A Vice President of NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest wireless service provider gave an interview where he indicated that they were in no rush to get the iPhone on their network. In the interview with The Wall Street Journal, Executive Vice President Kazuto Tsubouhi said the iPhone is no longer “the god of all smartphones.” The question put to him was in relation to his company trying to win back leaving customers.
The question we need to ask is how many customers will continue to leave DoCoMo from now on because we don’t have the iPhone. There will always be some customers who switch to the iPhone, but things have changed from time in the past when the iPhone looked like the god of all smartphones.
He went on to explain that the carrier is not opposed to having the iPhone on their network, which has been a big cause drawing customers to other carriers. But the other Japanese carriers are selling the iPhone very cheep meaning their sales expenses must be very high. Another concern is Apple’s strong stance against letting carriers preinstall software on its phones as well as Apple’s handset doesn’t support some of DoCoMo’s services.
Tsubouchi said that improvement in other, namely Android handsets is mitigating the need for Apple devices.
It’s not that DoCoMO won’t be able to survive without the iPhone. I don’t think it is indispensable for us to sell the iPhone. What has changed since last year is that Android phones have become more competitive.
Last year, DoCoMo lost 40,800 subscribers in November due to the lack of an iPhone option. Though its 60 million customers have a range of high-end Android options.