Early last month we posted a report titled "NTT DoCoMo in Tough Negotiations with Apple Over iPhone. We reported that Japan's daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun had reported that NTT DoCoMo's President and CEO, Kaoru Kato, has told them that they "are discussing with Apple the launch of iPhones via NTT DoCoMo, but find it hard to narrow our differences with Apple." A new report this morning states that the deal is closer to closing.
According to Bloomberg, "Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said there are compelling reasons for Apple and his company to reach an agreement, according to an interview published in SankeiBiz. For Apple, it doesn't make business sense not to allow Japan's largest wireless carrier to sell the iPhone, while DoCoMo wants to be able to sell most popular handsets."
DoCoMo may consider altering its stance on the iPhone if it can limit the smartphone's share of sales to less than 30 percent of the company's total; Tsubouchi said this month in an interview with Bloomberg News.
DoCoMo is trying to spark growth as it adds users at a slower pace than SoftBank and KDDI, which both sell the iPhone.
Whether this is market posturing and wishful thinking or an inch closer to a deal is unknown at this time. A new deal would likely further Apple's number one position in Japan. Considering that Samsung and LG are on the attack in Japan to overtake Apple, a new deal with DoCoMo could extinguish that goal quickly.