NTT DoCoMo Inc., the nation’s largest mobile phone carrier, said Monday it lost subscribers last month even after adding Apple Inc.’s iPhones to its lineup to regain market share lost to rivals Softbank Corp. and KDDI Corp.
DoCoMo lost 66,800 net users in September, the company said. Softbank added 270,700 and KDDI 232,700 users, according to the carriers.
Apple launched two new smartphones last month, including a cheaper version in bright colors and an updated high-end device DoCoMo began selling Sept. 20.
The carrier had resisted 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.
“DoCoMo must offer more incentives for existing users to remain with the carrier,” said Eiji Mori, an analyst at BCN Inc. in Tokyo.
DoCoMo had 61.8 million subscribers last month, followed by KDDI with 39 million and Softbank with 34 million.
Softbank accounted for 39.5 percent of the domestic sales of Apple’s two new models, while DoCoMo rung up a share of 31.9 percent and KDDI 28.6 percent, according to estimates from BCN, which compiles data from appliance and electronics chain stores.
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