NTT DoCoMo: Apple iPhone staunches subscriber hemorrhage

“NTT Docomo Inc. (9437), Japan’s largest mobile-phone operator, said the addition of Apple Inc.’s iPhone to its handset lineup in September is helping reduce subscriber losses to competing carriers,” Finbarr Flynn and Takashi Amano report for Bloomberg News.

“Docomo lost about 93,000 subscribers net to KDDI Corp. (9433) and SoftBank Corp. (9984) last month and wants to cut that amount to between 40,000 and 50,000 a month, Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said during an interview yesterday,” Flynn and Amano report. “During the first nine months of this year, Docomo lost an average of 141,050 subscribers a month to other carriers, the company said.”

“The last major Japanese carrier to start selling the iPhone had resisted adding the handset because Apple’s iTunes store competes directly with Docomo’s dmarket, its online store for music, videos and games. SoftBank was the first of the nation’s operators to offer the iPhone when it began sales in 2008 before KDDI followed in 2011 and Docomo on Sept. 20,” Flynn and Amano report. “Docomo added 37,100 net users in October, while SoftBank gained 229,400 and KDDI added 158,900. Docomo still dominates the Japanese wireless sector with 44.5 percent of the market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As for individual users, so it goes for carriers: ‘Tis far, far better to have iPhone than not.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple strikes gold in Japan – November 11, 2013
DoCoMo subscribers flee as scarcity of Apple’s iPhone 5s hurts Japan’s biggest carrier – October 8, 2013
Significance of Apple’s iPhone deal with DoCoMo: 66% of carriers former customers left to buy an Apple iPhone – September 13, 2013
NTT DoCoMo and Apple team up to offer iPhone in Japan on Friday, September 20 – September 10, 2013
Japan’s DoCoMo paying heavily for not carrying Apple iPhone – July 5, 2013
Japan’s iPhone have-not Docomo loses record 40,800 subscribers in November as customers switch carriers for iPhone 5 – December 7, 2012


  1. MDN is reporting what happened.

    What is not mentioned is the absolute stupidity of any carrier who ignored what happened with the iPhone and ATT in year 1.

    No person watching Jobs & the iPhone in Jan 2007 had a doubt of what would happen next. Phones with buttons mostly disappeared … quickly.

    1. About “No person watching Jobs…” Clearly the management of Research in Motion watched the presentation and drew the conclusion that their strategy of buttons forever was correct. Blackberry still make button phones…..

  2. Hello China Mobile, are you paying attention? How are your non-iPhone non-64 bit smart phone sales going?

    Sign now while you can. I saw the real Chain tablet numbers. The iPad has half of that market in China now.

    China Mobile, are you in the game or just giving market share away?

    1. China Mobile is a whole different story… custom tech in phones to get on their network…

      And Huawei is king in China…

      Not to mention a bunch of knock off phones….

      In any case, Apple will at least have potential market share to grow into… Samsung has flooded almost all markets with their phones.

  3. May take Consumers 4 to 5 years but a good percent will discover the only real iPhone, is the, iPhone ….. And with Apple adding the 5C that opens the door for other makes and models ….. I believe Apple is realizing when it comes to personal items, such as a phone (iPod comes to mind) people do like choices …..

    Soon we should see choices!

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