Will Apple’s Asia Ambitions Soon Be Realized?
Is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on the cusp of unprecedented growth in Asia? Although Apple has distribution deals with multiple carriers across Asia, it still hasn’t inked deals with the largest carriers in both Japan and China. However, several recent reports suggest that Apple may soon have distribution deals with both with NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL).
According to anonymous sources cited by Reuters, DoCoMo is on the verge of signing a deal with Apple that may allow Japan’s largest carrier to begin selling the iPhone as soon as the fall. DoCoMo has over 60 million subscribers and features a broad, integrated system of software and products that is similar to Apple’s own seamless ecosystem. DoCoMo even has its own online store that is similar to Apple’s iTunes Store. In fact, the Japanese carrier’s competing products and services may be one reason why it has taken so long to sign a deal with the Cupertino-based company.
Another reason may be the restrictive conditions that Apple typically imposes on carriers of the iPhone. Some observers believe that Apple was asking that its iPhones make up 50 percent of the carrier’s handset sales, while DoCoMo was only willing to allow 20 to 30 percent. However, it is unknown what concessions may have been made since Reuters’ sources did not reveal any details of the negotiations.