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Rumor: Japan's NTT DoCoMo to get iPhone 5S

updated 06:30 am EDT, Mon August 26, 2013

Slow selling Galaxy S4 set to be replaced by Apple iPhone 5S

The CFO of Japan's largest carrier NTT DoCoMo has stirred speculation that it may start selling the Apple iPhone, possibly the iPhone 5S. In an interview published in a Japanese magazine, Kazuto Tsubouchi argued that there is a solid basis for the telco and Apple to join forces, reports Bloomberg. Although no deal has yet been reached, the news follows DoCoMo's decision to drop the Samsung Galaxy S4 from its winter lineup following disappointing sales.

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 out of favor at DoCoMo, the timing could not be better for Apple to replace the Samsung flagship with its next iPhone. The Galaxy S4 was almost outsold two to one by the Sony Xperia A, amassing just 700,000 sales against 1.3 million for the Sony handset. DoCoMo had set a 1 million sales target for the Galaxy S4, which it failed to meet leading the carrier to drop it moving forward.

After setting sales records for Samsung on its launch, reports indicated that after pent up demand had been met, there were signs that Galaxy S4 sales had not been able to maintain the initial momentum. Regardless, Samsung's extensive smartphone lineup has helped to ensure that it remains the front-runner in overall global smartphone sales. News that it lost its deal with DoCoMo, would however, have stung the Korean giant. If Apple and DoCoMo are able to come to terms so soon after DoCoMo dropped the Galaxy S4, which would only pour salt on Samsung's wounds.

The Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C is set to be revealed on September 10 with Japan's Nikkei reporting that it will go on sale in Japan with SoftBand and KDDI initially. DoCoMo's shares rose 2 percent on market speculation following the revelation of the potential deal.

by MacNN Staff



  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-23-05

    If DoCoMo decided to do it, that would essentially mean completely obliterating the core of their business model altogether. Unlike practically any carrier in the world, DoCoMo has developed their business model on providing customised services, for which they built custom applications, which were grafted onto a customised OS. Phones sold by DoCoMo are heavily branded (and customised) to the point of not even recognising the manufacturer's brand.

    How are they going to let iPhone on their network, when Apple simply doesn't allow custom ANYTHING from the carrier? It is simply inconceivable to imagine DoCoMo accept the role of a dumb pipe.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 07-16-04

    vassic, DoCoMo's business model is stuck in the 90's and early 00's. Rogers in Canada had the same model prior to the iPhone, Verizon in the US was the same as was Sprint. In fact, sprint was one of the last holdouts for that model in the US. They invested a crazy amount of money into their TV/video apps as well as a special launcher skin and ringtones.

    Each of those carriers have moved on from that model. In reality, none of that "custom" software provides the end user any tangible value and everything can be achieved by the carrier submitting apps to the app stores.

    This new model offers more freedom of choice for the user. You no longer have to buy your ringtones from the carrier and you no longer have to buy your apps from your carrier.

    Phones in the past used to be much more locked down to the carrier than they are now.

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