Japan’s NEC plans to exit the smartphone market after a deal with Chinese PC maker Lenovo failed to materialize, the Nikkei reported.
The two companies co-operate in the PC world and the hope was to extend that partnership to the vibrant smartphone market. The deal was discussed since late 2012, but no agreement has been reached.
It is said that NEC had offered Lenovo a majority stake in NEC Casio Mobile Communications, but the Chinese company didn’t like the price (or has opted out for some other reason).
Some time ago, NEC was a market leader in Japan and today it commands as little as 5% of the market. So instead of making expensive smartphones, they’ll now focus on conventional handsets and eventually sell some of its mobile phone-related patents. Hopefully some smart company will get those patents and bring something like NEC Medias W to the West. We can’t bear watching that awesome device dying for nothing. ;(