iPhone Affects KDDI's Net Subscription Growth

Aug 8, 2008
Mami Akasaka, Tech-On!
Net growth in new mobile phone subscriptions (July 2007 to July 2008)
Net growth in new mobile phone subscriptions (July 2007 to July 2008)
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

The number of new mobile phone subscriptions in Japan declined 21% year-on-year to 391,500 in July 2008, according to the research conducted by the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA).

By carrier, SoftBank Mobile Corp continued to top at 215,400 subscriptions, followed by NTT DoCoMo Inc's 94,200 and Emobile Ltd's 65,000 subscriptions.

KDDI Corp continued to rank the lowest following last month, posting a net growth of 17,000 subscriptions. KDDI lagged by far behind its rivals, even after factoring out the impact from the cancellation of its prepaid handsets (19,700 cancellations). Commenting on this situation, a spokesperson from KDDI's PR Department said, "We are accepting the fact, considering that our handsets weren't attractive enough."

The number of cancellations with MNP (mobile number portability) surpassed the number of new subscriptions with MNP for the first time in July 2008, KDDI said. The company seems to have been affected by the iPhone released by SoftBank.

The number (of cancellations with MNP) temporarily increased after the iPhone was released, said a spokesperson from KDDI's PR Department.

"SoftBank's other handsets might have drawn interest in the wake of the iPhone's release as well," the spokesperson said. "We are, however, not sure if the impact will continue from now."

SoftBank Mobile, on the other hand, posted a favorable net growth (new subscriptions minus cancellations with MNP) of 52,000 subscriptions.

"We believe our large net growth was an iPhone effect," SoftBank Mobile's PR Department said.