Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, has confirmed that it will be providing its customers with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c this coming fall season, but it is taking the deal a step further. The Japanese business magazine Nikkei reports that DoCoMo told Apple that it predicts 40 percent of all new customers will buy the iPhone 5s.
The promise is set to position Apple as the market share leader in Japan. NTT DoCoMo lost customers to KDDI Au and SoftBank after it continued to hold out on the iPhone, but its user base still hangs at around 60 million users, or roughly one half of the country. Aggressive marketing and excellent discounts are expected from the company as it attempts to win back lost customers.
However, other local phone makers that were dependent on DoCoMo selling phones are expected to be hurt during the deal. Sharp, Fujitsu and Kyocera have all benefited from the carrier not providing the iPhone, but now the rug’s being pulled out from under them.
DoCoMo sells an astounding 23.5 million phones a year, and should it keep its quota with Apple, that would spread roughly 9.4 million new iPhones throughout the country.
It’s phone release season in Japan as well, and I am on the lookout for a new device with my KDDI au contract. Maybe it’s time to shop around and find some great new deals on an iPhone 5s.