Smaller Japanese handset makers struggle

Mobile handset sales have collapsed in Japan since Softbank introduced its "White Plan" in January 2007, ending the practice of operators paying to give away top-end phones.

The approach was so successful that KDDI and NTT DoCoMo were obliged to imitate it, offering a bundle of free calls for a low monthly subscription of Y980 (€6.46), according to the Financial Times.

Its report quoted Jeita, Japan's electronics industry association, saying that shipments fell by 29.3% compared with a year ago in July.

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