NTT Docomo beats rivals on net additions thanks to iPhone

NTT Docomo beats rivals on net additions thanks to iPhone

10 JAN 2014

NTT Docomo, the largest mobile operator in Japan, added more subscribers in December than rivals KDDI and SoftBank. It’s the first time in two years that Docomo has managed this feat, reflecting the enormous impact of Apple’s iPhone.

According to figures released by Docomo, cited by Bloomberg, Japan’s number one operator registered 279,100 net additions in December, taking its user total up to 62.2 million.

By comparison second-placed KDDI notched up an additional 222,600 subscribers and SoftBank added 224,300.

NTT Docomo, after long holding back on an iPhone distribution deal with Apple, started selling iPhone 5s and 5c models at the end of September.

The operator attributed the rival-beating performance on net additions to the iPhone. Discounts on the Apple handset also helped lure subscribers, it said.

The iPhone deal with NTT Docomo is a boost to Apple, too.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech found that three out of every four smartphones sold in Japan during October was an iPhone. October was the first full month that NTT Docomo started selling the new iPhone5s and 5c models.

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

The sales figures underline Apple’s dominance in Japan where iPhones are the top selling smartphone.

SoftBank has been selling iPhones since 2008, followed by KDDI in 2011.


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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