iPhone 3G cuts Optus earnings forecast by $44m

 

iPhone 3G subsidies could reduce Optus’ EBITDA by approximately $44 million for the quarter ended 30 September 2008, according to documents filed by the SingTel Group today.

The telco, which launched the much hyped Apple handsets in Australia in July, claimed it had experienced ‘robust demand’ for the iPhone 3G across the Group and its associates.

Handset activations totalled more than 170,000 in the September quarter. In Australia alone, 55 per cent of the total activations were mobile customers that were new to Optus, the company reported .

“It is estimated that Optus accounted for the majority share of iPhone 3G activations in Australia during this period,” the SingTel Group said in the statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange.

“[However], higher subsidy costs are associated with iPhone 3G. Consequently, the successful iPhone 3G initiative will have a dilutive impact on earnings and margins in the near term.”

The Group said in the longer-term it expected its strategy of going after high-value data-centric iPhone 3G subscribers would be ‘value accretive’.

“Integrated handset devices and smart phones, including the iPhone 3G, are key to driving mobile data revenue growth,” SingTel said.

“Early indications showed that iPhone 3G subscribers delivered an average revenue per user of approximately 1.5 times higher than the overall postpaid base.”

iPhone 3G cuts Optus earnings forecast by $44m
 
 
 
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