updated 11:20 am EDT, Mon May 9, 2011
SoftBank rises in Q1 2011 through iPhone sales
SoftBank on Monday posted banner results that it directly credited to the iPhone and iPad. A rise in smartphones, led mostly by Apple on the Japanese carrier, was a "huge factor" in pumping profit for the early winter to $588.4 million. The figure was over 25 times larger than a year ago, although SoftBank was quick to note that dropping its 2G network cut into its profits a year ago.
The network was also the only one to see its average revenue per person go up to $52.20 from $50.47 as more people adopted smartphones. Other major carriers KDDI and NTT DoCoMo, which have Android but no iPhone, saw their average user revenue go down.
The company posted a special loss for its fiscal year equivalent to $178.8 million owed solely to dramatic earthquake relief efforts that included guaranteed jobs, living expenses, and free iPhones for those who lost theirs in the Japanese disaster. SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son personally donated $120 million and waived his salary.
NTT DoCoMo has had some success with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S and Sony Ericsson's Xperia line, but SoftBank has still typically been adding more subscribers and growing faster as a whole. Apple has faced a tough fight in North America and Europe due to Android but has been very successful in Asia in recent quarters.