Menu
Nokia to pull out of Japanese handset market

Nokia to pull out of Japanese handset market

Nokia is to stop developing handsets for Japanese carriers and pull out of the Japanese market, it said Thursday.

The world's largest cell phone maker is pulling out of one of the world's biggest cellular markets. Nokia said on Thursday that it will stop developing handsets for NTT DoCoMo and Softbank Mobile, effectively ending a push that began five years ago when Nokia re-entered the Japanese market with the launch of 3G services here.

The current global economic conditions pushed Nokia to withdraw from the Japanese market, said Thomas Jonsson, a company spokesman. Faced with lower demand for cell phones the company is examining its operations worldwide and decided that development for the Japanese market is not a priority.

"We've not reached our own internal targets over a sustained period," he said but declined to say what those targets were.

Nokia will keep a research and development center open in Japan and continue its procurement activities, said Jonsson. The plan also won't affect its high-end Vertu brand handsets. A recent press report, which Jonsson declined to comment on, said Nokia would launch an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) next year through which it would provide service for Vertu.

The company was active in Japan in the 1990s, supplying handsets for the country's proprietary second-generation PDC networks, but pulled out of the market. It reentered earlier this decade when 3G services began and has had one or two handsets on sale ever since through NTT DoCoMo and Softbank, which both operate WCDMA (wideband code-division multiple access) networks.

Nokia's decision probably says more about the Japanese market than it does about Nokia. Handsets from NEC, Fujitsu, Sharp, Panasonic and other domestic makers, which are typically developed in close cooperation with carriers and highly tuned to local tastes, are most popular here and no foreign phone maker enjoys the same level of popularity here that it does in other major markets.

For example, the recently announced new line-up of 22 phones from NTT DoCoMo includes five from Panasonic, four each from Fujitsu, Sharp and NEC and then two from Taiwan's HTC and a single handset each from Nokia, LG and Blackberry.

Coupled with a highly developed yet proprietary mobile Internet system, the Japanese market is sometimes referred to as the "Galapagos Islands" of the cellular industry -- a reference to the Pacific islands where a vast number of species have developed differently from most of the rest of the world.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments