August 7, 2008

Apple’s iPhone Spurs Mobile Carrier Change to Softbank

Tokyo, Aug. 7 (Jiji Press)--Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G has prompted many mobile telephone subscribers in Japan to switch to Softbank Mobile Corp., the only seller of the popular handset in the country, industry data revealed Thursday.

The number of subscribers who switched to Softbank Mobile from other carriers by using the number portability system in July exceeded those who quit Softbank Mobile by 52,000, the Softbank Corp. unit said.

The monthly net increase was the second highest for Softbank Mobile since the number portability system began in Japan in October 2006.

Apple's iPhone, launched in July, is attracting subscribers from other carriers, a Softbank Mobile official said.

Industry leader NTT DoCoMo Inc. scored a net decrease of 51,000 for July. The pace of the firm's net decrease accelerated again after slowing down steadily until June, when the tally fell to 38,600, its lowest since the start of the number portability system.

KDDI Corp. , the provider of the "au"-brand services, posted its first net decrease, which numbered 1,200.

Both companies said iPhone affected their performance.

Separately, the Telecommunications Carriers Association said Softbank Mobile's new mobile phone subscriptions outnumbered cancellations by 215,400 in July.

Softbank Mobile retained its top position in total net subscription growth for the 15th straight month.

NTT DoCoMo scored net growth of 94,200, followed by 65,000 at EMobile Ltd. KDDI was the worst performer with net growth of 17,000.END

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