NTT Docomo, Japan’s biggest mobile carrier, had been resistant to selling Apple’s flagship iPhone models for the longest time, preferring Samsung’s Galaxy models and Japan-made mobile phone units. It seems that this resistance is at an end as industry experts are saying that Docomo is set to ink an agreement with the Cupertino-based outfit to carry the latest iPhone in its catalogs after it is unveiled this September.
This move has been long-expected, as the industry felt that it would only take a matter of time before Docomo acquiesced to the iPhone’s ubiquity – the iPhone is still the most popular mobile phone in Japan despite Samsung’s Galaxy models based on Google’s Android platform. Docomo may feel that it has paid heavily for being one of the biggest carriers in the world still not carrying Apple’s phones, which are carried by smaller competitors KDDI Corp and Softbank Corp. Apple is expected to unveil the latest version of its iPhone at an event on September 10, and the Nikkei business daily said that Docomo’s announcement to begin marketing the iPhone would likely come on the same day. The same industry sources say that Docomo would stay faithful to handsets made by Sony Corp, Sharp Corp and Fujitsu Ltd, continuing to sell them in their winter promotions.
For Apple, this impending agreement would also fill up a sales gap in Japan, as Docomo remains the most popular carrier in the country. Apple is also set to ink an agreement in China with China Mobile, one of the biggest carriers in the country with over 700 million subscribers. That is the largest customer base of any single mobile carrier in the world by far, and Apple has long coveted an agreement with them. Although a signing is impending, it may take a while because of technical issues. China Mobile uses an unusual technology call TD-LTE for its 4G and TD-SCDMA for its older 3G. As Apple’s previous models couldn’t support the unique requirements of the carrier, there was never a possibility of a partnership. The latest Apple iPhones are expected to contain parts from Qualcomm that will be able to support these proprietary technologies.
[via Yahoo News]