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.

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.

Dissecting the Japanese Mobile Phone

The March edition of Nikkei Electronics Asia features an interesting peek under the hood of three current handsets now available in Japan. They expose how the insides of these so-called “All in One” multi-function models; the P905i VIERA from Panasonic, W53H from Hitachi and the 920SH by Sharp, are designed in cooperation of a local electronics manufacturer. Interesting to note the OLED screen on the W53H ‘Wooo’ by Hitachi was produced by Samsung and that efforts to slim the design while increasing battery power, to a whopping double 1-Seg. viewing time, are key considerations.

KDDI Launches New Models for Spring 2008

In a one-two punch for Japan mobile tech watchers on Monday KDDI announced 10 new models for the companies spring 2008 sales campaign. The line-up includes models from; Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Panasonic PanTech&Curitel, Casio, Hitachi, and Sanyo. For those lucky enough to be in Tokyo the ultra-trendy Designing Studio in Harajuku will have the whole fleet on display for touch & try. Flash Gallery Here and more details after the hop.

SoftBank Mobile Unveils Spring Handsets

SoftBank Mobile introduced their latest handset line-up for Spring 2008 at a press conference here in Tokyo on Monday afternoon – video in English – with 15 new models announced. With something for everyone on offer they have followed in DoCoMo’s lead of adopting a wide range of GSM roaming enabled units, 7 in all, along with new designs targeted at everyone from children to seniors including all the standard bells and whistles. Several items worth noting include the – better late than never – introduction of Nokia’s N95 into the Japan market and a collaboration with Tiffany for an exclusive designers model. More details after the jump.

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-Series

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-SeriesDomestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage.

The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.

SoftBank Mobile Unveils New Models

As predicted, SoftBank Mobile announced their latest handset line-up for the upcoming “sales battle” of the winter 2007 season. The company has new 10 models on offer – 7 coming from Sharp alone – which will begin rolling out by the middle of November through the end of December. They have a dedicated Flash site Here and we’ve posted a few details with images after the jump.

Kyocera to Acquire Sanyo Mobile Unit

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.

Matsushita Stock Hit by Nokia Battery Recall

Matsushita Electric shares fell to a two-year low after Nokia offered to replace as many as 46 million handset batteries produced by the company on concerns they may overheat. Matsushita, the world’s largest consumer-electronics maker – more widely known as Panasonic – saw it’s shares drop 5 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange to 2,015 yen which is the lowest closing price since October 2005.