Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be in talks for a deal with NTT DoCoMo Inc (TYO:9437), according to the Japanese newspaper SankeiBiz (via Bloomberg). Such a deal would be key for Apple as it tries to gain a stronger foothold in the Asia Pacific region.
Apple and DoCoMo’s deal still not final
The carrier is the largest in Japan, and the company’s chief financial officer told the Japanese paper that a deal with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) makes sense. The executive said his company would be able to add a popular handset to its network, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would benefit from having its device offered on Japan’s largest mobile network. DoCoMo holds about 45 percent of the Japanese mobile network, according to The Next Web.
At this point the two companies have not yet finalized a deal, and according to Sankei, they might not be able to. Last month DoCoMo CFO Kazuto Tsubouchi told Bloomberg News that they might consider adding the iPhone to their network if they can limit its share to less than 30 percent of its network.
DoCoMo has been struggling to spark growth as smaller competitors like KDDI Corp. (TYO:9433) and Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF), both of which offer the iPhone, have been growing faster.
Apple making a deal with China Mobile?
The other major carrier Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors have been hoping for a deal with is China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941). The company has deals with China Unicom and China Telecom, but China Mobile is seen as a major component of the company’s ability to gain a strong foothold in China, which is the world’s largest mobile market.
The rumored low-cost iPhone and the rollout of 4G in China are both seen as positives for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of making a deal with China Mobile. Some analysts speculate that we could see a deal between Apple and China Mobile by the end of this year.