“Softbank Corp., controlled by billionaire Masayoshi Son, doubled third-quarter profit as the Japanese mobile-phone operator lured new customers with Apple Inc. smartphones and tablet computers,” Naoko Fujimura reports for Bloomberg News. “Net income rose to 65.9 billion yen ($724 million) in the three months ended December from 32.8 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Sales gained 7.1 percent to 923.7 billion yen.”

“Softbank agreed in October to buy a $20 billion stake in Sprint Nextel Corp. to expand into the U.S., and it has acquired eAccess Ltd. in Japan to meet bandwidth demand from iPhone users,” Fujimura reports. “Sales of the Apple devices have helped Softbank boost earnings more than sevenfold during the past four years.”

Fujimura reports, “‘Everything’s going well for Softbank, unlike DoCoMo,’ said Hitoshi Hayakawa, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG… The Tokyo-based company, which doesn’t offer the iPhone, had a net loss of subscribers in November, the first decline in more than five years.”

“In Japan, Softbank has narrowed the gap in subscribers with DoCoMo and KDDI Corp. by cutting basic fees and being the first in the country to offer the iPhone, adding the most net new users every year since 2007. By increasing smartphone subscribers that require more data, Softbank also raised average revenue per user,” Fujimura reports. “‘Sales of the iPhone 5 have been strong, contributing positively to our earnings,”’ Son said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It sucks to be an iPhone have-not, huh, DoCoMo?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]