Sadly enough, NEC’s share price rose 2.6% on the news that it is going to shutter its mobile phone unit. It’s a tragic epitaph for what was once a genuinely exciting brand. It’s also a sad reminder of the profound failure of Japan’s technology industry. The global smartphone market is currently shaken by a cluster of vital, hungry challenger vendors of China and India, including Huawei, ZTE, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. Japanese mobile phone powerhouses like Sharp, Toshiba, Matsushita and NEC have been left in the dust. Only Sony still soldiers on, grimly and joylessly. More →
NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Semiconductor, NEC and Panasonic announced plans on Tuesday to establish a joint venture in which the firms hope to work together to create LTE and LTE Advanced products. The fabless JV will specifically focus on the development of “feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality” for LTE and LTE Advanced networks. Products developed by the companies will be sold globally. NTT DoCoMo will invest $5.8 million in the joint venture but it is unclear how much of an ownership stake it will have, or how much the other five companies plan to invest. They hope to have the partnership fully established by March of next year. NTT DoCoMo’s press release follows after the break. More →
NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic are discussing a joint venture with Samsung that could be created as early as next year, Reuters reported recently. The companies will develop new smartphone baseband chips in an attempt to compete directly with Qualcomm, which currently has an 80% grip on the baseband chip industry. NTT DoCoMo will be the majority owner in the Japan-based joint venture and the total investment is expected to be about $390 million. The joint venture will help each firm cut down procurement costs. Samsung has considered using the new chips in its future family of GALAXY-branded handsets, but the group will also sell the new chips to other smartphone manufacturers. NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic and Samsung have not yet announced formal plans for the venture. More →
In a world where BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile and webOS dominate the mobile OS space, it’s been tough for LiMo to get a little love. Sure Android and webOS are Linux-based, but it’s just not the same. In an interesting move, Panasonic and NEC have chosen to go with LiMo — unveiling nine new devices that will feature the open-source operating system. Japanese mobile carrier KDDI and touchscreen company Immersion Corp are teaming up for the project but LiMo is hoping to the move grabs the attention of larger manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung and LG. Good luck with that. With less costs involved in running open source systems it could be more enticing for manufacturers to look to LiMo in the future. The mobile OS space is already pretty cluttered however, so don’t expect LiMo to start popping up on anything relevant from amongst the big boys any time soon.
On Monday, April 20, Panasonic and NEC are expected to unveil nine devices that run on the Linux-powered LiMo operating system. While not much is known about the soon-to-be-announced devices at this time, proponents of open source operating systems will apparently have plenty of cause for celebration in 2009. Current members of the LiMo Foundation include Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, LG and Samsung, though the latter two have yet to unveil a single LiMo device to date. Still, the foundation does have an all-star line-up of carriers backing it up as NTT DoCoMo, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone have all announced they will be carrying LiMo devices at some point this year. While there might not be too much to account for at the moment, the LiMo picture is apparently about to get a whole lot clearer.