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SoftBank allegedly offers to acquire DreamWorks Animation

09/29, 5:54am

Claimed offer from SoftBank to buy animation studio may be worth $3.4B

Japanese carrier SoftBank is still on the hunt for acquisitions in the United States, following its earlier failed attempt to merge T-Mobile with Sprint, a report claims. The company is said to be in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, a studio behind film franchises including Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda, with the deal claimed to be worth somewhere in the region of $3.4 billion.

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New iPhone 6, 6 Plus take lead in Japanese smartphone market

09/25, 11:39am

82.2 percent favoring regular iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are commanding the Japanese smartphone market, just a week into their availability, according to BCN sales rankings cited by Forbes. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 was the most popular phone overall, taking eight out of the top 10 spots, and even then the iPhone 5s claimed 5th and 8th places. The larger, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus reached no higher than 11th, but still took five out of the next seven spots.

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Sharp Aquos Crystal launched in Japan, Sprint unveiling touted

08/18, 2:02pm

Slim-bezel Sharp Aquos Crystal may arrive in United States tomorrow

Sharp has created two new Aquos smartphones with an extremely minimal bezel, giving the appearance of an edge-to-edge display. The Aquos Crystal and the Aquos Crystal X, with respective 5-inch 720p and a 5.5-inch 1080p displays, will both be going on sale in Japan, with at least one of the devices heading to the United States in the near future.

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Softbank robot Pepper capable of gesture recognition, emotion reading

06/05, 2:01pm

Pepper will go on sale in Japanese Softbank stores from February

Softbank, is planning to put a humanoid robot on sale from next year. Jointly developed with NAO creators Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper is said to be able to interact with others, with its various sensors and voice recognition allowing it to recognize gestures and speech, while analyzing vocal tone and reading expressions also allows it to recognize emotions.

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Sprint, T-Mobile come to agreement on $32 billion acquisition outline

06/04, 9:53pm

Companies agree on $40 stock price, $1 billion payout if deal doesn't pass regulation

Cellular carriers Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed upon an outline for a proposed merger that would see Sprint acquiring its rival company for around $32 billion. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Sprint would pay about $40 a share for T-Mobile. The deal would further consolidate the cellular marketplace, reducing the number of large carriers to three if the merger is able to pass federal regulation.

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T-Mobile parent company reportedly agrees to Sprint merger

05/29, 2:52pm

Deutsche Telekom may have agreed with Softbank's terms of the deal

Reports are circulating that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, has agreed to a proposed deal to sell the US wireless carrier to SoftBank. The deal would combine SoftBank's Sprint, with T-Mobile, merging the third and fourth largest US carriers into a single company with more than 103 million subscribers. Terms of the rumored deal are not yet known.

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Sprint gathering financing sources for summer T-Mobile buyout offer

04/30, 8:58pm

Offer to be made while regulatory agencies wrestle with Comcast merger

Sources familiar with the matter claim that Sprint has approached sources of funding for a T-Mobile buy previously rumored in December. Sprint executives Joe Euteneuer and Greg Block met with a half dozen banks to prepare financing agreements before Sprint signals that it is ready to make an offer. A deal to acquire the US telecom provider is expected during the early summer.

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Report: Sprint actively seeking funding for T-Mobile buy

12/22, 8:33am

Softbank's Son said to approach banks for funding.

Sprint appears to be actively moving toward making a bid for T-Mobile next year, as Masayoshi Son – head of Softbank, which bought Sprint this year – is said to be courting banks to finance a potential acquisition. This according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with Son's plans in saying that he is looking for roughly $20 billion to finance a T-Mobile buy. Son is said to have consulted with six banks, including Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Mizuho Bank, and Goldman Sachs.

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Reuters: Dish Network looks to acquire T-Mobile next year

12/19, 1:51pm

Report claims discussions occurring between Dish, Deutsche Telekom

Dish Network is still considering an attempt to acquire T-Mobile sometime next year, according to a report. Despite its failure to secure Sprint in the last year, the satellite TV service is still looking towards owning a carrier and offering cellular service, with the potential acquisition attempt seemingly setting up Dish for another battle with Softbank.

