DoCoMo blames limited stock of Apple's iPhones for worst-ever subscriber loss

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Japan's NTT DoCoMo suffered the worst month of customer attrition in the company's history in September, placing blame in part on constrained supplies of Apple's new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

iPhone 5s


Despite finally becoming an Apple carrier partner for the iPhone, more than 66,000 customers left NTT's DoCoMo mobile telecommunications unit in September, the company said Monday in an e-mail reported by Bloomberg. In contrast, competitors SoftBank and KDDI reported subscriber gains of 270,700 and 232,700, respectively, over the same period.

The popularity of Apple's newly-released iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in Japan has proven to be bittersweet for DoCoMo. While sales were brisk, internal data suggests many of the customers who jumped ship in September were waiting for the new iPhones, and simply moved on to a different carrier after DoCoMo exhausted their launch supply of the devices.

Executives had hoped that stocking Apple's iPhone line would help stem subscriber losses at the carrier, Japan's largest, which counts nearly half of the Japanese population as customers. Studies showed that more than 60 percent of former DoCoMo subscribers left specifically for Cupertino's popular handset.

If DoCoMo wants to put the brakes on its accelerating churn rate, it "must offer more incentives for existing users to remain with the carrier," said Eiji Mori, an analyst with Tokyo-based IT research firm BCN. 31.9 percent of iPhone 5s and 5c units sold in Japan so far have been DoCoMo devices, with 39.5 percent from SoftBank and 28.6 percent from KDDI, according to the firm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 323member

    Nice try Domo.  Like blaming the ground for being in the way after you drove your car off a cliff.

  • Reply 2 of 42

    This is what happens when you stupidly pass on the iPhone for years! Idiots!

     

    They're lucky to have 66,000 subscribers to lose! 

  • Reply 3 of 42

    But..but..according to analysts channel stuffing was the reason for the 9m numbers and many of those iPhones sold are sitting in mobile carrier store shelves collecting dust.:D 

  • Reply 4 of 42
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,108member

    That's funny, because it just demonstrates your customers are not with you because of the service you gave them, but rather the device you failed to offer. I think this illustrates you have much bigger issues with your organization than just not having enough iPhone's to meet demand.

  • Reply 5 of 42
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,706member

    If you were bleeding customers before, why do you think all of a sudden people are going to just fly right back to you? Seems like this is a case of blaming someone else for your shortfall. If I were a shareholder, I wouldn't buy this BS excuse. They were banking too much on Apple to cover their ass. 

  • Reply 6 of 42
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    singlecore wrote: »
    But..but..according to analysts channel stuffing was the reason for the 9m numbers and many of those iPhones sold are sitting in mobile carrier store shelves collecting dust.:D  
    The media will conveniently ignore that argument when it suits their agenda.
  • Reply 7 of 42

    Blah blah.

     

    What about the next 3 months and the holiday quarter? How many subscribers might they gain back because of the iPhone? Stupid to whine about changes over such a short period.

  • Reply 8 of 42
    Where did you get your information singlecore? I doubt it. My country's iPhone 5S are out of stock as well at all 3 mobile phone carriers. Usually when there's stock, the stores are always packed within the first 2 months of iPhone launch.

    Apple has to take some of the blame.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member

    So they were looking for Apple to save their month in the last 10 days that the Iphone was actually available to buy. Yeah those people were leaving anyway, I bet they went across the street to their competitor and got the Iphone there.

  • Reply 9 of 42

    In other news, Apple has ripped up its contract with DoCoMo, citing the suicidal stupidity clause.

  • Reply 11 of 42
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    The reason for short supply is one word- Demand.

  • Reply 12 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Japan's NTT DoCoMo suffered the worst month of customer attrition in the company's history in September, placing blame in part on constrained supplies of Apple's new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

    But wouldn't the constraints affect everyone?

    Unless you waited until the day before launch to order them.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    If each of the compa
  • Reply 14 of 42
    If each of the companies mentioned in this article got the same number of iPhones (just a wild guess), I'm puzzled how this shift in subscribers could have anything to do with the iPhone. Why doesn't the article explain how many phones each company got?
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    But wouldn't the constraints affect everyone?



    Unless you waited until the day before launch to order them.

     

    That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this article.

     

    While it's probably not true that all the carriers got the same number of units, we do know they are all experiencing the same supply constraints.  All carriers are having difficulty obtaining the iPhone 5S, which means that's not the reason someone would jump ship.

  • Reply 16 of 42

    If all carriers were constrained, and they were, then these people did not leave because of Apple as they could not go anywhere else for the iPhone. 

  • Reply 17 of 42
    red oakred oak Posts: 628member

    Pretty wild.  iPhone share is on a steady march to 55-60% share  in Japan 

  • Reply 18 of 42
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

     

    This is what happens when you stupidly pass on the iPhone for years! Idiots!

     

    They're lucky to have 66,000 subscribers to lose! 


     

    Exactly.

     

    They mistakenly believed that Apple would cave and allow them to install whatever they wanted on the iPhone. So instead of just taking the deal (like everyone else) they just sat back and watched their customers leave.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post



    Where did you get your information singlecore? I doubt it. My country's iPhone 5S are out of stock as well at all 3 mobile phone carriers. Usually when there's stock, the stores are always packed within the first 2 months of iPhone launch.



    Apple has to take some of the blame.

    Comments directed towards analysts who were questioning (completely way off base) Apple's published weekend sales of 9 million. Go check Gene Munster's published comments on Apple's weekend sales numbers and why he other analysts are way off... 

  • Reply 20 of 42

    I think he was making fun of analysts and their explanation on why they were so wrong in their estimates of iphone sales the first weekend.

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