Rumor Mill: Sanyo's mobile biz for sale next?

Reports have already surfaced that Sanyo has appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee its semiconductor business sale, but now rumors are floating that the rest of the company's mobile business will go, too. According to a report from The Inquirer, one suggested factor for the sale was Sanyo's failure to seal a cdmaOne deal with Nokia. At the time, Nokia said the "already financially prohibitive CDMA ecosystem" and recent events that might make the CDMA business for emerging markets more challenging, were to blame for the dissolved JV. Many took that to be a veiled reference to their ongoing licensing dispute with Qualcomm, which, of course, Qualcomm vehemently denied. "As far as news articles reporting or implying that Qualcomm's licensing terms resulted in the failure of Nokia to complete its previously announced joint venture, these are simply untrue," Qualcomm's president Steve Altman said in a statement.

Despite the reasons, Sanyo is trailing LG, Samsung and Motorola in CDMA handset sales worldwide. Its cdmaOne successes have been few and its ability to break into the European market is questionable. Sanyo's recent deal to supply the planned KDDI MVNO here in the U.S. is the only recent deal the company has inked for handsets. And the prospects for another MVNO here in the U.S. are meager at best.

For more on the rumored sale of Sanyo's mobile business:
- see this report from The Inquirer