Sharp Maintains Top Spot in 2007

Sharp sold the most mobile handsets in Japan during fiscal 2007, with 25% market share, to hold top spot for the 3rd consecutive year according to data released by MM Research Institute. The company boosted handset shipments by an impressive 23% YoY, for a total of 12.76 million units, setting a new record as their Aquos branded LCD models proved to be a popular choice with growing consumer demand to watch 1Seg digital tv broadcasts. Overall, the domestic handset sales increased 2.9% to a new record of 50.76 million units.

KDDI Announces Kyocera Battery Recall

KDDI and Kyocera announced they are recalling 214,349 batteries used in the W42K model made by Kyocera handsets because they may overheat. The companies note they were aware of 13 cases reported where batteries overheated causing burn injuries burns to three people. According to the press release battery production was contracted to NEC Tokin Corp., 51 percent owned by NEC Corp., and made in China. Kyocera said it will suspend use of NEC Tokin’s products.

Sharp Handsets Hold Top Market Share

Sharp increased it’s position as the top supplier of mobile phones in Japan in 2007 for the second straight year, according to a Jiji article press quoting market research company IDC Japan. In the October-December period, Sharp held on the top spot for the seventh consecutive quarter. The company took a 25.1 pct share of domestic mobile phone shipments, up from 18.6 pct in the previous year, thanks to the popularity of its Aquos branded models. Total shipments, across all handset makers, was up year-on-year 4.4 pct to 51.52 million units.

Alcatel-Lucent and NEC Announce JV

Alcatel-Lucent and NEC announced the start of a broad collaboration to market advanced end-to-end communications solutions. Alcatel-Lucent and NEC have decided to form a joint venture that will focus on the development of Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless broadband access solutions. Through this joint development effort, the two companies intend to accelerate the availability of next-generation wireless solutions.

NEC Exhibits Worlds First LiMo Handsets

NEC announced that it will exhibit the first LiMo-compliant mobile handsets in NEC’s Booth during the Mobile World Congress February 11-14 in Barcelona. The commercial LiMo handsets which will be introduced at MWC in Barcelona are the FOMA N905i, N905imu, N705i, N705imu from NTT DoCoMo. The key software modules for mobile phones contributed to the LiMo Foundation, are included in these four handsets.

i-channel Subscribers Exceed 15 Million

DoCoMo announced today that subscribers to their i-channel news service surpassed 15 million on January 3, 2008. The achievement came nine months after surpassing 10 million subscribers and two years and three months after the service’s launch (WWJ video). The monthly cost of the service is 150 yen and there is no extra charge for headlines sent to the subscriber phone’s standby screen, but packet charges apply when detailed content is viewed.

Sony to Demo TransferJet at CES

Sony has announced “TransferJet”, a new Close Proximity Wireless Transfer Technology enabling the high speed transfer of large data files (photos, HD images, etc.) between electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, digital video cameras, computers and TVs. Using this technology, data can be sent at speeds of 560Mbps. Sony will present reference exhibits of this newly developed technology at CES International, to be held in Las Vegas from January 7th.

WiMax Licenses Going To KDDI, Willcom

The Communications Ministry has decided to grant licenses for next-generation wireless broadband service to Willcom Inc. and a group led by KDDI Corp. according to the Nikkei. The ministry’s decision is based on an examination of about 120 criteria, including business plans and technologies. KDDI had started development of WiMax technology ahead of others in 2003, and Willcom has a track record for bringing PHS (personal handyphone system), a technology created in Japan, to China.