Pressure mounts on Japan's largest carrier as it still refuses to carry Apple's iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
NTT DoCoMo Inc., the largest wireless carrier in Japan, has lost 3.2 million users over the last 4 and a half years without carrying the iPhone, yet the carrier remains steadfast in refusing to make a deal with Apple.

NTT DoCoMo


The carrier is focused on developing a "lifestyle system," which requires certain software to come preinstalled on phones, NTT DoCoMo CEO Kaoru Kato said in an interview with Reuters. Apple refuses to allow carriers to preinstall apps on the iPhone, and it also will not allow providers to place their logos on its devices ? another remaining issue with NTT DoCoMo.

Japan's largest carrier may also have balked at Apple's strict carrier requirements in order to offer the iPhone. As such, the company has shown no urgency to begin offering the iPhone.

But as NTT DoCoMo continues to bleed subscribers, market watchers believe that a deal to carry Apple's iPhone is an inevitability if it wants to retain its place as the top carrier in Japan. In addition to its customers, even some of NTT DoCoMo's executives are reportedly pushing for the carrier to cave and ink a deal with Apple.

NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers outside of the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone. The biggest prize for Apple is China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, with 715 million subscribers.

In contrast, NTT DoCoMo has 60 million subscribers, less than the roughly 100 million customers held by both Verizon and AT&T in the U.S.

The iPhone has also become the most popular smartphone in Japan, accounting for a 42 percent total share in the 2012 holiday shopping season. Sales of Samsung smartphones are only one-fifth of Apple's in the country.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 123
    macmanfelixmacmanfelix Posts: 125member
    “NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers around the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone.”

    Uh…don’t you mean, “…around the [I]world[/I]…”?
  • Reply 2 of 123
    Stand your ground Apple! I despise 3rd party software or branding on my equipment. I love the fact that I can open up the Apple product, I paid for and see it as a true Apple product. No Intel stickers, No ATT, Verizon.... I have a nice clean piece of hardware, no bloatware and no propaganda from companies I don't care for!
  • Reply 3 of 123
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,986member
    "Lifestyle system" is something all PC vendors except Apple gave up years ago. Tell me how phone companies can ever compete with the number of social media sites. If this were China talking, I could see how the government would want a closed system but we're talking about Japan. Can they actually provide as good of a closed system as Apple offers? Doubt it. Adding stupid stickers to a computer is something I believe even PC users hate. If they want to add decoration to their devices it's decoration they choose not some manufacturers name like on Nascar cars. iOS can be customized but the cellular provider is the last one I'd want doing it.
  • Reply 4 of 123
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    Stand your ground, Apple. No bloat ware or extraneous logos on the iPhone. Hey NTT DoCoMo, put your crap app in the App Store like everyone else.
  • Reply 5 of 123
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    I can understand NTT DoCoMo's position. They're one of the few carriers worldwide who've managed to create custom services that users actually want. Their brand value is way higher than any Western carrier.


     


    They've been leaking customers for several reasons, the largest being the fairly recent (i.e. in the last 4.5 years) introduction of number portability. I'm sure people are leaving for the iPhone too.

  • Reply 6 of 123
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,959member


    Agreed.  If NTT DoCoMo's lifestyle software is as good as they believe it is, then they should have no problem getting people to install it via the App Store.

  • Reply 7 of 123
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,107member
    <p>
    It's crapware, bloatware, carrier-ware, and junk.  Apple wants the phone to be an Apple iPhone for Carrier X, not [i[Carrier X's iPhone[/i].  It's an Apple product, not the carrier's.  Of course, the carrier wants the opposite.  They want people to be hooked on their service through their apps, and not the phone (which they can get with any other carrier).  Apple wants the experience to be the same for all iphone users and the carriers want people to somehow think the carrier is the only one who can provide that particular service.</p>
    <p>
     </p>
    <p>
    Of course, some people want to be able to delete even the standard Apple apps, but i don't see the difference between hiding them in a folder and deleting them.  They don't take up a ton of space.</p>
  • Reply 8 of 123
    I see so many people in Japan using iPhone , there is no excuse not to carry iPhones .
  • Reply 9 of 123

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post



    “NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers around the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone.”



    Uh…don’t you mean, “…around the world…”?


     


    The article actually said "NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers outside of the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone." I can handle fanboys or trolls but the most annoying comments are those who quote incorrectly. 

