Apple devices are already wiping the floor with the competition in Japan — but things look to be getting even better on the iOS front, thanks to news that the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are set to launch on the DoCoMo network in two week’s time.
With more than 63 million mobile subscribers, NTT DoCoMo is the largest mobile service provider in Japan.
“With the addition of iPad alongside iPhone, we now offer the complete lineup of Japan’s most popular mobile devices on the nation’s most reliable LTE network,” says NTT DoCoMo CEO Kaoru Kato.
“The results on iPhone have been tremendous, and we look forward to delivering iPad to NTT DoCoMo customers,” added Apple’s Tim Cook.
He’s not wrong. Over the past fiscal year, Apple has shipped a total of 14.43 million iPhones to Japan — an impressive number when you think that many once speculated the Japanese market hated the iPhone so much it could barely be given away for free.
On the back of Apples’ deal with NTT DoCoMo, sales have proven so good that Apple recently moved Doug Beck, chief of sales for Japan and Korea, back to the U.S. to handle the North American beat — where it is hoped he can apply some of the same sales mojo to increasing U.S. market share.
Given the iPhone’s tremendous success in Japan, both Apple and DoCoMo are obviously hoping to capture the Japanese tablet market in a similar way with this latest iPad announcement.
The LTE-enabled current generation iPads will run on DoCoMo’s Xi LTE communications service, which is available via a new billing plan that allows for group data sharing. Ahead of the June 10 launch, interested customers can preregister for the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display on DoCoMo’s website or at its dealers.