The strong sales performance is likely due to the addition of DoCoMo to the iPhone carrier lineup in Japan. Until this year, DoCoMo has resisted accepting the iPhone. However, with the iPhone 5s and 5c, customers could buy Apple’s flagship devices from the carrier at launch. DoCoMo is Japan’s largest carrier, with over 60 million subscribers. According to Kantar, the iPhone accounted for 61% of DoCoMo’s total smartphone sales during October.
Rumours of a cooperation between Apple and DoCoMo sprang up earlier this year, amidst news that DoCoMo was experiencing significant drops in subscriber share as customers were forced to go elsewhere for iPhone. Parallels between Apple and DoCoMo can be drawn in the Chinese market, where China Mobile famously rested the iPhone for many years. Like DoCoMo, China Mobile has announced that it will carry the iPhone for the first time on December 18th.