DoCoMo changes tack: willing to negotiate with Apple to sell iPhone, president says

11 Jan 2013

The president of Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo, Katoru Kato, has reportedly said that his firm would be interested to sell Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone provided it can negotiate a ‘mutually beneficial arrangement’ with the smartphone maker. Apple currently stipulates that carriers agree to selling a pre-agreed number of units, and Kato is on record as saying that if this level constitutes between 20% and 30% of DoCoMo’s expected smartphone sales, it would have no problems meeting that requirement. DoCoMo’s admission that it would be willing to sell the iPhone – the carrier is the only leading Japanese cello not selling the popular device – is an interesting volte face and comes just a day after its rival Softbank Mobile revealed it had won the most new users in December 2012. Softbank secured 274,700 net new contracts n the last month of the year, while DoCoMo languished in third spot with 235,100 net gains. Indeed, the Japan Daily Press notes that it is only a few months since DoCoMo said it would not carry the iPhone, preferring instead to forge ahead with Google Android-loaded smartphones.