In Japan, only two carriers offer the iPhone, and they are KDDI and SoftBank. NTT DOCOMO, while being Japan’s largest carrier, has held off from offering the iPhone officially, at least until now where Yahoo Japan has reported that the carrier has finally signed a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone on its network, with the first iPhones expected to arrive this fall, presumably that of the iPhone 5S and maybe even the iPhone 5C. This follows reports that the carrier started to bleed subscribers due to them not offering the iPhone, and there have also been talks that the carrier and Apple were negotiating a deal.
In the past one of the reasons NTT DOCOMO held off from offering the iPhone is because of the obligations that they would have to Apple if they were to do so. The carrier also wanted to preload apps onto the iPhone, which is a big no-no to Apple as they want to offer users “clean” experience, compared to Android devices which typically comes preloaded with apps from carriers, also known as bloatware. In any case with Apple signing a deal with Japan’s largest carrier, and also with China’s largest carrier rumored to begin taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5C, it looks like Apple will be able to reach out to an even wider audience.