Apple, Samsung force Panasonic out of consumer handset business

By on September 4, 2013, 12:00 PM

Panasonic has officially pulled out of the Japanese smartphone race and will instead outsource production in emerging markets like India. Panasonic president Kazuhiro Tsuga said it isn’t acceptable for the company to be bleeding red ink like they are so they have to think about ways to develop assets they do have in a more efficient direction.

In an interview with Reuters, Tsuga said the company’s mobile division was likely to lose more than 1.1 billion yen ($11.02 million) for the financial year ending next March.  Last year, mobile was responsible for an 8.1 billion yen loss.

The deciding factor came when NTT DoCoMo Inc., the largest mobile carrier in Japan and a loyal distributor of Japanese-made phones, elected to only promote Sony Xperia and Samsung Galaxy handsets during its summer advertising campaign. The dominant carrier is one of the few major players that doesn’t carry the iPhone.

Panasonic was once a force to be reckoned with in Japan. In 2001, the company ranked as the second largest handset maker behind NEC with more than 19 percent of the market. That figure fell to just over seven percent last year as it gave way to industry heavyweights Apple and Samsung. For reference, Apple held 25 percent of the market during the same period.

NEC also pulled out of the smartphone business earlier this year after two straight years of losses. Lenovo appeared to be the frontrunner for an acquisition but those talks eventually fizzled out.

User Comments: 2

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wastedkill said:

Apple and samsung didn't force panasonic out of the consumer handset business its that they didn't go with the flow and continue to innovate like apple and samsung did which is why they were left out same as nokia they were big back in the day but now look at them they have such a tiny market its unbelievable.

Panasonic can only blame themselves as if they kept up with products and innovation like apple and samsung did they would be just as big as them maybe not worldwide but in japan ye.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Panasonic not like it use to be on top of the electronic industry they seem to have pulled back for some odd reason. Quasar from Motorola was taken over by Matsushita Electronic Corporation of America (MECA) which former company is not called Panasonic Corporation name changed in 2008. Still what's going on with this company?

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