Japanese fixed and wireless carrier Softbank Corp reported a doubling in net income in its financial year to 31 March 2010, driven by its booming mobile business and strong demand for iPhone mobile devices. Tokyo-based Softbank, which is the only Japanese firm licensed to sell the Apple iPhone, posted net income of JPY96.7 billion (USD1 billion) in the period under review, compared with JPY43.2 billion in the previous year. Consolidated revenues climbed 3% year-on-year to JPY2.76 trillion, and operating income rose 20% to JPY465.9 billion. The group’s cellular arm, Softbank Mobile, added a net 1.24 million subscribers in the year to March, fuelled by the popularity of iPhones. Handset shipments also expanded it said, while sales costs decreased.
In a separate development, Softbank Corp has revealed plans to adopt a next generation PHS technology standard currently being employed by China Mobile, as it looks to revive troubled PHS operator Willcom in its corporate rehabilitation. The Nikkei Daily says that by using the new technology, Softbank hopes to reduce the costs of base stations and related equipment for Wilcom when it takes over the running of the ailing business this year. The Nikkei claims that China Mobile is looking to launch new PHS services in 2011 and as such, plans to begin field trials before the end of 2010.