Bloomberg News

Softbank Resumes IPhone Sales in Japan After Three-Hour Halt

October 14, 2011

(Updates with cause of halt in second paragraph.)

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Softbank Corp. resumed sales of Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 4S today after a three-hour halt triggered by a computer glitch. The shares fell 2.7 percent.

The computer system that registered customer information went down soon after the iPhone 4S debuted for sale at 8 a.m. in Tokyo, spokeswoman Makiko Ariyama said by phone. The glitch, which was fixed leading to the resumption of sales at about 11 a.m., occurred because the carrier had “greater-than-expected orders,” said Naoki Nakayama, a Softbank spokesman.

The device, available today in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and U.K., is projected to outperform last year’s introduction of the iPhone 4, with Apple poised to sell as many as 4 million units this weekend. More than 200 people had gathered in line in front of a Softbank shop in Tokyo before the phone went on sale, as customers around the world clamor for one of the last products developed under Steve Jobs.

Softbank, Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier, lost its three-year monopoly on selling Apple’s iPhone in Japan when bigger rival KDDI Corp. began selling the 4S.

Shares of Softbank slid to 2,478 yen at the 3 p.m. close on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. KDDI rose 1 percent to 585,000 yen. Softbank has declined 12 percent this year and the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average has dropped 14 percent, while KDDI has climbed 25 percent.

Softbank President Masayoshi Son apologized for the sales disruption in his Twitter account.

--With assistance from Yuki Yamaguchi in Tokyo. Editors: Nicholas Wadhams, Suresh Seshadri

To contact the reporters on this story: Yoshinori Eki in Tokyo at yeki@bloomberg.net; Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at nfujimura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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