Business / Corporate

Japan's mobile phone carriers to launch new iPhones on Sept. 20

JIJI

Japan’s three major mobile phone carriers are set to release the latest models of Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone series on Sept. 20.

The three carriers — NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. — will accept reservations for the three new iPhone models from Friday.

At SoftBank, tax-included prices of the three models range from ¥89,280 to ¥187,680. NTT Docomo and KDDI have yet to disclose their sales prices for the handsets.

The new models are the standard iPhone 11; the high-end, compact iPhone 11 Pro, which has three cameras; and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which also has the trio of cameras and features a larger screen.

SoftBank will offer up to 50 percent discounts on the handset prices for customers who buy the phones under what it describes as a new purchase support service.

According to the MM Research Institute, iPhones accounted for some 50 percent of total smartphone shipments in Japan in fiscal 2018, which ended in March this year.

Purchase prices for smartphones and other handsets will increase in October, when mobile carriers will be banned from offering discounts in exchange for fixed-term contracts.

Observers said that due to the relatively high prices, is uncertain whether the domestic market share for iPhones will be able to maintain its momentum.

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