Softbank Stories February 17

AAPL: 135.72

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A new Reuters report today shares that SoftBank is willing to hand over control of Sprint to Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile to make a merger happen, according to unnamed sources close to the matter. Discussions haven’t begun yet, but are expected to start in April after the FCC auction of airwaves and anti-collusion ban is over.

With Verizon and AT&T both fighting to keep customers with new unlimited plans this week and 5G networks on the horizon, a merger could be mutually beneficial for Sprint and T-Mobile.

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Softbank Stories April 5, 2014

TV Tokyo got a quick interview with Apple VP of iPad, iPhone and iPod Marketing Greg Joswiak. In the snippit, cropped above from a longer segment, Joswiak boasts that Apple is approaching 70% iPhone marketshare in Japan – something he attributes to Apple’s  relentless focus on quality and the Japanese consumer’s desire to put quality above cost.

As you’d expect, Joswiak deflects questions about the iPhone 6 to the chagrin of the reporter.

Apple this year landed the biggest Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo which also spurred renewed pricing competition among its competitors allowing Apple’s Japanese marketshare to explode to near 70%.

(via Macotakara) expand full story

Softbank Stories October 8, 2013

Japan’s DoCoMo feeling the pain as iPhone 5s buyers flock to competitors

Japan’s DoCoMo, a carrier which was late to adopt the iPhone, lost more than 66,000 subscribers last month through a combination of having limited stocks of the iPhone 5s, and competitor carriers offering better deals. CNET alerted us to the number in a Nikkei report yesterday.

The iPhone has been reshaping Japan’s telecommunications market — one of the largest in the world — as it gains in popularity. DoCoMo’s problem is that it was late to the Apple phone game: the 5S and 5C are its first phone products from Apple.

Both Softbank and KDDI are offering incentives for upgrades to the 5s, and likely have better availability due to their long-established relationships with Apple. With DoCoMo also on board, the iPhone is expected to become the market leader in Japan.

Softbank Stories August 26, 2013

iPhone-5S-Champagne

iPhone 5S Champagne

Bloomberg is reporting that shares of NTT DoCoMo are rising on rumors that Japan’s largest carrier will get the iPhone this year. The company’s rivals, KDDI and Softbank (who just bought Sprint) both currently carry the iPhone and saw their share price drop in morning trading.

[DoCoMo]Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said there are compelling reasons for Apple and his company to reach an agreement, according to an interview published in SankeiBiz. For Apple, it doesn’t make business sense not to allow Japan’s largest wireless carrier to sell the iPhone, while DoCoMo wants to be able to sell most popular handsets, Sankei said.

The original Sankei article is here (translated) with the relevant bit translated by 9to5Mac reader Kazuto Kusakari:

A new iPhone from Apple is expected in September.  The Japanese market are paying close attention to whether NTT docomo will be selling the new model or not.  Having sold two other models as their main phones in the past summer season, the company is ready, as the vice-president Kazuto Tsubouchi has commented “the only problem is WHEN we are going to sell it.”…

Tsubouchi adds, “Nothing has changed.  It will be difficult (to sell the iPhone on September 10th). But for Apple, it is not economically reasonable to not sell the iPhone on Japan’s largest carrier.  As for NTT docomo, we must sell phone the customers desire.  It’s a matter of terms.

Apple is also working on China’s largest carrier, China Mobile, which also doesn’t currently carry the iPhone. If Apple can hook one or optimally both of these two monster carriers, it will be able to sell significantly more iPhones in Asia. expand full story

Softbank Stories October 14, 2012

Japanese Softbank taking 70 percent stake of US carrier Sprint for $20B

As rumored last week, Japanese Softbank has taken a controlling 70 percent stake in Sprint according to CNBC:

Softbank and Sprint have reached a deal under which Softbank will pay $20 billion for a 70 percent stake in the wireless telecom operator, according to people close to the situation.

Softbank will buy $8 billion worth of shares directly from Sprint and tender for another $12 billion worth of the shares from existing holders.

(Update: Confirmed by Sprint)

The deal will allow Sprint to purchase the half of Clearwire that it does not already own, according to the report. Softbank expects to take use of its expertise in LTE networks to bolster Sprints position in the market.

AT&T is now the sole remaining U.S. carrier not under foreign control. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture with Vodafone, while T-Mobile is obviously German.

Sprint and Softbank both carry Apple’s iPhone. Softbank was the original Japanese carrier while Sprint was the third U.S. carrier to adopt the iconic phone.

The deal is expected to close in roughly six months.

Softbank Stories October 11, 2012

Report: Softbank in talks to buy Sprint for $19B

Update: Sprint provided the following statement to The Wall Street Journal:

Sprint (NYSE: S) today confirmed that it is currently engaged in discussions with Softbank regarding a potential substantial investment by Softbank in Sprint. Although there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in any transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur, such a transaction could involve a change of control of Sprint. Sprint does not intend to comment further unless and until an agreement is reached.

According to a report from Nikkei (via Bloomberg), Japan’s Softbank, the third-largest mobile carrier in the country, is currently seeking to acquire two-thirds of U.S.-based Sprint Nextel Corp. The price is rumored at roughly $19 billion USD and would make AT&T the last fully U.S.-based carrier:

Softbank Corp. (9984), Japan’s third- largest mobile-phone company, is in talks to buy control ofSprint Nextel Corp. (S), according to two people familiar with the matter…The deal would give Softbank a base for entering the U.S. market with a compatible carrier that uses similar equipment made by Sweden’s Ericsson AB, the Nikkei reported.

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