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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Chinaís 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Android flagship to use TI next-gen mobile CPU
Sharp has announced its latest flagship Android smartphone, the Aquos 104SH. The 104SH is an extremely thin (8.7mm/0.34in.) handset and features a 4.5in., 720 x 1020 HD touchscreen. It will use the same Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor as the Google Nexus Prime, a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU that has been optimized for the next release of Android, version 3.2 "Ice Cream Sandwich." The main camera is a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor that can shoot full HD video at 30 FPS. The auxiliary camera has a 3 megapixel CMOS sensor. It will ship with a 2GB MicroSDHC memory card.
Dell Streak Pro 101DL goes dual core, qHD AMOLED
Hoping to shed its reputation for mid-range and budget smartphones, Dell has taken the unusual approach of going for the very highest end of the field with the Streak Pro 101DL. Borrowing the name of Dell's tablets, it's rare in carrying a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen at 540x960; most AMOLED screens stop at 480x800. A dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, an eight-megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front camera also put it more clearly at the top of the ranks.
KDDI to become second Japanese iPhone carrier
KDDI will soon end SoftBank's lock as the only Japanese iPhone carrier, sources claimed late Wednesday. The new provider would open up to sales of the iPhone 5 under its Au service sometime early 2012, the Nikkei said. It could theoretically start earlier, but it would need more time to prepare.
Sharp Galapagos down to just seven-inch model
Sharp on Thursday checked its ambitions in the tablet arena with word that it was dropping its original two Galapagos tablets. Both the 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch models will exit the market at the end of September, about 10 months after they went on sale. Only the seven-inch A01SH launched last month will stay on sale.
Smartphone offers 3D display, 3D camera
Sharp has unveiled a new Aquos smartphone, the SH8298U, which will be initially offered to customers at Japanese carrier SoftBank. The device is focused on 3D capabilities, built around a 4.2-inch glasses-free display with qHD resolution. Users can also capture 3D video and stills from a dual-camera configuration with two eight-megapixel sensors.
Softbank net income soars in Q2 through Apple
Japanese carrier Softbank posted strong results (PDF) that it could credit largely to Apple. Its profit jumped from the equivalent of $250 million a year ago to $1.22 billion this year. Much of this came through a shift to smartphones, which on Softbank are led by the iPhone.
comScore shows Android doubling sales in half year
Android is holding on to its place as the most popular platform in Japan, comScore determined on Thursday. Google's platform more than doubled its user base in the country between December and March to hit 4.6 million devices, overtaking the iPhone in the process. Apple also saw its base go up but budged by just over 100,000 phones to reach 3.9 million.
Sharp Aquos Hybrid 007SH is clamshell Android 2.3
Sharp claimed a world's first for Android on Friday with a clamshell phone. Superficially, the Aquos Hybrid 007SH resembles a classic Japanese keitai (cellphone) design with its long, rectangular flip design and dialpad but runs a full version of Android 2.3 and takes touch input through its 3.4-inch, 480x800 swiveling screen. The device has dedicated Android navigation buttons but follows many of the rules of feature phones with D-pad input and shortcuts, down to dial pad text entry if they like.
Android hits 57pc in Japan vs iPhone at 38pc
Android successfully pushed past the iPhone for the top smartphone platform in Japan last fiscal year, according to MM Research Institute. Google shot up from just 250,000 phones and 11 percent of the market at the end of March 2010 to 4.91 million phones at the end of March this year, or 57.4 percent. Apple moved 3.23 million iPhones over the same period and was 37.8 percent; BlackBerry and Windows Mobile were virtually non-existent.
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.
Apple may put YouKu app on Chinese iPhones
Apple was rumored on Friday to be making a rare exception and customizing the iPhone for a particular country. Chinese video site YouKu's head Victor Koo was purportedly talking with Apple chief Steve Jobs about having a YouKu app preloaded in the default configuration for phones sold in China. Since the YouTube app is banned by the Chinese government, YouKu would effectively be filling in, TechNode was told by a "trusted resource."
