Japan’s Largest Carrier Happy Without iPhone, Says Androids Are Just As Good


While the iPhone has been slowly making its way to carriers all over the world since its release in 2007, there are still a number of major operators that are yet to offer it. One of those is China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with over 800 million subscribers; and another is DoCoMo, a Japanese carrier that serves almost half of the country’s mobile market.

But DoCoMo isn’t at all concerned, even though it’s losing customers to other carriers that do offer Apple’s device. A company executive has acknowledged that the iPhone is an “attractive” device, but points out that it also comes with some disadvantages, and insists that the latest Android-powered offerings are just as good.

DoCoMo isn’t against the idea of selling the iPhone, Senior Executive Vice President Kazuto Tsubouchi told The Wall Street Journal, but it’s not in any rush to offer it, either. “Let’s say hypothetically that we start selling the iPhone,” Tsubouchi said, “there will be things we gain and things we lose. We really have to weigh those pros and cons.”

While Apple’s device may attract new customers, and convince existing ones to stay, Tsubouchi says that other Japanese carriers are selling the iPhone at very low prices, and that this must mean that “their sales expenses must be very high.” Tsubouchi also pointed out that some of the services DoCoMo provides to Android users cannot be provided on the iPhone, due to Apple’s restrictions.

“I think the iPhone with its own OS is like DisneyLand,” he said. “There are many people who love DisneyLand, and you can be perfectly happy inside that world. But some people might also want Snoopy or Spiderman, and those are not allowed in DisneyLand. You can’t sell Snoopy goods inside DisneyLand.”

The bottom line for DoCoMo is that it knows the iPhone isn’t “indispensable,” and that it will survive without it. Furthermore, the company feels that the latest Android devices are just as good, and it’s been heavily promoting the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the Sony Xperia Z.

“Android models are no longer trailing the iPhone in terms of hardware,” Tsubouchi said. “And recently, there are some Android phones that are also well-balanced. We are focusing on those models.”

“So far, I think the strategy is working. In terms of product quality, the two Android models we are currently pushing are just as good as the iPhone.”