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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:07 AM   #1
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Leading Japanese Carrier NTT DoCoMo Losing Customers as iPhone Deal Remains Elusive




Reuters reports on difficulties being faced by NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile carrier with 60 million customers, as it has yet to reach a deal with Apple to offer the iPhone. The major hurdle to a deal has been DoCoMo's insistence on allowing its own services to be preloaded on devices it carries.
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It is paying heavily for that obstinacy - with a net 3.2 million users jumping ship to its two domestic rivals over the last 4-1/2 years - but is determined to protect the walled garden of services it has built around its own smartphones.

"We're trying to develop a lifestyle system," NTT DoCoMo CEO Kaoru Kato told Reuters in an interview this week.
The report notes that while DoCoMo pioneered a number of smartphone services, those services have been surpassed in popularity and ease of use by third-party offerings. Combining that reduced consumer reliance on DoCoMo's own services with Apple's equally obstinate position that carriers can not preload apps and services on the iPhone may leave DoCoMo in an increasingly difficult position with its customers.

DoCoMo appears to be banking on iPhone saturation at rival carriers Softbank and KDDI to force Apple to relent as it seeks to drive further sales growth of the popular device, but DoCoMo's list of demands, which also includes carrier branding on handsets themselves, clashes so strongly with Apple's philosophy for the iPhone that an imminent deal appears unlikely.

Little appears to have changed in the stalemate between Apple and DoCoMo, as a November 2011 report highlighted many of the same sticking points. And with the iPhone continuing to lead the Japanese smartphone market even without DoCoMo on board, it appears that Apple may be able to continue negotiating from a position of strength.

Still, Samsung's dramatic rise in most of the rest of the world has enabled it to surpass the iPhone in many markets, and Apple may be feeling some pressure to make its best effort to ensure that a similar scenario does not play out in Japan.

Article Link: Leading Japanese Carrier NTT DoCoMo Losing Customers as iPhone Deal Remains Elusive
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:10 AM   #2
Bearxor
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DoCoMo's list of demands, which also includes carrier branding on handsets themselves
Ha! Not likely to happen while this is one of the requirements DoCoMo has!
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Hope Apple hold out.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:13 AM   #4
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If the lifestyle system is so good, make an app or apps for it and prove it!
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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Ha! Not likely to happen while this is one of the requirements DoCoMo has!
Beat me to it. Never going to happen.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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Hope Apple hold out.
Kinda hoping the same for NTT DoCoMo, showing that Apple cannot dictate every carrier they want
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Carriers should never ever brand their phones, much less mess around with the software.

Never saw a carrier modified phone that had any advantage to a normal phone.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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The solution?

Preload a Samsung S4 with iOS 7.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jibbajabba View Post
Kinda hoping the same for NTT DoCoMo, showing that Apple cannot dictate every carrier they want
LOL... Seriously?

It's Apple's phone; you play by their rules if you want to sell it. Simple enough.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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I hope Apple stand firm over this, only because if they let DoCoMo brand devices and preload apps, it would only open the floodgates for other carriers to do the same.

And it wouldn't be avoidable by buying an unlocked device directly from Apple either. It would be automatic just like today's carrier updates are.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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The major hurdle to a deal has been DoCoMo's insistence on allowing its own services to be preloaded on devices it carries.
Good luck with that. Thankfully Apple held out against the U.S. carriers or the iPhone would have had a bad user experience.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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Ha! Not likely to happen while this is one of the requirements DoCoMo has!
Verizon used to require that as well.

Does anyone know what the carrier specific services are? email? messaging? photo sharing?
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jibbajabba View Post
Kinda hoping the same for NTT DoCoMo, showing that Apple cannot dictate every carrier they want
Except for the fact that the iPhone continues to be the most popular smartphone in Japan (according to this article) and that Samsung sells only 1/5 the number phones in the country. Then consider that DoCoMo has lost 3.4 million subscribers because they don't carry the iPhone. Now who do you think has the most bargaining power?

As for your lamented desire to see Apple taken down a notch I don't get your point at all.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:34 AM   #14
bdavis89
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Verizon had similar requirements, and we all know how that turned out.

The carriers are the bad guys when it comes to these rules and preloaded junk. Apple will win this one just like Verizon.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jibbajabba View Post
Kinda hoping the same for NTT DoCoMo, showing that Apple cannot dictate every carrier they want
Android fanboys are a funny lot. They hate the carriers but hate the iPhone even more for Apple having a far superior mobile OS people actually ask for by name allowing Apple to dictate demands to carriers instead of bending over backwards to them.

Last edited by NoNothing; Jul 6, 2013 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Delete redundant "even"
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:36 AM   #16
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One of the main reasons I like the iPhone. No carrier branding, and no crapware on their devices. It is hands off from everyone but Apple.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:37 AM   #17
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I dont think apple would give in to preloaded apps and phone branding. Sprint used to be terrible with NASCAR apps and other crap. iPhone with them is a Breath of fresh air.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:38 AM   #18
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Ew preloaded carrier services are some of the most useless additions to phones. Carriers just like to clutter the phone with unnecessary things.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:41 AM   #19
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I don't see Apple relenting to them anytime soon. My guess is the carrier blinks before Apple does.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:44 AM   #20
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Just no. It wouldn't make good business sense for Apple to relent to DoCoMo. The most immediate negative ramification would be the dreaded fragmentation. Look at the crapstorm Android goes through with carrier bloatware.

Do the good people at DoCoMo not realize that IF they got their wish they would still regret it. Their customers would still leave and purchase iPhones on their competitors networks just to be sure they receive timely iOS updates, along with every other iPhone.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:50 AM   #21
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Hah, have they even heard of Apple at all? Do they not know anything about them? They are seriously demanding carrier branding against someone who held out against VERIZON because of a similar situation. Textbook example of leverage. Apple will have far less to lose in breaking negotiations than they do.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:52 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by FirstNTenderbit View Post
Just no. It wouldn't make good business sense for Apple to relent to DoCoMo. The most immediate negative ramification would be the dreaded fragmentation. Look at the crapstorm Android goes through with carrier bloatware.

Do the good people at DoCoMo not realize that IF they got their wish they would still regret it. Their customers would still leave and purchase iPhones on their competitors networks just to be sure they receive timely iOS updates, along with every other iPhone.
Nailed it! Before I switched to Mac, I dreaded every PC I purchased because I'd have to spend half of a day uninstalling all the bloat/crap/BS-ware. AND god forbid I'd have to reinstall the OS...they'd all be back
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:52 AM   #23
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Crucial numbers not given in this MR article: what percentage of the Japanese smartphone market is with this certain carrier? If it's just barely the biggest, who cares? If it's larger than all the others combined, it matters.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:54 AM   #24
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Kinda hoping the same for NTT DoCoMo, showing that Apple cannot dictate every carrier they want
Carriers are the worst. At least you can argue that Apple cares about the user experience. Can you say the same for carriers? Give me an Apple garden over a carrier garden any day of the week.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:58 AM   #25
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