"The open platform is everywhere in the world today and as the market changes, we would like to provide a platform similar to the smartphone for our i-mode customers," Furuta said. The new platform will be launched in November. DoCoMo's lead is being nipped by the popularity of US-based Apple's iPhone, which accounted for 72 percent of smartphones sold in Japan in two years, according to a recent survey by Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd (MMRI).
The Japanese operator services a "DoCoMo market" for smartphone users that allows consumers to access apps from around the world. Earlier this week NTT DoCoMo said it aimed to release an electronic book by next spring to compete with Apple's iPad, which has sold more than three million units worldwide since its April launch. (AFP)