DoCoMo Chief Financial Officer Masayuki Hirata has said talks with Apple to sell the iPhone in Japan are currently focused on technological issues and profit sharing. “The handset is easy to use and can open new markets, which makes this an interesting proposition,” Hirata said in an interview. “We are in continuous contact with the company, but the specifics are still in the future.” The first challenge of bringing the iPhone to DoCoMo is the difference in cellular technologies.
While the iPhone uses older, more widely-used GSM technology, DoCoMo’s network uses W-CDMA technology. “The global GSM market is measured in hundreds of millions of users, compared with 50 million W-CDMA subscribers in Japan,” Hirata said. “It’s unlikely they will launch iPhone in Japan exclusively for DoCoMo.” In addition, Hirata also said that DoCoMo needs time to evaluate Apple’s profit sharing model.
Traditionally, Japanese service providers buy handsets directly form the manufacturers and sell them as their own. Previously, rival Japanese carriers KDDI and Softbank have both been said to be in talks with Apple over the iPhone..