Japanese Carrier DoCoMo Experiences Record Loss in Subscribers as iPhone 5s Shortages Continue

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Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo sustained a record loss of 66,800 subscribers for the month of September, with the drop attributed to a lack of stock of the new iPhone 5s, reports Reuters. Rival Japanese carriers Softbank and KDDI saw gains of 270,700 and 232,700 subscribers respectively, according to Bloomberg, with all three carriers offering the iPhone 5s free on contract through special promotions.
DoCoMo attributed the subscriber loss to customers who delayed purchases until after Apple's new mobiles went on sale Sept. 20 and insufficient stock of those handsets, said Atsuko Suzuki, a company spokeswoman. Rival carriers' marketing strategies also hurt sales, she said.
Notably, the avaliability of the new iPhone 5s and lower-cost iPhone 5c through DoCoMo marks the first time that Apple's mobile phones have been offered on the carrier, coming after a July report pointed to a loss of 3.2 million users over the last four and a half years as the carrier did not have a deal with Apple to offer the iPhone. However, a report in early September indicated that the carrier would finally offer the iPhone following comments from DoCoMo CEO Kazuto Tsubouchi citing "compelling reasons" to reach a deal.

Avaliability of the iPhone 5s has remained extremely tight throughout the world since its release last month, with Apple relaunching an in-store pickup option for U.S. online orders just last week. The company also continues to quote "October" shipping estimates for online orders in countries where the iPhone 5s has launched, suggesting that Apple is still experiencing some uncertainty about how quickly it will be able to meet demand.

Article Link: Japanese Carrier DoCoMo Experiences Record Loss in Subscribers as iPhone 5s Shortages Continue
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,239
595
Tokyo, Japan
I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that here in Japan, new customers are given preferential treatment in terms of both pricing and handset availability. :rolleyes:

Of course they're losing more customers than the competition - they have a larger subscriber base to bleed! If carriers here would treat existing customers better, there probably wouldn't be so much churn.
 

the8thark

macrumors 601
Apr 18, 2011
4,201
1,181
Thats hardly Japan-specific. Existing custumers are treated like dirt everywhere.
I think this is the answer. it's almost better to choose a new carrier each time you get a new iPhone. To have the new user bonus always.
 

kappaknight

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2009
1,579
79
Atlanta, GA
Am I correct in assuming all three service providers have about the same quality of service in Japan? It's not a huge area to cover compared to the US so each should be able to provide full, clear coverage.
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,818
750
Earth
Thats hardly Japan-specific. Existing custumers are treated like dirt everywhere.
Yup, oh you been a customer with AT&T for 10+ years. You now have to pay $36 to upgrade instead of the original $18.

Oh, you are a new customer to AT&T. We'll waive the activation fee for you!
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,303
500
Yup, oh you been a customer with AT&T for 10+ years. You now have to pay $36 to upgrade instead of the original $18.

Oh, you are a new customer to AT&T. We'll waive the activation fee for you!
I think the FCC (like the FAA forced airlines to include bogus fees in the real cost of the tickets last year. The FCC should force carriers in the USA they cannot advertise "free" phones on contract if they are charging a $36 upgrade/activation fee.

Think FCC should force carriers to list iPhones at $235 (for att) $199 plus $36

And $229 for verizon ($199 plus $30 upgrade fee).

That way it makes it crystal clear what the real prices are. Either att has to lower their $36 fee or verizon raises their fees to make the prices look the same.
 

FirstNTenderbit

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2013
355
0
Atlanta
Yup, oh you been a customer with AT&T for 10+ years. You now have to pay $36 to upgrade instead of the original $18.

Oh, you are a new customer to AT&T. We'll waive the activation fee for you!
This. This is one of the most asinine thing the carriers do to loyal customers. I think they feel it will be too much of an issue for us to switch so they call our bluff. Typically, for the most part they are right. We stay. For what ever reason, we stay.:mad:
 

Snowshiro

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2008
384
4
I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that here in Japan, new customers are given preferential treatment in terms of both pricing and handset availability. :rolleyes:
I'm not sure I actually buy this argument. A lot of people I know were actually waiting for Docomo to finally get the iPhone so they could jump ship back to them, simply because Docomo have by far the most extensive and fastest LTE network. It's surprising to see them lose so badly just right now.

