NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile-phone company, will sell Sony Ericsson Xperia handset running Google Inc.’s Android operating system in Japan from April.
DoCoMo, based in Tokyo, made the announcement in a statement Thursday, without saying how much the phone will cost.
The company in July said it aimed to capture half of the country’s market for smartphones, handsets that run computer-like applications, estimated to be between 1.5 million and 2 million units in the 12 months ending Dec. 31. DoCoMo also offers Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and mobile devices using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile software.
DoCoMo rose 1 percent to 137,200 yen as of 2:15 p.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, in line with a 1 percent advance by the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
Softbank Corp., Japan’s third-largest mobile phone carrier, in November said it will sell an Android handset from spring to maintain its lead in user additions and to boost data-service sales. The phone will have a 3.7 inch organic light-emitting diode screen, Softbank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son said at the time, without identifying the manufacturer.
DoCoMo will introduce a new payment plan for its smartphone service in April that includes unlimited data transmission for a fixed price, DoCoMo’s President Ryuji Yamada said at a briefing.
The Xperia handset will also go on sale in China from spring, Sony Ericsson Chief Executive Officer Bert Nordberg told reporters Thursday.