iPhone Headed to Japan’s KDDI
Japan will soon have a second iPhone carrier: KDDI. Sources close to the company tell AllThingsD that SoftBank’s iPhone exclusivity in Japan is expiring and KDDI is next in line to sell the device there. Come 2012, it will add the newly launched iPhone 5 to its smartphone portfolio and begin selling it in Au shops around the country.
First reported by the Nikkei, the deal is a blow to KDDI rival SoftBank, whose shares tanked on the news, falling some 12 percent in the company’s biggest decline since fall of 2008. “SoftBank’s recent solid performance in earnings has been supported mainly by the iPhone,” said SMBC Friend Research Center analyst Naoki Yokota. “It will be tough if the company loses exclusivity.”
Great news for Apple, though. Adding a second carrier in Japan will vastly expand its distribution in the country. And KDDI is Japan’s second-largest mobile carrier by subscribers.