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Apple's iPhone takes all 10 slots for Japan's Top 10 smartphones

11/12, 9:57am

BCN rankings put Apple on top of Japanese smarpthone sales

Apple's newest iPhones aren't just popular in Japan, they account for each of the top 10 selling smartphone slots in that country. This according to BCN Rankings, which charts the top selling devices in Japan from week to week. The week ending November 4 marked the first time in history that one smartphone brand had taken all of the spots in BCN's top 10.

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Sprint Q3 results show $7.3B revenue, $398M operating loss

10/30, 8:56am

Sprint loses 313,000 customers, sells 1.4M iPhones in quarter

Sprint's first full-quarter earnings report after the completion of SoftBank's takeover and the acquisition of Clearwire gives it good news and bad news in equal measure, with the carrier's revenues rising to $7.3 billion compared to the $7.2 billion in the previous quarter. Operating losses at the company have shrunk to $398 million, an improvement on last quarter's $874 million loss, though it is still a greater loss than the $231 million in the same period last year.

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Sprint culls 800 customer service positions after raising satisfaction

08/28, 5:21am

First major job losses at Sprint since Softbank became majority shareholder

National carrier Sprint is letting go of 800 employees from its customer support section, the first major reduction in staff since Softbank acquired a majority stake in the carrier in July. Most staff affected by the change have already been warned about the loss of jobs, with the remainder of the employee cull apparently being informed next month.

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iPhone 5S, 5C to ship to Japan on Sept. 20, report claims

08/21, 9:32am

Fits in with recent rumors

Apple will ship the high-end iPhone 5S and the mid-tier iPhone 5C to Japan on September 20, says local business publication Nikkei. The site moreover backs numerous recent reports that the 5S will have a gold color option, although it's still uncertain how it will fit in or replace current slate and silver models. In terms of carrier support, it's believed that SoftBank and KDDI will carry both new phones at launch, once again leaving NTT DoCoMo behind.

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Sprint achieves $7.2B in revenues, $1.6B loss in quarterly report

07/30, 6:22am

Nextel closure, non-cash charges increase carrier loss

Sprint has recorded high revenues in its latest quarterly results, though it is not plain sailing for the carrier. While it has achieved $7.2 billion in earnings for the period, an increase of eight percent compared to last year and a minor drop compared to the $8.8 billion in the previous quarter, it still managed to make a loss overall.

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Hedge fund manager sees T-Mobile as takeover target

07/20, 7:45pm

Dish, Sprint tipped as possibly acquiring T-Mobile

John Paulson's firm is the largest outside investor in T-Mobile, and the hedge fund manager said recently that the carrier could be ripe for a takeover by either of two other wireless industry players. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Paulson sees both Sprint and Dish Network as potential suitors for the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States. Paulson's musings on the matter went out in the form of a letter to Paulson & Co. clients this week.

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Sprint Nextel and SoftBank finalize merger, details revealed

07/10, 8:19pm

Combined international company called 'Sprint Corporation'

Sprint Nextel Corporation and SoftBank today announced the completion of their contentious merger with the revelation that SoftBank has invested approximately $21.6 billion in Sprint, consisting of approximately $16.6 billion to be distributed to Sprint stockholders and an aggregate $5 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint's balance sheet. Sprint stockholders voted to approve the transaction at a special meeting of stockholders held on June 25, 2013.

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Sprint approved for acquisition of Clearwire, closure due today

07/09, 8:22am

Clearwire shareholder vote passed for Sprint acquisition

Sprint has received approval from Clearwire shareholders to acquire the rest of the company, on top of its existing share ownership. The proposal, increased to $5 per share before the shareholder's vote, will allow Sprint to buy the remainder of the company that it does not already own, ahead of the expected closure of the Sprint-Softbank acquisition deal.

