NTT Docomo boosts iPhone sales in Japan - report

NTT Docomo helps double iPhone market share in Japan

29 NOV 2013

Three out of every four smartphones sold in Japan during October was an iPhone, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech that was cited in a Bloomberg report.

The sales figures are for the first full month that NTT Docomo, the largest mobile operator in Japan with over 60 million subscribers, started selling the new iPhone5S and 5c models.

Apple’s share of smartphone sales at NTT Docomo, adds Kantar, was 61 per cent.

The sales figures underline Apple’s dominance in Japan where iPhones are the top selling smartphone (Docomo rivals KDDI and SoftBank have carried the product for a number of years).

The Cupertino giant, before it secured its iPhone distribution deal with NTT Docomo, had a 40 per cent market share of all smartphone sales in Japan.

That was still way ahead of Samsung – nearly three times larger – but the 76 per cent market share figures for October are clearly even more impressive.

There have been some sticking points between Apple and NTT Docomo in striking an iPhone deal, with some speculation that Apple had insisted that iPhones make up more than 50 per cent of a carrier’s total handset sales and Docomo – apparently – preferring a cap of 20-30 per cent.

“It’s possible Apple were more flexible with Docomo because obviously it’s a large carrier and it’s somewhere they could get new unit volumes to come through,” said Nathan Ramler, head of Asia telecommunications research at Macquarie Capital Securities in Tokyo, back in September.

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Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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