Stake in company to grow to 70 percent over next five years

After purchasing a majority stake in Sprint earlier this year, Japanese carrier SoftBank is eyeing an investment in U.S. phone distributor Brightstar. The deal will see SoftBank take a 57 percent stake in the company for $1.26 billion in cash, and has already been approved by SoftBank's board. Brightstar is a name you may not have heard of before, but is one of the biggest phone distributors (acting between manufacturers and retailers) with a presence in over 50 countries worldwide.

The deal will make Brightstar the exclusive distributor of handsets to some SoftBank affiliates, presumably including Sprint here in the U.S. Along with its investment in Sprint, SoftBank's stake in Brightstar could give it a better foothold on securing the latest devices for its carriers. The deal is still in need of regulatory approval, but is expected to close by the end of 2013, the companies said.

Source: Reuters

There are 29 comments

What does a phone distributor do?

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

"... phone distributors (acting between manufacturers and retailers) with a..."

They bridge the gap between manufacturers and retailers :) .


They sell phones to retaillers, basically. Where I work our Verizon phones all come from Brightstar for example. I believe they also buy up unsold inventory from retailers to resell it to someone else.

Posted via Android Central App

The SPCS Guy says:

Hmmm!! Now if only Sprint could get better service!

Fadakar says:

I don't know about you but within the last month the LTE in my city grew as much as it did since the beginning of the rollout. They're pushing hard, and I finally get to use LTE on my One. If it's not in your area, it will be. If not, switch!

capt4chris says:

See here!

unixpsycho says:

Queue the Sprint bashing...

newboyx says:

Softbank means business.

Posted via Android Central App

wyldemf says:

4G has been popping up all around me this week on Sprint.

Posted via Android Central App

marisdaman says:

Just popped on for me today!..08045

Freshy#WN says:

Me too!!! I am in Providence RI

lds710 says:

I finally get 4g now too! 45402

wyldemf says:

The Providence market was exactly what I was talking about. Man was the 3g bad in some places.

Posted via Android Central App

In 5yrs Sprint will be on top.

Posted via the Android Central App on my Note 2

NoNexus says:

Between the prices on the two big ones and the 'take whatever plan I give you and stfu' on t mobile, I would say they are already ahead

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

Billy Jack says:

I don't think it's Sprint bashing, as much as it is Sprint disappointment. I've tried Sprint twice in the last five years, and both times their data network completely let me down.

I'm starting to hear good things locally, but Sprint burned me last year. How many times can we go back for more disappointment? The coverage maps just have no relation to what's really happening on the ground.

So in comes Softbank, and I think everyone is hoping they can give Sprint a boost in getting Network Vision to actually work beyond the slogans and the promises. If nothing else, maybe Softbank can help Sprint regain some of the disastrous PR of the last two years. The Sprint Community forums are a bloodbath of unhappy customers. Sprint has broken too many promises for too many years. Their credibility is down to nil.

I really want Sprint to succeed. We need the competition, and I love an underdog.

ab304945 says:

Once there network is finished it will be good

Posted via Android Central App

ab304945 says:

Once there network is finished it will be good

Posted via Android Central App

Amir47 says:

Not at all related to the article.

Posted via Android Central App

Don't matter what they do sprint will always have the worst coverage and slowest 4GLTE the worst out of the other 3 major carriers they are way to far behind

Posted via Android Central App

TheNexxuvas says:

And people said that about a national company named GTE Mobilenet, now look at them in their current status as Verizon. So...your opinion is moot and lacks forethought on how much this industry changes with small amounts of time. No such thing as "will always have..." If you haven't read all the good things Sprint is doing on the back end to get ready for that future, then you don't know the full story nor do you lack the vision of perception in the Wireless Industry as a whole.

This^^ and I remember when Verizon was a shit company before the Alltel takeover.

Posted via Android Central App

atg284 says:


savdini says:

Hmm.. Interesting.. Maybe a good time open back up a Sprint position.

Posted via Android Central App on a Nexus 4 running CM10.1.3

bjsstranger says:

I know a lot of people just see this as Sprint related but Brightstar handles a lot of phones for Verizon. This is not just a Sprint thing. This may have some interesting effects for Sprint though. Interesting to think that the company that owns Sprint also has a part in their competitors supply chain.

Posted via Android Central App

Yup. Like I said, brightstar is active in 50 countries and does billions in sales. Its a big deal for them worldwide

Posted via Android Central App

GiantJay says:

Maybe some Sony phones coming to Sprint in the future? In the mean time they need some serious footwork on their network. So far the NV updates are are slowly trickling out since the SoftBank deal.

Amir47 says:

I'm all about getting some xperias on sprint

Posted via Android Central App

fjitb says:

I've been with Sprint for almost 13 years now, and I think it's time to stick around and see whats coming in the next couple of years!