Japan’s largest wireless provider, NTT DoCoMo, will at long last begin selling Apple’s popular iPhone this fall, according to Nikkei. The two parties are reported to have recently come to an agreement, and reports about the discussions began emerging last month.
With Apple announcing two new iPhones next week, it is likely that DoCoMo will carry the new devices. Apple will be announcing a successor to the iPhone 5 (the iPhone 5S) as well as a lower-cost, plastic backed iPhone 5 geared towards emerging markets.
The lack of an iPhone in its lineup left a gaping hole in DoCoMo’s offerings, as it watched competitors who did offer the device steal market share. While the carrier had long down-played reports that the lack of the iPhone was hurting business, last year the company did blame the lack of an iPhone offering for a net loss in customers over one quarter.
Reports claimed the major stumbling block for a deal between DoCoMo and Apple was the carrier’s insistence on installing proprietary apps on the device before offering it to customers. Apple staunchly refuses to allow any carriers to install their own apps or to brand the devices before sale to the public.
At this point, neither company has publicly commented on negotiations, so it is unclear which firm blinked in such negotiations.