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Thursday, December 20, 2007, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Japan's largest mobile operator confirms Apple talks

NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile wireless carrier, confirmed Wednesday that its president has met with Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, presumably over the prospect of launching the iPhone exclusively on its Japanese network.

"It is true that Mr. Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. and our president (Masao) Nakamura held a meeting," an NTT DoCoMo spokesman told the Agence France-Presse, declining to reveal the timing or content of the discussions.

Kyodo News in its own report said DoCoMo is Apple's first choice to market the iPhone to Japanese consumers. However, the carrier may be reluctant to accept Apple's demand for a share of subscriber revenue, the news agency added.

The Wall Street Journal had reported earlier this week that Jobs met with Nakamura, but that Apple has also been talking to Japan's No. 3 operator, Softbank Corp.

A subsequent report by way of Reuters suggested the iPhone maker was playing the two Japanese carriers off of one another ahead of a deal to launch the iPhone in Japan sometime in 2008.