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FCC formally approves Clearwire, Sprint, Softbank puchase chain

07/05, 4:54pm

Little additional regulatory approval remaining to complete the deal

As expected, the FCC has officially given the green light to the Softbank purchase of Sprint and the corresponding Sprint purchase of ClearWire. The statement from acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that the deal serves the public interest and will "accelerate the deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition."

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FCC claimed to approve Sprint acquisition by Softbank, Clearwire deal

07/03, 8:58am

Last major hurdle in Sprint acquisition allegedly cleared, soon to be finalized

The Federal Communications Commission will allow for the acquisition of Sprint by Softbank, according to a report. Members of the Commission have apparently voted on the purchase with two out of three commissioners voting for the deal, and all but effectively completes the $21.6 billion deal between the two carriers.

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Sprint shareholders approve $21.6B SoftBank acquisition offer

06/25, 3:06pm

FCC last regulator to have say on Sprint-Softbank deal

Shareholders in Sprint have "overwhelmingly" approved the proposal by SoftBank to acquire with the carrier. A vote saw approximately 98 percent of votes cast in favor of the deal at a special shareholders meeting earlier today, which now leaves only the Federal Communications Commission as the last regulator to weigh in before the deal can be completed.

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Dish gives up on Sprint merger attempt, continues for Clearwire

06/19, 10:49am

Withdrawl leaves Sprint open to acquisition by SoftBank

Dish Network has halted its battle with Japanese carrier Softbank for Sprint, after failing to provide a final offer for a merger. The withdrawal now allows SoftBank to continue in its attempt to acquire Sprint, with a completion of the purchase likely to finish, thanks to Softbank upping its original $20 billion offer to $21.6 billion.

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Sprint and Dish merger talks halted, final Dish offer due on June 18

06/11, 10:29pm

Sprint likely to merge with Japanese carrier SoftBank

Merger talks between Dish Network and Sprint seem to have come to an impasse. According to sources familiar with the matter, a number of disagreements have scuttled the multi-billion dollar deal -- including several reverse-breakup fees payable if the takeover failed to achieve regulatory approval. Sprint claims that Dish failed to generate an "actionable" bid for the company. The inability to make a deal puts the matter back into SoftBank's hands, which had offered $21.6 billion to acquire Sprint, America's fourth-largest cellular network carrier, in October.

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SoftBank CEO promotes 4G expertise ahead of Sprint shareholder vote

05/07, 7:14am

Knowledge of TD-LTE spectrum to help Sprint in rollout

SoftBank's CEO is continuing to talk-up his company's $20.1 billion offer to buy out Sprint, by claiming SoftBank's experience with 4G will help the US carrier. Network enhancements, such as SoftBank's single frequency network technology for reducing interference, will help Sprint in the long run alongside other benefits, according to CEO Masayoshi Son.

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SEC approves SoftBank offer to Sprint, Dish chairman attacks proposal

05/02, 1:19pm

Shareholders to vote on June 12th, deal could close July 1st

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the proposal from SoftBank to buy out Sprint. While shareholders in the US carrier are expected to discuss and vote on the deal at a meeting next month, the chairman of Dish Network has made comments against the proposal, citing the need for Sprint's network to be upgraded by US teams.

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SoftBank CEO: 'No need' to improve Sprint offer after Dish proposal

04/30, 7:23am

Masayoshi Son places $20.1B SoftBank offer above $25.5B rival bid

The CEO of SoftBank believes there is no need to change the Japanese carrier's offer to Sprint, following a secondary offer from Dish Network. Masayoshi Son, also the founder of the company, told the audience of an earnings briefing "There is absolutely no need for that since we believe our offer is above theirs."

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SoftBank aims to complete Sprint acquisition by July 1st

04/16, 8:17am

Statement states companies in advanced approval stages

Japanese carrier SoftBank is expecting to complete its acquisition of Sprint by July, despite a sudden roadblock in the form of alternate offers to Sprint. A statement from Softbank providing a date for completion comes in the wake of Sprint receiving a second bid from Dish Network to merge, valued at $25.5 billion.

