Apple Inc is holding talks with NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, about a possible deal to launch the iPhone in Japan. According to unconfirmed reports from the Wall Street Journal, the sticking point to a deal is believed to be disagreement over the exact cut of subscriber revenue Apple would get under any deal. Apple CEO Steve Jobs met recently with NTT DoCoMo President Masao Nakamura to discuss launching the iPhone in Japan. The US-based firm is keen to launch the device in Asia next year, but has not yet provided any details. If the talks fail, Apple has a second string to its bow in the shape of the country’s third largest operator Softbank Mobile. It is also holding negotiations with the cellco, the paper reports.
A tie-up with Apple could be a useful shot in the arm for NTT DoCoMo. Although it had nearly 53 million subscribers and commanded more than half of Japan’s mobile phone market at the end of September, it has struggled to add new users in recent months amid fierce competition from KDDI and Softbank Mobile.