Apple struck gold in the Japanese smartphone market this October after a new arrangement with the leading Japanese carrier. NTT Docomo Inc. recently became the carrier of iPhones in the Japanese market. Soon after Docomo began carrying the iPhone, Apple was able to access three out of four Japanese customers with their new models. The company released the iPhone 5C and 5S models in September. This data came out following a market research by Kantar Worldpanel Com Tech.
The deal between Apple and Docomo was a milestone agreement because the largest Japanese carrier usually follows a highly discretionary attitude in getting into deals. Reaching the agreement was a significant victory for apple also. In fact, the company known for its tightlipped approach to deals and acquisitions actually released a press release to announce the agreement. The efforts definitely paid off big time, as is evident from the October sales records of the partners.
The significance of the deal derives from the fact that Japan is a highly technically organized country and it rarely allows ‘outsiders’ to enter into their market. In fact, when the news of the deal went public, Nikkei, the leading Japanese business daily ran a series of reports in providing perspectives on the impact of the deal into the closed Japanese market. The newspaper raised concerns that the new arrangement would alter the power structure in the Japanese telecommunication scenario.
It also noted that Docomo would have to undertake several uncomfortable adjustments to cope with the demands of Apple. The newspaper specifically raised issues that Docomo would have to enter into a binding agreement to develop large numbers of units, which is usually an identifying trend of Apple. The pre-story of the deal developed from Apple’s efforts to enter the Japanese market, which had several small domestic players. The company targeted NTT Docomo as it is the largest Japanese carrier. Following around of negotiations, ultimately there was a suitable deal to provide the newest iPhones to the Japanese. As the October sales figures arrive, they show the tremendous success registered by the partnership. However, it definitely waits to see how far can the partnership maintain this success rate among the tech-savvy Japanese.
NTT Docomo was already the carrier for Samsung and Sony handsets in the Japanese market. In fact, these affiliations were the key reasons why it was initially reluctant to enter into the agreement with Apple. However, the deal finally took shape, obviously under several strict parameters. Recent statistics show that Docomo shares hiked by 1.1 percent closing at 1,650 Yen. Jun Otori, a spokesman from Docomo confirmed that the iPhones sold very well. However, he declined to comment on the reports from Kantar. The sale of the latest iPhones through Docomo commenced from September 20.
Soon after Apple began offering the smartphones through Docomo, it commanded a share of 61 percent smartphone sales. Kantar firsts released the stats in the official Twitter account of the company. Later on, Dominic Sunnebo, a company analyst based in London confirmed the official validity of these reports.