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Dish Network proposes merger with Sprint for $25.5 billion

04/15, 7:32am

Proposal would spoil existing SoftBank, Sprint deal

Dish Network has announced it wishes to merge with Sprint, at a cost of $25.5 billion. The proposal from the satellite service provider could potentially derail the current attempt by Japanese carrier SoftBank to purchase Sprint, a deal worth around $20 billion that has been in progress since October last year.

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Apple products continue to drive Softbank mobile profits

01/31, 10:02pm

Softbank only Japanese cell operator increasing subscribers

Japanese mobile phone operator Softbank doubled its profits in the third quarter largely on the strength of Apple's iPhone and iPad. Net income climbed to 65.9 billion yen ($724 million) in the quarter that ended in December, up from $357.5 million a year ago. Sales grew 7.1 percent to $10.1 billion. The company rose 2.7 percent to close at $35.53 per share before the earnings announcement.

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Sprint makes it official: will buy Clearwire for $2.2B

12/17, 9:48am

Sprint now will leverage Clearwire's 2.5GHz spectrum assets

Confirming earlier reports of an acquisition in the offing, Sprint today announced that it would be taking full ownership of wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire. The final price for the deal came in at $2.2 billion, just above earlier estimates that had Sprint paying $2.1 billion. That price represents a 128 percent premium to Clearwire's closing share price from October 10, the day before Sprint and Softbank's discussions were confirmed in the marketplace.

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Sprint offers to buy out rest of Clearwire for $2.1B

12/13, 6:38pm

Sprint would use Softbank cash to buy rest of Clearwire

Sprint, the United States' third-largest wireless carrier, has offered to acquire Clearwire for $2.1 billion. Sprint already owns half of Clearwire, having acquired a controlling stake in the carrier in October of this year after buying $100 million worth of shares off of an investment firm. This new offer would give Sprint access a larger spectrum portfolio, an asset the carrier needs if it wants to realize its plan of taking on AT&T and Verizon for primacy in the American wireless market.

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Sprint net loss improves to $767M, sells 1.5M iPhones

10/25, 2:03pm

Operating loss improves to less than half of Q2 results

The latest quarterly results from Sprint shows the carrier receiving a net loss of $767 million, an improvement from the $1.4 billion endured in Q2. The operating loss of $231 million for the period is less than half the $629 million from the second quarter, and almost reaches the same $208 million loss felt in Q3 last year.

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Sprint to take controlling stake in Clearwire

10/18, 3:55pm

Sprint buying Craig McCaw's Clearwire stake for $100M

A regulatory filing revealed today that US carrier Sprint will buy shares in Clearwire Corp. sufficient to take a controlling stake in the wireless carrier. Sprint will pay $100 million to Eagle Rivers Holding, an investment firm owned by Clearwire founder Craig McCaw, in order to acquire a further 30.9 million of Clearwire's Class A shares and 2.73 million Class B shares, bringing Sprint's stake in the carrier from 48 percent to 52.5 percent. The deal will give Sprint control of the spectrum Clearwire controls, likely increasing Sprint's value even as Japanese carrier Softbank moves to buy 70 percent of Sprint.

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Softbank to buy 70 percent share in Sprint [u]

10/15, 5:15am

Japanese carrier to pay $20 billion for Sprint share

(Updated) Japanese carrier Softbank has confirmed it is buying a 70 percent stake of US carrier Sprint for $20 billion. A joint press conference between the two carriers saw Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and Softbank's Masayoshi Son confirm the purchase. Observers expect Softbank to attempt to turn its successes in the Japanese 4G LTE market into matching successes on US shores.

