Apple is being tipped to secure a potentially lucrative partnership with NTT Docomo that will see Japan’s largest mobile operator finally sell the iPhone and iPad.

Local reports suggest Docomo will agree to a partnership if it can restrict sales of the devices to making up less than 30 percent of its total sales. Like reports of Apple striking a deal with China Mobile, a partnership with Docomo could massively increase sales in Japan.

Bloomberg reports that Docomo declined to comment, but its share price rose 2 percent today on the speculation. While it is Japan’s largest operator, with 45 percent market share, it is growing slower than its rivals, that’s down to its prioritization of Android and other operating systems.

Docomo indicated an interest in the iPhone earlier this year, hinting that it will put aside its past issues, namely the inability to pre-load firmware and its reluctance to commit to aggressive shipment volumes as Apple requires. It still remains to be seen if the partnership will come to fruition.

➤ DoCoMo Rises on Speculation Carrier to Release Apple IPhone [Bloomberg]

Headline image via YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images