I jumped to Docomo after about 4 years on Softbank/AU (entirely down to the iPhone) just a few months ago to get a Galaxy S4, because I wanted super fast data, and tried a few Docomo phones from friends that would averaging 30 Mb/s real world usage (compared to less than a tenth of that on rival networks). If I'd have known that they would be getting the 5S I might have hung on a bit longer and got that - but hey I wanted a bigger screen anyway.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,679
3,465
The thick of it
We stay. For what ever reason, we stay.:mad:
In the U.S. it's mainly a matter of reception. Many customers have little choice if other carriers have poor reception in their area. I keep a sharp eye on other providers and their coverage. I'm perfectly willing to jump ship if I can get a better deal than what I have now.

A friend of mine ordered a gold 64gb 5s from AT&T before it officially launched. AT&T promised him that he could pick up the phone the day it became available. He just got a notice stating it will be another 1 to 2 months before it ships. That's just another example of AT&T's dubious tactics to keep customers.
 

E.Lizardo

macrumors 68000
May 28, 2008
1,605
182
These stories are interesting.Seem like I read stories early in the iPhone's lifespan that uptake in Japan was very low,and customers preferred other phones.One example was phones that could receive tv signals.I guess the market has changed a bit.
 

FelixAng

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2013
224
9
Hong Kong
(just a little message to MR users who still don't get certain things)

This is not about the 5C. Again, this is not about the plastic shell iPhone from 2012...this is about Apple's progress phone, the 5S.

I'd be curious is the 5C carries any supply/demand value above its going price; but probably it doesn't because 5Cs are readily available, and have been for weeks.

Best Buy recently dropped the 5C to $45 down, and Tmo has had it $0 down for signing up...phone companies are increasingly desperate to sell the 5C.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
These stories are interesting.Seem like I read stories early in the iPhone's lifespan that uptake in Japan was very low,and customers preferred other phones.One example was phones that could receive tv signals.I guess the market has changed a bit.
Don't forget the IR transceivers. Japanese customers were supposedly not interested in buying any phones without one.
 

dvoros

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2010
413
15
short supply

Yeah, the almighty Apple has disappointed again. Besides short supplies and using last years model as the iPhone 5s, they don't have any in stock. What a boner of a marketing and sales plan. They are arrogant and actually pretty stupid. Now companies and consumers have to pay the price for this.:mad:
 

DavidinBurl

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2013
6
0
Japanese Carrier DoCoMo Experiences Record Loss in Subscribers as iPhone 5s Shortages

I think this is a general Apple problem... Apple seems to like to have ALL it's customers wait for products. I think Apple needs to do a better job at determining demand and this applies to more than just iPhones and iPads. We ordered 3 new iMacs with Fusion drives (Apple stores generally don't carry the 1TB Fusion Drive in stores, so it's always a special order) on September 25th and were quoted 5-7 days. On the 7th day, we received an email indicating that the order had been delayed... When I complained to my Business Rep, I was told that our order was in the 2nd wave... Seriously, I started the order process on 9/24 (the day they were released), but the order didn't get placed until 9/25 and that 1 day caused my order to be considered as the second wave...
 

PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,785
4,823
Houston, TX
Am I correct in assuming all three service providers have about the same quality of service in Japan? It's not a huge area to cover compared to the US so each should be able to provide full, clear coverage.
The mountains and dense cities in Japan complicate it.
Would not surprise me if they have as many cell nodes as third of USA.

I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that here in Japan, new customers are given preferential treatment in terms of both pricing and handset availability. :rolleyes:
As you read, same everywhere, no "loyalty points" (maybe a few more MB on your data plan)

Are there other "American" tech products like this that have been popular in Japan?
No, just Food.
KFC and McDonalds are HUGE in Japan, and the food is actually much better then in USA.
 
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