NTT DoCoMo, the largest wireless operator in Japan, may be left with little choice but to do that which it has avoided until now. According to published reports Friday, the iPhone-less carrier may soon - for the economic good of its business - begin offering Apple's flagship smartphone to 60 million Japanese consumers.

DoCoMo's unwillingness to offer the iPhone is reportedly costing the carrier enormous sums of money. DoCoMo "is paying heavily for that obstinacy," today's Reuters report reads. 3.2 million DoCoMo subscribers have reportedly relocated their business to iPhone-carrying domestic rivals over the last 4-1/2 years.

"Today, the iPhone may not necessarily offer the best technological specifications in every aspect, but itís a very well-balanced smartphone," Kazuto Tsubouhi, NTT DoCoMo's Senior Executive Vice President, recently told the WSJ. "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."

DoCoMo's resistance contrasts with holdouts in other markets that are giving in this year to the demand for iPhones. T-Mobile US Inc's CEO said its April release of the iPhone filled a "huge void" in its line-up.
Although NTT DoCoMo hasn't publicly rejected its previous posturing on Apple's iPhone, there's a good chance that it soon will, according to several market analysts who believe the carrier would be foolish to hold out much longer.

Source: Reuters