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NTT DoCoMo 'lifestyle system' holding up iPhone sales

updated 10:34 am EDT, Fri July 5, 2013

Carrier wants integrated services pre-installed

Efforts at building a "lifestyle system" are why NTT DoCoMo has yet to pick up the iPhone, CEO Kaoru Kato tells Reuters The carrier normally has apps pre-installed on its phones in order to support integrated services, but Apple has always blocked carriers from making any modifications to iOS. NTT also wants its logo on devices, another thing Apple has refused to allow.

The situation could come to a head for NTT in the near future. The company is the only major carrier in Japan without the iPhone, and is losing subscribers to rivals Softbank and KDDI. The iPhone is also extremely popular in the country, having accounted for 42 percent of Japanese smartphone sales during the December quarter last year. Some NTT executives are said to be pushing for a deal with Apple, despite official positions.

An anonymous executive at one of NTT's rivals suggests that the carrier may be playing the long game in order to get better terms from Apple. At some point Softbank and KDDI will become relatively saturated in terms of iPhone sales, forcing Apple to turn to NTT for continued growth in Japan. Although Apple is still unlikely to allow logos or pre-installed apps, it may be willing to offer better business terms.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    "At some point Softbank and KDDI will become relatively saturated in terms of iPhone sales, forcing Apple to turn to NTT for continued growth in Japan."
    Or, Softbank and KDDI gobble up the lions share of NTT, who in turn goes out of business or is forced to merge with one or the other carrier.

  1. carloblackmore

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-28-05

    HAHAHA, put their logo on an Apple device? Hahaha. I'm imagining Tim Cook asking "What's the Japanese term for when-pigs-fly?"
    Ummm, or NTT will just never have the iPhone and Apple will go on expanding in other markets in other countries. Or maybe Apple will help them save face and design a special bumper/case with the NTT logo.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Back in Stone Age, carrier logo on flip-phone is yes. On the dawn of smart phone, it's a NO. NTT= old dinosaurs running the show.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    There isn't a company in the world that has put a logo on an Apple product. The Apple logo is more than enough. Apple shouldn't even consider such nonsense. The DoCoMo logo is an abomination. DoCoMo is only hurting itself by not allowing the iPhone on its network, if there are consumers actually wanting an iPhone.

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