It’s being reported that Apple is in talks with NTT DoCoMo—Japan’s largest carrier— to sell the iPhone, and the speculation has caused the carrier’s stock to rise in Tokyo trading. Bloomberg reports that NTT DoCoMo stock rose by 2.1 percent, compared to their rivals KDDI and Softbank which fell by 2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
DoCoMo’s Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said there are compelling reasons for Apple and his company to reach an agreement, according to an interview published in SankeiBiz. For Apple, it doesn’t make business sense not to allow Japan’s largest wireless carrier to sell the iPhone, while DoCoMo wants to be able to sell most popular handsets, Sankei said.
The reason the carrier may choose to sell the iPhone on its network is that it is facing stagnant growth compared to its rivals. While the company owns the largest market share of 45%—followed by KDDI as the second largest carrier with a market share of 28%—NTT DoCoMo has added only 172,500 users in July, compared to 225,200 and 254,500 for KDDI and Softbank, respectively.
Apple may also be trying to close out a deal with China Mobile, China’s largest carrier. According to rumors, the company ordered its supply chain vendors to manufacture TDD-LTE based iPhones that support China Mobile’s network.