Japanese mobile phone carrier Softbank, who recently agreed to buy a $20 billion stake in U.S. carrier Sprint, announced they have doubled their third-quarter profit, as the wireless firm used the iPhone and iPad to lure new customers into their fold.
Net income rose to 65.9 billion yen ($724 million) in the three months ended December from 32.8 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Sales gained 7.1 percent to 923.7 billion yen.
On addition to their purchase of the stake in Sprint to expand into the U.S., the company has also acquired fellow Japanese wireless carrier eAccess Ltd. in order to meet bandwidth demand from iPhone users. Sales of the Apple devices have helped Softbank boost earnings more than 7X during the past four years.
“Everything’s going well for Softbank, unlike DoCoMo,” said Hitoshi Hayakawa, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. NTT DoCoMo Inc. is Japan’s largest wireless carrier.
DoCoMo reported yesterday that its operating profit for the nine months ended December 31 fell 5.6% from a year earlier to 702.2 billion yen, while net income increased 5.5% to 416.5 billion yen. The Tokyo-based company, which doesn’t offer the iPhone, reported a net loss of subscribers in November, the first drop in more than five years.
Softbank has narrowed the gap in subscribers with DoCoMo and KDDI Corp. by cutting basic fees and being the first in the country to offer the iPhone.