Do Japanese smartphone makers have a future?

Do Japanese smartphone makers have a future?

A decade ago, we knew Japan as a place where the most advanced phones were made. While we still see some great phones coming from the Land of the rising Sun, that could change soon.

The problem many Japanese handset makers have is expanding to the West. On the other hand, major vendors like Apple and Samsung have gained popularity both in the West and Japan, using that extra cash (from selling their gear all around the world) to make their products even better.

That said, it’s not surprising that more Japanese companies may be thinking about pulling the plug on their smartphone businesses. Among those “affected” by the current state of affairs are Panasonic and NEC. The former has recently decided to stop supplying its phones to NTT DoCoMo, the country’s largest operator; while the latter was looking for buyer for quite some time – only to fail reaching an agreement with Lenovo.

Sony on its end is still investing heavily in phones and tablets, but despite some successes in the local market, it failed to grab a significant market share in the West.

According to Japan’s MM Research Institute, Apple was the largest smartphone vendor by shipment in Japan for the 12 months through March with a 35.9% share, followed by Fujitsu’s 13% and Sony’s 12%.

[Via: WSJ Blog]

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