Japan’s NTT DoCoMo says it’s willing to negotiate an iPhone deal


As talk continues of an upcoming T-Mobile iPhone deal, and rumors continue to swirl of a China Mobile partnership, a new report today says that the Cupertino company could potentially add another major carrier to its stable: Japan’s NTT DoCoMo.

Like China Mobile, NTT DoCoMo is its country’s largest wireless provider, and its 60 million subscribers account for nearly half of all Japan mobile users. But last November, it suffered its biggest ever net loss of customers. And it blames the iPhone…

Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reports via Brightwire:

“Katoru Katō, president of NTT DoCoMo Inc., said that the firm would want to add the iPhone to its lineup of serviced smartphones if it could form a mutually beneficial contract with Apple, Inc.

Apple requires that carriers servicing its devices sell a fixed amount per year. Katō said that his company could handle such quotas if iPhones accounted for approximately 20%-30% of its overall smartphone sales.”

Subscribers shouldn’t get their hopes up yet, as Katō says the two sides are still in early negotiations. The news is still interesting though, because, as noted by AppleInsider, it comes just one day after the Telecommunications Carriers Association revealed its carrier data for last month.

And according to the TCA, SoftBank acquired the most subscribers in December, signing up a total of 274,700 net contracts. KDDI came in second with 239,200 net contracts, and DoCoMo came in third with 235,100 net subs.

Combine this data with NTT DoCoMo’s big subscriber loss last November, and it’s clear the the carrier needs the iPhone. It happened with Sprint, and it happened with T-Mobile. It’s amazing to me that a single product has that kind of clout.