NTT DoCoMo Reaps Benefits of Apple Partnership
NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM) recently surpassed Japan’s two other major carriers for the highest number of new subscriber additions for the first time since December 2011, reports Bloomberg. According to data released by NTT DoCoMo, the country’s largest carrier added 279,100 net users last month for a total of 62.2 million users.
Meanwhile, rivals KDDI and SoftBank added 222,600 and 224,300 new subscribers, respectively. Although NTT DoCoMo is Japan’s largest wireless carrier, it has lagged its competitors in monthly subscription additions for almost two years. NTT DoCoMo spokesperson Hiroko Shimoyama attributed the company’s recent gains to the addition of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.
NTT DoCoMo was initially reluctant to carry the iPhone because Apple’s iTunes Store would directly compete with DoCoMo’s own integrated services and products business. However, the company’s falling subscription rate and its rivals’ success with the iPhone eventually forced NTT DoCoMo to adopt the device. SoftBank signed a distribution deal with Apple in 2008, while KDDI has offered the iPhone since 2011. Apple and NTT DoCoMo finally announced a distribution deal in September 2013, shortly before the release of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.