Two of the top-three Japan-based mobile telecom carriers, NTT DoCoMo and Softbank, have reduced the number of new phones launched for the summer of 2016 as the growth of smartphone sales in the Japan market has slowed down, according to Digitimes Research.
NTT DoCoMo has so far launched only seven new models for this summer, far below those launched a year earlier and also those for the last winter/spring season. Additionally, NTT DoCoMo has also announced to extend the product life cycles of exiting models in order to ramp up sales volume for each model, Digitimes Research noted.
Softbank has released only a single exclusive model for summer 2016 and has also discontinued its cooperation with Samsung Electronics to promote smartphone sales in the Japan market.
In comparison, KDDI (au) has been more positive about the local handset market, releasing the highest amount of new models for summer. KDDI has also launched new smartphones and tablets in cooperation with LG Electronics. The operator also released an own-brand Android feature phone, the Aquos K SHF33, supporting Sharp's emopa artificial intelligent (AI) technology.
While changing its strategy for the release of new models, NTT DoCoMo has begun to offer high-sound-quality VoLTE (HD+) service with audio frequency ranging from 50Hz to 14KHz. Three high-end smartphones, Sony Xperia X Performance, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Sharp Aquos ZETA SH-04H, launched by NTT DoCoMo all support the service, Digitimes Research noted.
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