Mitsubishi Electric exits handset biz

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced it will shutter its Japanese mobile handset business in an effort to strategically shift resources to other units and accelerate a growth strategy ruled by a management policy of "making strong businesses stronger." In a press release confirming its decision, Mitsubishi Electric says, "It has become difficult these days to expect growth in demands for the already matured domestic mobile phone market, with the increasingly diverse preferences of consumers leading to severe business conditions. Consequently, Mitsubishi Electric's mobile handset business has recently suffered shipment decreases and it has become extremely difficult to expect improvement in this field. Under these circumstances, Mitsubishi Electric has considered the course of action involving the mobile handset business from every aspect and decided to no longer continue the business."

Mitsubishi, which entered the car phone business in 1983, counted Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo as its largest operator partner prior to its decision to exit the handset market, and will terminate development of new models after current models are shipped and sold to DoCoMo. The decision will trigger a temporary loss of approximately 17 billion yen in income before income taxes for fiscal 2008--about 600 Mitsubishi Electric employees will be directly impacted by the announcement, although the company said those workers will be repositioned in other units.

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