According to sources at the Nikkei, Docomo will start carrying the iPhone.
Docomo has been Japan’s leading carrier for perhaps a decade with innovative features and phones, but its lead has lagged somewhat in recent years, partially as a result of not carrying Apple’s iPhone. Last year, it lost subscribers to other Japanese carriers who did carry Cupertino’s iconic smartphone.
Still Docomo has perhaps 53 million subscribers, which is nothing to sneeze at.
And a new suite of Apple iPhones at varying price points could be just the ticket to goose Apple’s Japanese sales, which are already up $500 million year-over-year, and $600 million quarter-over-quarter — one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bad-news-bears last quarter for Apple’s international sales.
Docomo rivals KDDI and SoftBank already carry the iPhone, and they’ve been growing with it.
Now … if Apple could just get that pesky China Mobile deal done, its fourth quarter — and most certainly its first quarter of 2014 — will look very rosy indeed.
Rosy enough that Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald said yesterday the stock would rise to $777 within twelve months.
“In our view, Apple is on the verge of an extended product cycle that we believe will include a refresh of existing products, increased penetration within existing device categories and entirely new market opportunities, ” he wrote. “Apple’s iPhone franchise focuses on the higher-end of the smartphone market and thus the company has been unable to address approximately 60 percent of the smartphone opportunity with the latest, freshest iPhone offering. We expect this to change with the introduction of the plastic-encased iPhone 5C.”