Business / Corporate

Of smartphones sold in October, 76% were Apple


Apple Inc. sold three of every four smartphones in Japan in October after the 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 Thursday.

Apple’s share of smartphone sales at Docomo was 61 percent after it began offering the iPhone for the first time, Kantar said in a post on its Twitter account, confirmed Thursday by Dominic Sunnebo, an analyst with the company in London.

Japan’s three wireless carriers now all sell iPhones after Docomo ended its holdout against Apple’s handset as it attempts to regain market share from smaller rivals that already stocked the devices. Docomo had 45.7 percent of mobile subscribers in October, compared with 29 percent for KDDI Corp. and 25.3 percent for SoftBank Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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.

“It is true that iPhone sold well,” said Jun Ootori, a Docomo spokesman. He declined comment further because the company doesn’t 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 Docomo began selling Sept. 20.

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