Tokyo (Japan) - Apple is trying desperately to get into the lucrative Asian markets and is seeing mixed success. Japan’s largest carrier - with an estimated 50 million cellular customers - NTT DoCoMo has confirmed that it is in talks with Apple to bring the iPhone to Japan’s gadget-crazed population. In China, however, telecom companies are giving Apple a hard time over revenue sharing agreements.
NTT DoCoMo spokesman Shuichiro Ichikoshi confirmed that his company was talking to Steve Jobs. This news has given a DoCoMo’s stock a nice 1.7 percent boost in the past few weeks. Apple is also talking with another Japanese carrier Softbank.
But the region’s most lucrative market will be China and by some estimates there will be 500 million mobile phone users in just a few years. Apple has been talking with China Mobile, the nation’s largest carrier with 300 million subscribers. While China Mobile’s CEO Wang Jiangzhou has said the company is seriously considering the iPhone - at least publically - the situation behind closed doors is a different story.
Apple and China Mobile are wrangling over revenue sharing agreements that could give Apple as much as 10% of mobile subscriber fees. Apple has previously negotiated such terms in the United States and Europe, but such agreements seem foreign to China. Indeed, an anonymous mobile phone executive in China recently told Reuters, "We don’t share revenue. That’s a Chinese rule."