Ever since it launched its very fist iPhone back in 2007, Apple has started to make partnerships with various mobile operators around the world. Today, its iOS smartphones are available via almost all major / relevant carriers across the globe. Still, NTT Docomo, despite being Japan’s largest operator (serving more than 60 million customers), isn’t among them. And it might not offer any iPhones this year, either, although a new model (iPhone 5S) is going to be introduced in the fall.
According to Reuters, Docomo’s CEO Kaoru Kato said that “the biggest problem [with selling iPhones] is the impact on the services that we offer.”
The Japanese carrier is currently selling a plethora of smartphones that are heavily customized with its own services – which don’t play well with Apple’s strictness regarding iPhones.
“We’re trying to develop a lifestyle system,” told Kaoru Kato to Reuters. But this “lifestyle system” and the lack of iPhones has made Docomo lose about 3 million customers in the last several years. Most – if not all – have turned to the country’s other two major carriers (KDDI and Softbank), which are both selling iPhones. Even so, there are no signs that Docomo wants to make a deal with Apple, at least not for now.
Meanwhile, Docomo is busy offering Android smartphones to customers, with the Sony Xperia A (a version of the Xperia ZR) seemingly being its best-seller (830,000 units sold since mid-May). Samsung’s Galaxy S4 – shipped in more than 20 million units worldwide – isn’t that popular, with sales reportedly not reaching half of the Xperia A’s total.