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Japanese carrier Softbank in talks to buy out Sprint

10/11, 10:13am

Deal could be worth over $19 billion

Major Japanese carrier Softbank is in negotiations to buy Sprint Nextel, Bloomberg reports. The publication cites two sources said to be familiar with the talks. According to Japan's Nikkei newspaper, Softbank may be prepared to spend over 1.5 trillion yen -- more than $19 billion US -- on the deal, though where the paper's information comes from isn't mentioned.

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Japanese thieves steal 191 iPhone 5s on morning of launch

09/21, 11:53am

KDDI, Softbank outlets hit

Thieves in Osaka, Japan managed to steal 191 iPhone 5s in the early hours before the phone's launch today, the Wall Street Journal reports. Police say that three stores across the city were hit; the first incident happened at one of carrier KDDI's au stores in the suburb of Ibaraki. Local residents called the police shortly before 3AM, saying that three men were skulking around the outlet. 33 iPhones were taken, and neither the men nor the phones have been found.

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Softbank testing blimp-based phone network for emergencies

05/11, 6:40pm

Helium balloons with phone mast tech tested in Japan

Japanese cell network Softbank is testing blimps to determine if the dirigibles could be used for network coverage during natural disasters. If proved successful, the technique could be used to keep communication lines open during events such as last year's earthquake and tsunami.

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Yahoo deal talks with Asian suitors possibly over

02/14, 2:15pm

Yahoo talks on sale reportedly stopped

ahoo and its potential Asian buyers may have finished their negotiations to buy out the online entity, AllThingsD reported. China-based Alibaba was interested in buying the company, along with Japan's telecommunications giant, SoftBank. Sources claimed the end to the discussion was due to the complex nature of the cash split, among smaller issues.

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SoftBank profit cut in half through iPhone war with KDDI

02/02, 7:25pm

SoftBank profit drops through iPhone discounts

SoftBank on Thursday said its fall quarter profit was cut in half from a year ago owed to demand for, and competition over, the iPhone 4S. It made the equivalent of $430.8 million in profit versus $858.8 million in late 2010. The company had spent nearly $393.4 million in promos to prevent customers from jumping to KDDI now that it was an iPhone provider, a feat which president Masayoshi Son said turned out wasn't necessary.

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KDDI ups its outlook based on iPhone 4S

01/26, 12:05pm

KDDI gives optimistic outlook because of Apple

Second-largest Japanese carrier KDDI showed an immediate effect from its getting the iPhone 4S Thursday after it upped its outlook for 2012. It now expects to get 2.6 percent more revenue in 2012 than it did before owing to becoming one of Apple's latest official carriers. Although its profit dipped 17 percent in the fall to the equivalent of $697.1 million, it saw its data revenue go up 8.2 points, mostly as customers switched from their conventionally Japanese basic feature phones to smartphones.

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Alibaba get serious about Yahoo, hires lobbying firm

12/29, 6:30am

Alibaba hires lobbying firm to help Yahoo bid

Alibaba continues to show strong interest in acquiring Yahoo by hiring a lobbying firm according to Reuters. Alibaba, one of Chinas largest e-commerce companies already has a complex financial interconnection with Yahoo. Yahoo owns a 40 percent stake in Alibaba that is worth around $17 billion, which will need to be resolved before any proposed buyout can go ahead.

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KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank unite on backing NFC standards

12/23, 4:15pm

Form consortium to coordinate efforts

Japan's three largest wireless carriers are uniting to ensure NFC standards compatibility. NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and SoftBank are establishing the Japan Mobile NFC Consortium to coordinate the adoption of multiple international standards for NFC technologies used in their mobile devices and services. By doing so, the three hope to be able to offer lower-cost NFC services to both Japanese residents ans international visitors.

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Alibaba in talks with group to buy all of Yahoo

11/30, 8:00pm

Asian retailer collaborating with Softbank

Alibaba is said to be involved in ongoing negotiations with Japanese cellular carrier Softbank in an attempt to establish a group that is financially capable of buying Yahoo outright. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg that Blackstone Group and Bain Capital are also participating in the talks.

