Apple Inc sold three of every four smartphones in Japan last month after the country’s largest carrier, NTT Docomo Inc, began carrying the iPhone, according to a market researcher.
Apple, which released new iPhone 5S and 5C models in September, won 76 percent of Japanese smartphone sales last month, market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said on Thursday.
Apple’s share of smartphone sales at NTT Docomo was 61 percent after it began offering the iPhone for the first time, Kantar said in a post on its Twitter account, confirmed yesterday by Dominic Sunnebo, an analyst with the company in London.
Japan’s three wireless carriers all sell iPhones after NTT Docomo, the nation’s largest, ended its holdout against Apple’s handset as it attempts to regain market share from smaller rivals which already stock the devices.
NTT Docomo had 45.7 percent of Japanese mobile subscribers last month compared with 29 percent for KDDI Corp and 25.3 percent for Softbank Corp, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
NTT Docomo had resisted offering the iPhone to focus on handsets from Sony Corp and Samsung Electronics Co and protect its online store, called dmarket, from competition with Apple’s iTunes.
Shares of NTT Docomo rose 0.5 percent to ￥1,640 as of 10:34am in Tokyo.
Softbank fell 1.4 percent to ￥8,310 and KDDI dropped 1.5 percent to ￥6,460. The Topix index declined 0.2 percent.
“It is true that iPhone sold well,” Jun Ootori, a spokesman for NTT Docomo in Tokyo, said on Thursday.
He declined to comment further because the company does not know details of Kantar’s research.
Apple introduced two new iPhones, including a cheaper version in bright colors and an updated high-end device that NTT Docomo began selling in Japan on Sept. 20.
Separately, Apple Inc said a monitor appointed by a judge to oversee antitrust compliance in its electronic books price-fixing case is charging too much money.
“Of all known past Apple matters,” no lawyer has had a higher rate than Michael Bromwich’s proposed hourly fee of US$1,100, the world’s most valuable technology company said in a filing in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday.
“Mr Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands,” lawyers for Cupertino, California- based Apple said in the filing.
Bromwich, a former US Justice Department inspector general, is charging a 15 percent administrative fee on top of his hourly rate, as well as on the cost of hiring other lawyers to assist him, according to the filing.
US District Judge Denise Cote appointed Bromwich as a monitor last month following her July ruling that Apple played a “central” role in a conspiracy to fix prices for electronic books.
Cote barred Apple from entering into anticompetitive contracts with e-book publishers.