DoCoMo to be more choosy with smartphone campaigns this winter

JIJI, Kyodo

NTT DoCoMo Inc. President Kaoru Kato says the top mobile phone carrier intends to focus on marketing select smartphone models this winter.

The recommendations will be limited just as they are this summer, Kato said in a recent interview.

This strategy, however, might prompt some phone makers to pull the plug on products to DoCoMo, he said.

Among new smartphones launched this summer, DoCoMo recommended the Galaxy from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp.’s Xperia as its flagship models.

As of the end of June, 830,000 new Xperia and 400,000 new Galaxy units had been sold. Sales are expected to top 1 million units for both, Kato said.

DoCoMo is participating in a project to develop Tizen, a new operating system for smartphones being pushed by Samsung and Intel Corp.

Kato said DoCoMo plans to launch a model that runs on Tizen this winter. The model will be compatible with Line, the popular free messaging application, he said.

The company plans to start distributing animation to smartphones and tablet computers in France and Taiwan this month as part of efforts to grow new businesses, Kato said.

“We’d like to boost operating revenue in new business areas by about twofold to ¥1 trillion in fiscal 2015 from fiscal 2012,” he said.

The anime content will include popular Japanese titles like “Fullmetal Alchemist,” he said.

The service will initially be offered through August, and DoCoMo will consider expanding the service to other markets if it gets a favorable response, Kato said.

The leading mobile phone carrier is working to expand the scope of its operations to such areas as Internet shopping and music distribution, in addition to its mainstay communications business.

Regarding the possibility of adding the iPhone to its lineup of handsets, Kato said the company is studying the matter.