Being a carrier partner of Apple can help drive your bottom line. As reported on The Apple Blog, Japanese cellular carrier Softbank's fiscal first quarter results showed an almost 500 percent increase in net income over the same quarter in 2010. To what did Softbank attribute the spectacular jump in income? Intense demand for the iPad and iPhone.
Softbank still has an exclusive deal to sell the iPhone in Japan, and with Apple currently the leading smartphone in the country, sales of the iPad and iPhone helped to drive net income in the quarter ending June 30 from ¥19.44 billion to ¥94.79 billion.
Japan was previously the land of text messaging, but it's obvious that the smartphone revolution being driven by Apple's products is increasing data use dramatically. Softbank reported that the average revenue per user (ARPU) for their customers is now at an all-time high of ¥2,440 per subscriber per month. That puts Softbank at the top of the heap among mobile operators worldwide when it comes to the ratio of data to traditional cellular services ARPU.
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son had nothing but good words to say about the iPhone, stating that "the iPhone's strength is standing out the more people come to use smartphones." It's certain that Softbank will do what it can to remain the sole source for Apple's 3G products in Japan.