The iPhone is probably one of the more desired smartphones in the world at the moment, and despite what its critics and detractors have to say about it, they have to admit that it is true to a certain level. What this also means is that carriers are more than happy, for the most part, to offer the phone on their network.
However getting the iPhone onto a network isn’t as simple as placing an order with Apple. In fact based on what we have heard in the past from carriers, usually this means buying a certain amount of phones from Apple as well as agreeing to some of Apple’s demands, like no installing of carrier bloatware on the iPhone.
While we’re not sure how other carriers might have eventually gotten Apple to agree and deal with them, SoftBank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son recently gave an interview to Charlie Rose in which he revealed how he managed to persuade the late Steve Jobs to bring the iPhone to Japan, and how SoftBank managed to secure an exclusive for it as well.
According to Son, he said that one of the reasons Jobs was willing to give him the iPhone was because he approached him first before anyone else. “We have not talked to anybody, but you came to see me as the first guy. I’ll give it to you.” However when he asked for an exclusive, Jobs turned him down as Son did not have his own mobile carrier yet.
However it wasn’t too long after that Son eventually bought out Vodafone Group’s Japanese unit in 2006 that they managed to net a deal with Apple and offered the iPhone exclusively before other carriers in Japan managed to get their hands on the iPhone as well.