Japanese Mobile Carriers to Offer iPhone 5s Free On Contract Through Special Promotions

Monday September 16, 2013 7:32 AM PDT by Richard Padilla
Japanese mobile carriers NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank, and KDDI are all set to offer the 16GB version of the iPhone 5s for free with a two-year contract, marking the first time that all three major carriers in the country will carry Apple’s flagship mobile device, reports CNET. Each carrier plans to offer the phone for free with discounts that enable the special pricing, with DoCoMo offering rewards points for users who bring in used iPhones from SoftBank or KDDI.

Japanese business newspaper Nikkei [Google Translate] has provided a comparison chart of the iPhone plans on the three major Japanese carriers: 5s_japan_chart
In July, it was reported that DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile carrier, lost a total of 3.2 million users over the last four-and-a-half years as it had yet to reach a deal with Apple to finally offer the iPhone after its two chief rivals, Softbank and KDDI have done so. However, a report surfaced earlier this month that the carrier would finally be carrying the iPhone, after DoCoMo CEO Kazuto Tsubouchi cited “compelling reasons” to reach a long-illusive deal the month before.

Apple began pre-orders for the lower-cost iPhone 5c in 10 countries, including Japan, on September 13, and will offer the iPhone 5s in store and for online order on September 20th.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 15 months ago
Fruit of the terminal quality burden indeed
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
"Long-illusive"?
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
Trust me, Japan is expensive for little phones like this.
Even with a 2 year contract, a phone costs nearly 800USD.
I bought my HTC One in Japan in June for 820USD.
However there are discounts for users who use them for 2 years and it became pretty much free.
With minimum usage, it costs 8000yen (80USD) every month.
Buying a brand new iPhone would cost around 800USD here as well.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Is this the first time that a new Apple flagship phone has been offered for free (on contract)? I don't know of any other carrier that's ever done that.


When the iPhone first went on sale in Japan, it barely sold, even subsidized down to ~$235. It only gained about 2% market share.

So in early 2009, Softbank started offering it for free, which finally kickstarted things and its share has grown ever since.
Rating: 1 Votes

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