Japan’s largest mobile carrier, NTT Docomo, just last September finally added the iPhone to their line-up in a bid to stop their continuous losses of subscribers. But figures released by the company showed that in September, they lost 66,800 net users, their biggest drop on record, even as rivals Softbank and KDDI continue to grow stronger in the mobile market.
Docomo saw Apple‘s release of their two new iPhones in September as the perfect time to finally add the smartphone to the options for subscribers, after resisting it for so long in order to push handsets from Sony Ericson and Samsung. They also had an online store called dmarket that would directly compete with Apple’s iTunes and App stores. But as customers shifted to its competitors because they were offering the coveted iPhones, Docomo had to rethink their strategy. But it might have been a case of too little, too late. Or rather too little stock. They blame the surprising dip in their September records due to the fact that they ran out of new iPhones after the initial surge, prompting impatient subscribers to once again go to their competitors.
But Eiji Mori, an analyst at BCN Inc. in Tokyo, said that they might have to offer more incentives for their existing subscribers, and also to attract either new ones or get back the old ones from Softbank and KDDI. In the same period of September, the two mobile carriers gained 270,700 and 232,700 respectively, compared to the 46% slump that Docomo experienced. Some analysts say however that eventually, they will be able to recoup their losses because they are offering the iPhones now, comparing the situation to the United States’ AT&T which took some time before they were able to win back their subscribers eventually.
[ via Bloomberg ]