TOKYO, Sept. 13 (Kyodo) — Mobile phone carriers will begin taking pre-orders for Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5c from Friday afternoon in Japan, with NTT Docomo Inc.'s first launch of the popular handset series further fueling competition between carriers.
NTT Docomo and its rivals Softbank Mobile Corp. and KDDI Corp. -- which already offer iPhone handsets -- will begin taking pre-orders for the device, one of Apple's two new iPhone models unveiled earlier this week, at 4 p.m. Friday.
The iPhone 5c is the U.S. firm's lower-priced model, targeted mainly at emerging markets. The carriers will not take pre-orders for the premium iPhone 5s, which features a fingerprint-identifying security system that can unlock the phone.
Due to the popularity of iPhones in Japan, NTT Docomo had continued to see an exodus of subscribers. Its decision to add the iPhone to its lineup comes as the company attempts to prevent subscribers from switching to Softbank and KDDI to own iPhones.
The iPhone 5c and the 5s will go on sale next Friday.