android platform, with most recent releases being Sony Ericsson's Xperia and Samsung's Galaxy S. Citing Japanese market data, Yamada said that Android handsets account for 70%-80% of the smartphone market while iPhone only garnered 20%-30% in July.



As more Japanese customers move away from expensive voice plans, carriers are concentrating on increasing revenue from data, with hopes riding on the growing popularity of smartphones like Apple's iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Translation:



    Apple makes it harder for us to gouge our customers and won't let us install crapware so we'll stick with Android where our crapware is the best thing on the phone.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,516member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Japan's second largest mobile carrier, KDDI Corp., recently joined Softbank Corp. in carrying Apple's popular smartphone. Both companies reported increases to net profits during the second quarter thanks in part to strong iPhone sales, while NTT DoCoMo saw a decline the same period as voice revenue continued to slip.



    Swallow that.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Good for Apple. I wouldn't want carrier-crap pre-installed on any phone I buy.



    If I should decide to download it later after purchase, then the carrier can work extra hard to make it better carrier-crap. My choice, not theirs.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,481member
    Yamada doesn't understand that not allowing carriers to change the iPhone is a big part of the reason the iPhone is popular.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Apple cares about user experience, making it so good that the user comes back in future and brings Apple more business. Carriers care about gouging and tricking customers out of every nickel and dime they can think to get, and don?t care about the user experience. (But will, no doubt, complain that the missing crapware worsens the experience for the poor users!)



    If carriers want an OS that favors them and not the user, there?s another OS for that....
  • Reply 6 of 42
    i-mode is junk. It's like WAP services. Only in Japan can you still find ancient technologies peddled by similarly ancient Japanese corporate dinosaurs.



    The longer NTT DoCoMo holds out against the iPhone, the faster KDDI and Softbank will eat its lunch. Although NTT being the giant that it is, I guess it can afford to lose a whole bunch of subscribers.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    really glad that Apple doesn't allow preinstalled software from cell providers. None of this bloatware (remember VCAST?) no stupid cell phone logo startup screen and no silly ringtone each ringtone provider has.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    Shame Steve's vision of bypassing the carriers never came to fruition. They all blow.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,587member
    Sounds like AOL 20 years ago.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    I don't want junk preinstalled on my phone!



    I have an AT&T iPhone, and I wanted the AT&T app because it comes in handy to check your usage and such. So I went to the App Store and installed it. I'm sure it's not hard for this company to provide a pamphlet with the phone telling the customer how to install the software!



    Hard to believe any carrier would turn down a popular handset like the iPhone over something so silly, which has a trivial workaround anyway.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    however secondary revenue may be a factor.



    That is EXACTLY the big sticking point between Docomo and Apple. Docomo makes a lot of money from iMode and customers pay a lot of money for access to the iMode menu which creates a lot of traffic in turn for customers. Docomo doesn't want to give that up. As Micheal Mace pointed out here: http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.co...ash-greed.html, Adobe and Macromedia got too greedy after the Docomo Flash licensing deal, I think Docomo is facing a similar situation and can't let go. Now that big sites like Mobage and Gree are moving out from the iMode tent into smartphones, it's just a matter of time before the ad budgets move as well. At some point Docomo will have to add iPhone to their portfolio if they want to stay competitive with KDDI and SoftBank.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    irelandireland Posts: 17,454member
    He's a cat, flushing a toilet.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    Yamada doesn't understand that not allowing carriers to change the iPhone is a big part of the reason the iPhone is popular.



    Sure he does. He wants it both ways. That's business. He thinks it's too high of a cost to carry the iPhone. Thankfully there are other options and the market will decide the winner.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Sounds like they are taking advice from Verizon...
  • Reply 15 of 42
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    Apple will hold its ground otherwise the floodgates will open and once again consumers will be under the thumb of the telco goliaths, sucking the marrow from the bone, just like banks are doing today.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Fuck them. Cook better not give in to them. Steve wouldn't.



    Sigh. RIP SJ.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post


    Sounds like they are taking advice from Verizon...



    How so? Verizon has none of those bloat ware preinstalled.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by superdx View Post


    Only in Japan can you still find ancient technologies peddled by similarly ancient Japanese corporate dinosaurs.



    It's always such a paradox that Japan is king of high tech, and yet its business practices are so behind the times.



    This is nothing new. As late as 1989, it was rare to see even a single PC in an office in Tokyo, with everything still being done by hand.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    Quote:

    NTT DoCoMo President and Chief Executive Ryuji Yamada said that certain conditions have made it difficult for the carrier to bring the iPhone onto its network



    Certain conditions? Apple doesn't want certain conditions. Apple wants you to come on board and make a ton of money you idiot.



    Quote:

    He cites Apple's large commitment requirements and a closed operating system in iOS as being the main factors of the slowdown.



    Bullshit, Apple doesn't want your crapware on their phones, so they declined you. You retaliate by attacking the brand, you want Apple to lose face, don't you?



    Quote:

    "We haven't given up our hope of introducing the iPhone," but Apple usually asks carriers to commit a large volume, Yamada said. "If the introduction of the iPhone results in the mass majority of our products occupied by the iPhone, then that's a scenario that's difficult to us to swallow. "



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Swallow that.











    NTT DoCoMo President and Chief Executive Ryuji Yamada



  • Reply 20 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,287member
    Looks like Yamada better be polishing up his resume. Methink he won't be lasting too long while his competitors are raking in the additional revenue from carrying the iPhone.



    You want crapware, stick with Android. You want a clean, consistent experience, Apple does it best.
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