Saturday, September 14, 2013

Comparison of iPhone prices between Docomo KDDI and Softbank

Below is a table via engadget Japan comparing the subsidized final cost of the iPhone 5S and 5C for each carrier. NTT Docomo is not surprisingly the most aggressive with pricing, and they're the only one to offer the phone at the same price to both new and existing customers. The Docomo price for the 16GB 5C is not a typo.

Remember, these are subsidized prices. This is not the full retail price that you would owe if you cancelled your contract early. Docomo's unsubsidized prices are significantly higher than the other two carriers. The 16GB 5C costs well over ¥90,000 unsubsidized, which is nearly double the price of the though KDDI and Softbank.

For most people, this won't be an issue, but if there is any chance that you cannot complete your contract obligation, do not buy an iPhone from Docomo. Coming back to the 16 GB 5C, if you use it over the full two years, Docomo will pay you ¥ 6,300, but if you have to cancel after only a few months, you'll owe docomo close to ¥90,000.

docomo
Kddi
Softbank
New/Existing
New
Existing
New
Existing
iPhone 5S 64GB
¥20,160
¥20,640
¥34,680
¥20,640
¥34,680
iPhone 5S 32GB
¥10,080
¥10,320
¥24,480
¥10,320
¥24,480
iPhone 5S 16GB
¥0
¥0
¥14,160
¥0
¥14,160
iPhone 5C 32GB
¥0
¥4,800
¥14,160
¥4,800
¥14,160
iPhone 5C 16GB
-¥6,300
¥0
¥3,240
¥0
¥3,240

11 comments:

  1. I always thought these kind of comparisons of "phone price" were a little useless - because what really matters is how much you're paying over 24 months, not how much the "phone price" costs - given you can't get a contract without a phone. Useless and confusing way of adding costs and subtracting "discounts" to make you feel like there's some sort of "deal" going on...
    Obviously there's no way that Docomo is actually paying you if you're getting the 5C 16GB... you're still paying them a hefty ~50 bucks per month for 24 months in service costs + "flat rate packet" + etc. etc.

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  2. "Obviously there's no way that Docomo is actually paying you if you're getting the 5C 16GB"


    Um... OK.

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  3. Exactly .. you are correct. I agrees with you.

    They should gave out the total cost of ownership in 24 months instead.

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  4. If you cancel early, you pay 1) ETF of about ¥10,000 and 2) the difference between a) the amount you paid for the phone and b) the full price of the phone scaled by c) the number of months you have remaining on your contract.

    Whatever that amount they subtract off your bill, multiply that by the remaining number of months on your contract to get an idea.

    http://www.japanmobiletech.com/2012/09/japanese-2-year-mobile-contracts.html

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  5. This is just for iPhone, right? If I switched to docomo from Softbank but went with a Galaxy S4 (something they will unlock, right? They're not pulling the plug on all unlocking now that they have the iPhone, are they?!), I assume that the monthly costs would be different.

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  6. Yes, it's common practice for many service providers (not just in Japan) to give discounts to induce people for switching. All the Japanese carriers do this.


    This is the first time I can recall where a carrier is giving the same discount to existing customers. I wouldn't get used to it. I think it's a one-time occurrence.

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  7. Yes, just for iPhone.

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  8. They don't give a crap about their existing customers, and just rely on people not wanting the hassle of switching.
    I'm sad to say I've been one of these suckers for too long and I'm sick of it. I was hoping Docomo would unlock the iphone, if they did I would switch.

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  9. Sorry if this is a silly question but hoping someone can help.

    I signed up to Docomo in April this year at Yodobashi and got a free Galaxy S3 with my Xi 7GB contract.


    I know it's subsidised but(bizarrely?) the monthly price was the same whether I got it or not and I thought it'd be nice to have LTE speeds. I have an iPhone 4S which I now use with the contract(dropped to 3GB/month) after moving from sp-mode to Mopera and I sold the S3 last week.

    Looking back, I'm thinking I should have just got a SIM-only contract because if I then cancelled outside of the 23rd/24th month, I'd just pay the Y10,000 cancellation fee but I needed a phone asap.


    The Yodobashi man said I'd only have to pay the cancellation fee, nothing about the phone's price, so assumed the free phone was a Yodobashi deal and they'd subsidised the price from their commission from Docomo for signing me up, like we used to do at a mobile shop I worked at years ago, but now I expect that's not the case here.

    There's nothing on the bill mentioning a subsidy for the phone but I'll look again tonight.

    Anyway, I'm trying to understand these iPhone deals Docomo is offering:


    If I want an iPhone 5S 16/32GB, they'll sign me up to a new 24-month contract but I assume they'll also charge me (pro-rata) for the S3 from my current contract? I got a credit card receipt for around Y70,000(that I wasn't actually charged).

    I don't really mind as my 4S is still fine but if I turn out only spending a bit more on top of what I am anyway, I may switch.


    Thanks in advance!

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  10. Docomo started selling S4 on May 2013, so some stores could have been selling S3 for completely free (no subsidy required) in April because they wanted to get rid of old stocks. So if you don't mind your 2-year contract to reset, then you can upgrade to 5s.

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  11. Thanks, and sorry for the late reply!

    Turns out that was the case. I called Docomo's English support a few days ago and there was no mention of the S3 on my account so it looks like it was an incentive to sign up for a contract.

    Hoping you or someone can alleviate my fears(all prices I mention are for the phone, not the Xi contract):

    I called Docomo's English support to ask about their iPhone offer for existing customers. The support rep said:

    - 32gb 5S is 96520Y at 3980Y/month
    - support discount is 85000Y at 3500Y/month
    - subsidised phone is 11520Y at 480Y/month

    I understood that I'll only pay the unsubsidised price for the phone if I were to cancel my Xi contract before the 2 years of installments were finished.

    So I went to get a 5S yesterday at the Docomo shop with my gf to help with translation.

    I was trying to confirm whether I'd be paying 3980Y/month for the phone or if it would be 480Y. I even brought the in-store offer sheet mentioning the 480Y price to the counter lady to emphasise just what I wanted to do. The lady didn't mention the support discount at all when talking about my fees.

    Of the several papers I signed, one mentions the charge being 3980Y/month but another one confirms the support as -85000Y(-3500Y/month until November 2015).

    I assumed the regular paperwork simply shows the price with no support discount applied, which would fit in with these companies' philosophy of adding and subtracting fees.

    I want to be sure I haven't done something wrong and accidentally signed up for a full-price Docomo iPhone :(

    I'll ring English support again tonight to confirm but it was such a stressful experience for me. I barely looked at the phone until this morning, wondering if I'd made a huge cock-up. The lesson I've learned is to not use my gf for anything more than straight translation.

    Thanks to whoever can help.

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