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October 09, 2013

Japan's DOCOMO Still Losing Subscribers Despite iPhone Offering

Wireless service providers around the world are reaching saturation points of almost 100 percent, which means customers are going to be moving from one service provider to another. Whether it is the introduction of a new product, or a propriety service offered by a particular service provider, these fluctuations will show inevitable gains and losses. The Japanese market is probably the most saturated in the world, with nearly 100 percent market penetration of mobile devices. NTT DOCOMO Inc., Japan’s largest mobile phone carrier with more than 61 million subscribers, is experiencing subscription losses compared to its competitors SoftBank Corp. and KDDI Corp.

Even though DOCOMO still enjoys a considerable lead over its competitors, any loss will affect the bottom line. Currently it has a total of 61.8 million subscribers, with KDDI at 39 million, and SoftBank with 34 million. According to Bloomberg, DOCOMO lost more than 66,808 net users in September, while SoftBank Corp. and KDDI Corp. gained 270,700 and 232,700 users, respectively.

DOCOMO expected to stop the hemorrhaging of subscribers by introducing the new iPhone 5s to its lineup, but this has proven to be a futile effort by the company. The company had been hesitant to introduce the iPhone, in order to push mobile devices from Sony and Samsung while at the same time protecting its own online brand market, which is competing with Apple's iTunes.

The new iPhones are being sold by all three companies, with SoftBank accounting for 39.5 percent sales, followed by DOCOMO at 31.9 percent and KDDI at 28.6 percent of the Japanese market.

DOCOMO provides its customers the latest available technology in the world including NFC payments, GPS, TV, personal assistance, cloud solutions, smart grid management and much more. Its global R&D development operation provides technical and operational expertise to eight mobile operators and partner companies outside of the country.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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