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NTT DoCoMo claimed lining up LTE iPad, iPhone 5

11/30, 2:10pm

Paper says NTT DoCoMo in talks with Apple

NTT DoCoMo may have given clues to Apple making LTE a staple of its next iPad an iPhone. A claim in Japan's Nikkei asserts that the carrier is hoping to carry a 4G iPad by the summer and a matching iPhone by the fall. Apple chief Tim Cook had supposedly had NTT DoCoMo VPs Kiyoyuki Tsujimura and Takashi Yamada visit Apple's campus to successfully make a "basic agreement" and had been hashing out details such as minimum shipment volumes.

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Thomas Lee Partners considers buying Yahoo outright

11/29, 3:00pm

Thomas Lee Partners to buy all of Yahoo: sources

The latest bidder in the potential Yahoo takeover is Thomas H. Lee Partners, Reuters learned. THL is said to be looking at a leveraged buyout of Yahoo's US business, which could be worth between $5 and $6 billion. THL has run other media companies such as Nielsen Co, Clear Channel, and Univision.

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Jobs worked on 'next product' for Apple on day before death

10/19, 11:50am

Call interrupts meeting between Cook, Softbank CEO

Former Apple CEO and chairman Steve Jobs was doing work for the company on the day before his death, an interview with Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son reveals. "I visited Apple [headquarters] for the announcement of the iPhone 4S," says Son. "When I was having a meeting with [Apple CEO] Tim Cook, he said, 'Oh Masa, sorry I have to quit our meeting.' I said, 'Where are you going?' He said, 'My boss is calling me.' That was the day of the announcement of the iPhone 4S. He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product. And the next day, he died."

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AT&T, Softbank coping with iPhone 4S launch problems [u]

10/14, 1:50pm

Softbank sales system goes down for three hours

(Updated with new AT&T complaints) Both US carrier AT&T and Japan's Softbank have been coping with some serious activation and sales system problems related to the iPhone 4S, reports say. AT&T's activations servers are said to be overloaded, sometimes taking 5 to 15 minutes or longer to complete the process for each phone. Activation is required to begin using an iPhone on a cellular network.

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Apple starts taking iPhone 4S preorders

10/07, 3:00am

iPhone 4S preorders open worldwide

On cue, the online Apple Store and numerous carriers including AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon have begun taking online preorders for the iPhone 4S. The picks include carrier-locked models as well as the full-price but unlocked GSM versions for those who want to switch carriers or avoid early cancellation fees.

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KDDI details iPhone 4S pricing: 16GB models free on contract

10/07, 12:15am

KDDI aggressive on iPhone 4S prices

Japanese carrier KDDI on Friday local time became one of the first out of the gate to detail its full iPhone 4S launch plans. Its discounts on the Apple smartphone are steep and give the 16GB model away for free on a two-year contract for 4,980 yen ($65) a month with unlimited data. The 32GB version is also steeply discounted and costs 10,320 yen ($135) on similar terms, while the 64GB version will cost 20,640 yen ($269).

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SoftBank head hints 2012 iPhone may see Jobs' touch

10/06, 2:10pm

SoftBank CEO Son says Jobs guided iPhone 5 work

SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son in the aftermath of Steve Jobs' death has strongly hinted that a full-fledged iPhone 5 should have Jobs' direct influence. Commenting on the loss, he told Reuters that Jobs not only had direct input into the iPhone 4S but to the "following additional work." All the work that Jobs had spearheaded in his last days will carry over, Son said.

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iPhone 4S to hit KDDI on launch day, reaches FCC

10/04, 9:10pm

Apple adds 2nd Japanese carrier with FCC filing

Apple quietly slipped through two key moves in sync with the iPhone 4S on Tuesday. Moving far faster than rumors, it planned to bring the new iPhone to KDDI on the same October 14 release day as SoftBank. The move both ends SoftBank's three-year exclusive on the iPhone in Japan and is the first known CDMA iPhone outside of the US.

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