  • Reply 10 of 123


    Screw 'em. Apple seems to be doing okay despite the loss. One of Apple key differentiators is the lack of carrier branding be that preinstalled apps or logos. If Apple gives it up for any one carrier, the rest will start making demands.


     


    Apple seems to be doing just fine in Japan so why not stay the course?

  • Reply 11 of 123
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    I can understand NTT DoCoMo's position. They're one of the few carriers worldwide who've managed to create custom services that users actually want. Their brand value is way higher than any Western carrier.


     


    They've been leaking customers for several reasons, the largest being the fairly recent (i.e. in the last 4.5 years) introduction of number portability. I'm sure people are leaving for the iPhone too.



     


    Thank you, for providing the slightly more detailed background that the authors of the article should have.  I know nothing about Japan's telecoms but my first thought on reading this article was that they were oversimplifying and also making some sweeping assumptions that this was all down to Apple when it likely wasn't. 

  • Reply 12 of 123
    diz_geekdiz_geek Posts: 17member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post



    “NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers around the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone.”



    Uh…don’t you mean, “…around the world…”?


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WhoIsYoMacDaddy View Post


     


    The article actually said "NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers outside of the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone." I can handle fanboys or trolls but the most annoying comments are those who quote incorrectly. 



     


    WhoIsYoMacDaddy - MacManFelix did have it correct.  The article originally stated "...around the U.S...." and it was updated.

  • Reply 13 of 123
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WhoIsYoMacDaddy View Post


     


    The article actually said "NTT DoCoMo is one of just a handful of major carriers outside of the U.S. that does not offer the iPhone." I can handle fanboys or trolls but the most annoying comments are those who quote incorrectly. 



     


    Judging by how often there are typos and other errors in AppleInsider articles, what are the odds that he was correct and that the author fixed the piece silently?  

  • Reply 14 of 123
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    Stand your ground Apple! I despise 3rd party software or branding on my equipment. I love the fact that I can open up the Apple product, I paid for and see it as a true Apple product. No Intel stickers, No ATT, Verizon.... I have a nice clean piece of hardware, no bloatware and no propaganda from companies I don't care for!

    So you don't have any apps?
  • Reply 15 of 123

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Soloman View Post





    So you don't have any apps?


    Big difference, I think, between apps you want to install and apps that are forced on you by the carriers. And personally, I don't feel that I'm missing much not having an AT&T logo on my phone.

  • Reply 16 of 123
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,735member
    I entirely agree that I don't want any bloat ware on my iPhone. So much so that not being able to delete the Apple apps that I consider bloatware (Stocks, Weather, Calendar, Compass, Voice Memos, Clock, Videos, News Stand, Games Center, Mail, Safari) bugs me.

    I want Apple to be stubborn in keeping crap that I don't want or need off my phone. I wish they'd turn that stubbornness to be inward-facing.
  • Reply 17 of 123
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,235member
    Sales of Samsung smartphones are only one-fifth of Apple's in the country.
    Japanese know that "value" and "cheap" are not synonyms. They also appreciate highly evolved aesthetics. KoKoMo is shooting itself in the foot.
  • Reply 18 of 123
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    crowley wrote: »
    I entirely agree that I don't want any bloat ware on my iPhone. So much so that not being able to delete the Apple apps that I consider bloatware (Stocks, Weather, Calendar, Compass, Voice Memos, Clock, Videos, News Stand, Games Center, Mail, Safari) bugs me.

    I want Apple to be stubborn in keeping crap that I don't want or need off my phone. I wish they'd turn that stubbornness to be inward-facing.

    I wonder why such a crap has highest customer rating every year. Care to explain?
  • Reply 19 of 123
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Create your experience apps that you want to integrate and release them into the app store. Then sell some stickers for carrier branding at your stores. lol
  • Reply 20 of 123
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    crowley wrote: »
    I entirely agree that I don't want any bloat ware on my iPhone. So much so that not being able to delete the Apple apps that I consider bloatware (Stocks, Weather, Calendar, Compass, Voice Memos, Clock, Videos, News Stand, Games Center, Mail, Safari) bugs me.

    I want Apple to be stubborn in keeping crap that I don't want or need off my phone. I wish they'd turn that stubbornness to be inward-facing.

    There's a difference, the average iPhone user (and the vast majority) uses mail, safari, calendar, clock, etc. why make the vast majority download them?

    I bet the vast majority of NTT's users don't use NTT's crap ware.
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