Sprint Android users get carrier billing
Official Android developer Eric Chu just announced that Sprint subscribers will soon get the ability to be bill their Android Market app purchases directly to their provider. This feature is already in use by T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, as well as SoftBank, KDDI and NTT DoCoMo in Japan. Sprint users will see the option roll out in all regions over the next few days.
Masayoshi Son to support quake orphans
Softbank president Masayoshi Son, Japanís wealthiest man, has pledged to donate $120 million and his remaining income until he retires to support the victims of the Japan earthquake. Softbank will also contribute an additional $1.2 million in addition to the latest contribution made by its chief. In particular, Son aims to direct his financial support to the many children who were orphaned as a result of the devastating March 11 quake and ensuing tsunami.
Softbank CEO promises free phones to quake victims
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has said on Twitter, on his company's crowdsourcing page, and in the news from Taiwan's EDN that he would implement a major relief campaign to help those affected by the Tohoku-area earthquake in Japan. Among the gestures will include free iPhones for those whose were broken or lost in the 9.0-scale disaster as well as free phones and service for any child orphaned by the earthquake until they reach age 18. More details would come soon for the iPhone plan, Son said.
NTT DoCoMo finally permits SIM unlocks
NTT DoCoMo said on Friday that it would at last begin allowing device unlocks and support outside hardware. Any phone, tablet, or other device bought on the Japanese network from April 1 onwards will be unlockable for use on another carrier. Owners have to visit a DoCoMo store and pay both a 3,150 yen ($38) fee and sign a waiver understanding that the carrier's specific features won't work on another network.
Would go beyond retail payments
The next-generation iPhone will indeed have NFC (near-field communications) support, but with a "twist," according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. Citing sources, White claims that the phone will use a "unique" approach differentiating itself from competitors. NFC is typically associated with e-wallet payments at retail shops and vending machines, already commonplace in Japan.
Apple, Softbank not meeting local standards
The Japanese government is moving forward on an anticipated demand for iPhone censorship software, says the Wall Street Journal. On Monday, a panel announced that the government is asking both Apple Japan and the country's exclusive iPhone carrier, Softbank, to install filtering controls to block less than "wholesome" websites for people under 18. Included in this category are social networking sites which lack their own internal monitoring systems.
Device lacks filtering software, says gov't.
The Japanese government is criticizing Apple Japan and cellular carrier Softbank for a lack of content filtering on the iPhone, reports say. Specifically, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is expected to ask for region-tailored filtering software to be installed as soon as possible. Local stores are obligated to install censorship tools on phones sold to minors.
Highlights iPhone's key feature gap in Japan
Japanese carrier Softbank is planning to introduce a NFC (near-field communication) payment option for local iPhone 4 owners, reports say. Because the iPhone 4 lacks its own NFC receiver, the company will be offering special FeliCa-compatible seals that stick to the back, leaving enough space for the camera and flash. Softbank also suggests that the seals should be thin enough to allow use of Apple's Bumper cases.
iPhone now fifth in all Japanese phone sales
The iPhone is now the fifth best-selling phone brand in the entire Japanese market, IDC Japan found on Wednesday. Owed mostly to the iPhone 4 launch and shipping 1.06 million phones, Apple climbed from seventh place in the first half of the year to 12.2 percent between July and September. It had never been above 10 percent in the past, the study said.
DoCoMo sells Galaxy S with Vader in iPhone nation
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has been scaling up its attempts to lure smartphone buyers in recent days with a new TV ad (below) to lure users to the Samsung Galaxy S. The reported ad, the expansion of a campaign that started in the summer, has Darth Vader standing as a personification of the Android phone. His presence gives Galaxy S owners the power to do anything, the WSJ-spotted ad suggests.
Both integrate 3D cameras
Sharp has introduced two Android phones, the Galapagos 003SH and 005SH, featuring glasses-free 3D displays. Both devices, which will be headed to Softbank in Japan, offer Android 2.2 and 3.8-inch displays with 800x480 resolution. Other common hardware specs include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi and GPS receiver.