Casio expects a 10 billion yen ($86 million) investment in new mobile phone models to return a profit in the first year, helped by sales of handsets equipped with its Exilim camera and G-Shock watch technologies. The handsets, based on the W-CDMA standard, will be sold at a higher profit margin than earlier models, said Tateki Ohishi, chief executive officer of Casio Hitachi Mobile Communications Co., the Tokyo-based company's venture with Hitachi Ltd. Full Story Here.
The CIAJ has released the telecom equipment figures for Q1 fiscal 2007 (April – June) that show negative performance continues in the mobile terminal category, which accounts for approx. 70% of the market. Handset sales account for approximately 67% of the market and therefore has a large impact on overall production figures. The 2007 results show a significant drop from the 2006 figure, but is similar to the performance in 2005.The total number of subscribers continues to increase, indicating that the trend among carriers to purchase high-end products by domestic brands and import low-end modestly priced products from abroad continues.
Visto has announced a new effort with IBM that will leverage Lotus Notes Traveler and help enable delivery of Visto’s Mobile for IBM Lotus Domino to millions of IBM Lotus Notes users. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate on the enablement and marketing of a connector for Visto Mobile for Lotus Domino, providing customers with access to email, calendar appointments, contacts and other data pushed directly to their mobile phones.
Not surprisingly the battle over proposed new handset regulations is starting to heat up. According to a brief article, KDDI Corp's President Tadashi Onodera reacted angrily to the recent government report calling for the cellular industry to terminate the practice of offsetting handset discounts with higher service charges. Onodera criticised the plan stating that Japanese mobile operators must be allowed to continue offering rebates. "Amid free competition among three carriers.. I feel odd about the government-backed decision." We commented on this issue Here in June.
US telecom firm NextWave Wireless has apparently decided to sell its stake in IP Mobile, only one month after it became the majority shareholder, according to this announcement [.pdf in Japanese]. In July NextWave signed a definitive agreement to aquire 69.23 percent of the company from Mori Trust. IP Mobile was awarded an operating licence in November 2005 and was given two years to launch mobile broadband services.
DoCoMo just announced that it has established an office in Hanoi, Vietnam in September 2007. DoCoMo will use the Hanoi office to enhance its information-gathering capabilities, explore potential business opportunities, and raise its profile among and strengthen relationships with government officials and corporate executives in the burgeoning Vietnamese market. This is the company's fourth overseas office, joining existing facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore. The office, operated by a staff of four, will also have oversight for Laos and Cambodia.
Fresh off the wires from JCN; KDDI, Intel, JR, Kyocera, Daiwa, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi have agreed to a new form joint venture, named Wireless Broadband Planning K.K. (WBPK), in order to bid on the 2.5GHz frequency band for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System. Subsequent to obtaining a license, it will develop and operate a wireless network based on mobile WiMAX technology.
According to this report on WSJ Sanyo said it would sell their retail sales division to Telepark for 4.8 billion yen ($41.6 million). Sanyo had been reluctant to sell off businesses but Goldman Sachs and other investors that last year funded a 300 billion yen bailout have put on the pressure, resulting in management changes and a new strategy. This exit decision was revealed in July however the closing price is well below previous estimates.
ACCESS has announced that its NetFront Browser and NetFront Messaging Client are featured in the new Sharp 3G handset that Vodafone unveiled on September 10. The 880SH supports both W-CDMA and GSM and is compatible with HSDPA. The handset, developed mainly for the European market, was recently introduced as part of Vodafone's Christmas 2007 lineup.
According to the Nikkei, via Reuters, Kyocera and Sanyo are close to inking a deal that would merge the device makers into the world's seventh largest mobile phone manufacturer. The business daily stated Kyocera aims to buy Sanyo's mobile phone operations for about 50 billion yen ($435 million), Sanyo expects to sell about 11 million units in the current business year to March 2008, down from its initial estimates of 12.5-12.6 million. Both Kyocera and Sanyo said in separate statements that nothing has been decided.
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