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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."

docomologo


"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.

"[I]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.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    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"
  • Reply 2 of 104
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 104
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member


    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.

  • Reply 4 of 104
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    Show me one sensible CEO from a telco, and I'll show you who I really am.

    -God
  • Reply 5 of 104
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 104
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    "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.
  • Reply 7 of 104

    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").  

  • Reply 8 of 104
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    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? :no:

    How do people think this stuff up...
  • Reply 9 of 104


    "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?

  • Reply 10 of 104
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    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? image



    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.

  • Reply 11 of 104
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wovel View Post





    You think a 5" phone is what Apple needs for China? image



    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.

  • Reply 12 of 104


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

  • Reply 13 of 104
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 104
    chadmaticchadmatic Posts: 285member

    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."


     


    image  What?!  How dare he!

  • Reply 15 of 104
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 104
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member


    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. 

  • Reply 17 of 104
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    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.

  • Reply 18 of 104
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 104
    smalmsmalm Posts: 654member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


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



    Wow! World domitation for a beer! image

  • Reply 20 of 104
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member

    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.

Sign In or Register to comment.