In what could be seen as a repeat of the UK tactics used, Apple is playing Japan's top mobile operator NTT DoCoMo against the country's third place carrier Softbank on selling the iPhone in Japan, Reuters reports.

Sources have said executives from both DoCoMo and Softbank have met with Apple executives to discuss Apple's demands and requirements that need to be agreed before becoming an exclusive carrier partner for the iPhone.

Apparently both DoCoMo and Softbank executives "balked" over the share of revenue sharing business model that Apple is demanding, for what is presumably the 3G version, the sources said.

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs recently met with NTT DoCoMo President Masao Nakamura, The Wall Street Journal said. Spokespeople at DoCoMo and Softbank declined to comment.