While most carriers jump at the chance to offer Apple’s popular smartphone, others aren’t so keen on the device’s accompanying terms. An iPhone partnership usually means large, long-term commitments and other compromises that some operators just won’t make.

Even Apple’s infamous “no bloatware” policy can be enough to keep a company from carrying the device. And according to The Wall Street Journal, that seems to be what’s stifling the negotiations between Apple and NTT DoCoMo, the largest carrier in Japan…

If you’ve owned a smartphone other than an iPhone, chances are you know what ‘bloatware’ is. It’s the collection of apps pre-installed by a carrier that helps them generate revenue. AT&T smartphones, for example, come with apps like AT&T Navigator and AT&T Radio.

Apple, however, doesn’t allow carriers to do this with the iPhone. It’s one of the many rules to becoming an iPhone partner, and apparently it’s one of the Cupertino company’s major obstacles in closing a deal with NTT DoCoMo.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“The closed operating system of the iPhone also limits NTT DoCoMo from pre-installing some of its applications—including its e-wallet, which allows consumers to pay for merchandise with their smartphones, as well as its i-mode email service—which Mr. Yamada said are import for Japanese customers.”

It’s a well-known fact that Asia, and its billions of wireless subscribers, is a major focus for Apple. But don’t expect Tim Cook and company to fold on the ‘no bloatware’ policy anytime soon. It’s part of what makes the iPhone’s user experience so unique.

Pre-installed software is not only a memory hog, it can affect a handset’s performance. And it’s not like Apple doesn’t already have a major presence in Japan. The Cupertino company has partnerships with both Japan’s number two and number three carriers.

What’s your opinion on carrier bloatware? Should Apple give in?

[Cult of Mac]

  • No way — the carrier can always add their apps to the app store

  • I really appreciate Apple’s “no Bloatware” stance and I hope that it never caves. If Apple’s device is as popular in Japan as it is elsewhere, then it’ll be a decision that NTT DoCoMo will soon regret as it becomes the #2 or #3 carrier.

  • Can carriers not just create apps and put them in the App Store… for example, if Orange placed Orange Maps in the App Store… customers, Orange or not would still be able to pay for this service and they would still generate Revenue?

  • Anonymous

    Apple will never cave in to this stupid requirements. What makes a difference is that whole user experience bit that Apple developped to perfection.

  • Antonio Castro

    it will be funny if the number 2 and 3 become number 1 and 2 just cause they decided to carry the iPhone lol…we will see soon…

  • Andrew Thiede

    Well I think they shouldn’t, they should post those apps to those who want them in a “special” part of the app store only acsessable by those on that carrier.
    ~~~~~~ I care for apple 😀 ~~~~~~~~

  • Apple should let them add the e-wallet. The Japanese are way ahead of us in terms of digital payments and it’s pretty ubiquitous there.

  • I cant believe this is even a question. No apple should not “give in”, apple has no motive to. They are making money hand over fist via their no bloatware policy. Apple should continue to tell NTT Docomo to “jog on”. If it is so important to have the crapware customers would install it. Just send them an email upon activation with the links and data to get the apps if they desire. What is frustrating is that this question is even being asked. NTT will continue to suffer just like every other carrier that doesnt have the iphone that has to compete against other carriers that do.

  • Kunal

    WAY TO GO APPLE !! thats y ppl r crazy abt apple !! few years back i had never tried any apple products and was a apple hater, just coz of the publicity they recvied but after using ipod, i became hooked !! now i hav multiple iphones (4 iphones), multiple macs, multiple ipads !! APPLE so rocks !! they really want to give best user experience, unlike other manufaturers who want to give themselves best revenue experiences by bloatware and other crappy stuff !! kudos to tim and steve !!
    :))