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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and NTT DoCoMo are still in discussions over a potential agreement to bring the iPhone to Japan's largest carrier. The carrier is concerned, however, over Apple's unwillingness to allow DoCoMo to install its own applications such as its popular e-wallet and mail services on the device. NTT DoCoMo is also concerned over Apple's unit volume commitment demands.

"We haven't given up our hope of introducing the iPhone" but Apple typically asks carriers to commit a large volume, Ryuji Yamada, president and chief executive of Japan's biggest mobile operator by subscribers, told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview Tuesday.

"If the introduction of the iPhone results in the mass majority of our products occupied by the iPhone, then that's a scenario that's difficult to us to swallow."

Apple and NTT DoCoMo have long been rumored to be in talks regarding the iPhone, but the device was until just recently available in Japan exclusively through SoftBank, which launched the iPhone in 2008. With the launch of the iPhone 4S, KDDI has begun offering the iPhone, putting additional pressure on NTT DoCoMo.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Ihatefall Avatar
164 months ago
Apple needs to give in at least a little, at least on the volume requirements. Japan's mobile industry is backwards as can be (expensive, slow, no cheap prepaid for travelers) and makes even Canada look reasonable (ish).

At least on the speed issue, DoCoMo is the only network that's really iPhone-worthy in Japan... it would be a HUGE thing for DoCoMo to get it...
Slow? They were on 3.5G before most of the world was on 3G! They had hspa+ in 2007 when Att just got it!
Expensive? My US bill is about the same as my Japan bill? In fact when the iPhone came to Japan I was worried about it only being 3G.
Last time I bought a sim card in Japan it was $35 for the month, unlimited texting, 30 mins or so of talk time.
If you're in the cities, softbank is where it's at they are the ones changing the japan mobile industry not the other two dinosaurs.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ranReloaded Avatar
164 months ago
I hope they can figure this out. The iPhone on DoCoMo would be huge. I think there are as many Android users as there are in Japan simply due to the lack of an iPhone on DoCoMo.

So true. Just can't see the stubborn old men at DoCoMo's management giving in. They wish they could stay in the stone age forever.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChristianVirtual Avatar
164 months ago
They can discuss whatever they want: just allow me to buy unlocked devices in Japan, too.
When I would decide to get a subsidized device a SIM lock is ok; if I pay full price just give me the device and let me use it the way I want.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
beebler Avatar
164 months ago
I hope they can figure this out. The iPhone on DoCoMo would be huge. I think there are as many Android users as there are in Japan simply due to the lack of an iPhone on DoCoMo.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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