Monday, August 9, 2010

DoCoMo May Beat Smartphone Sales Target of 1 Million, CFO Tsubouchi Says


NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile-phone operator, may exceed its April target for smartphone sales of 1 million units this fiscal year, helped by demand for Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB’s Xperia.

“The smartphone sales target was seen as an ambitious one, but with Xperia’s sales hitting the 300,000 unit mark, it brought it within range,” Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “We may also revise the overall mobile-phone sales outlook.”

The company, KDDI Corp., Japan’s second-largest carrier, and Softbank Corp. are expanding their smartphone lineups with models running Google Inc.’s Android software to bolster data traffic and offset falling voice call revenue.

Japan’s smartphone shipments will probably exceed 3 million units in the 12 months from April 1, while the overall mobile- phone market is expected to contract for a third year, according to MM Research Institute Ltd.

DoCoMo rose the most in one month after a Nikkei newspaper reported Japan Communications Inc. will soon start a service that allows Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 to be used on the carrier’s network.

The shares added 1.8 percent to 139,500 yen, headed for the biggest advance since May 24. The stock has gained 7.6 percent this year, after declining 27 percent in 2009.

DoCoMo’s mobile-phones sales will probably rise 1 percent to 18.2 million units in the year ending March 2011, the Tokyo- based company said last month. The carrier hasn’t disclosed smartphone sales figures for last fiscal year.

Android Sales

Net income is forecast to rise 0.4 percent to 497 billion yen ($5.8 billion) in the 12 months ending March 2011, while revenue may fall 1.5 percent to 4.22 trillion yen, the company said in April. Operating profit will probably increase 0.7 percent to 840 billion yen, it said at the time.

DoCoMo started selling its third Android model last month, while Softbank, Apple Inc.’s exclusive provider of the iPhone in Japan, offers one Android phone. KDDI introduced its first handset running the software developed by Google in June.

Apple shipped 1.69 million iPhones in the year ended March 31 and has 72 percent of the country’s smartphone market, MM Research said in April. Handsets made by Taiwan’s HTC Corp., which run on Anroid and Miscrosoft Corp.’s Windows software, were second with 11 percent, the Tokyo-based researcher said.

Android, which also runs on tablet computers, may overtake Apple’s iOS, the operating system for the iPad and iPhone, in two years, El Segundo, California-based industry researcher ISuppli Corp. said yesterday. Google’s software will probably run on 75 million phones in 2012, compared with 62 million handsets for iOS, it said.