SoftBank Corp and KDDI Corp have lowered prices for the iPhone in an attempt to level the playing field as the country’s largest mobile carrier forays into Apple’s market in Japan.
NTT DoCoMo announced early this month it will carry the new iPhones in an agreement with Apple, sparking a price war in Japan.
Two of its main rivals, SoftBank and KDDI, said they would give the 16GB iPhone 5S for free with a two-year contract.
The 16GB iPhone 5C will be effectively free at KDDI while SoftBank offered to reimburse iPhone 5C users 10,000 yen ($100) for a two-year contract with the network.
DoCoMo, on the other hand, would effectively pay 6,300 yen to iPhone 5C users over two years.
DoCoMo fell behind its iPhone-carrying rivals in the last five years, losing thousands of subscribers to SoftBank and KDDI, but they still have a solid base of 60 million subscribers.
Executives at DoCoMo previously played down any notion that not carrying the Apple smartphone was hurting business. DoCoMo President Kaoru Kato said the company was “in no hurry to carry the iPhone.”
“I keep thinking the iPhone’s popularity has peaked… But the Japanese love the iPhone. Maybe more than Americans,” Kato said in July.
By: Maesie Bertumen
Image of iPhone 5: COG LOG LAB./Flickr