Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun - a national newspaper based in Tokyo, is reporting that president of NTT DoCoMo - Katoru Katō, would like to add Apple’s iPhone to his network if they can strike a deal with Apple that is mutually beneficial.
NTT DoCoMo Inc. is cuurently Japan’s top provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services. The company has over 60 million customers in Japan making it one of the largest mobile communications operators in the world. According to the company’s website, “In 2001, DOCOMO introduced FOMA™, the world’s first 3G commercial mobile service based on W-CDMA, which has transformed the mobile landscape in Japan while bringing the DOCOMO brand global recognition.”
NTT DoCoMo - Katoru Katō, is the second top executive from a large mobile provider to point a finger at Apple’s terms for not carrying the iPhone. Apple requires that carriers servicing its devices sell a fixed amount per year. According to the report, Katō said that his company could handle such quotas if iPhones accounted for approximately 20%-30% of its overall smartphone sales. This figure might be challeneging for the Japanese mobile services provider given they strong relationship with Android vendors over the years.
Recently, Unwiredview reported that China Mobile President Li Yue expressed similar concerns about carrying the iPhone. He told the gathering at 2012 China Mobile Worldwide Developer Conference, that “technology is not a problem, [it’s] mainly about business model and benefit-sharing issues” is the main reason why the company isn’t carrying the iPhone.
What is clear is that Apple needs to sit down at some point with these two companies and hammer out a deal that will benefit both parties. China Mobile, after all, is the biggest carrier in the biggest smartphone market in the world. With 703 million subscribers – it is bigger than the second (Vodafone) and the third (America Movil) multi-country mobile carrier groups, combined, “ Staska writes for Unwiredview. “Apple, so far, has held an upper hand in negotiations with almost every carrier in the world. Faced with an inevitable highest paying customer exodus, carriers had no other choice, but to agree to most Apple’s demands.”
However, unlike other carriers both NTT DoCoMo and China Mobile have a huge subscriber base that will significantly improve Apple’s marketshare in both countries. You get the feeling something need to happen sooner rather than later.