updated 01:41 pm EDT, Thu September 12, 2013
Deal may impose major burden on carrier
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo agreed to make the iPhone 40 percent of its smartphone sales in order to secure a deal with Apple, Nikkei reports. The 5s and 5c will be the carrier's first iPhone models, since it previously refused to sell the device unless it could pre-install integrated service apps. Holding out has cost the company subscribers, many of whom have flocked to iPhone-ready rivals SoftBank and KDDI.
It's uncertain if DoCoMo dropped the app demand, but that may be likely since no other carrier has been allowed to install apps. Regardless, the 40 percent quota could impose a significant burden on the company, as well as the Japanese cellphone industry. DoCoMo will have to focus most of its marketing and procurement efforts on the iPhone to meet contract terms, naturally diverting attention away from other smartphones, such as ones made by Sharp and Sony. DoCoMo is also a particularly big target, with about 60 million people -- half of Japan's population -- counted as subscribers. Seizing that share could give Apple overwhelming control in the country.