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March 10, 2008

Report: Sony to Stop Producing Mobile Phones for NTT DoCoMo

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributing Editor

Sony Ericsson (News - Alert) has reportedly decided to scale down and gradually cease manufacturing mobile phones for NTT DoCoMo Inc., one of the largest wireless carriers in Japan.

As per published reports, Sony Ericsson (News - Alert) will supply new models to NTT DoCoMo through this summer, but then shipments will taper off. This is being done as Sony Corp. shifts its focus to more lucrative markets in China, Europe and North America.

NTT DoCoMo offers cutting-edge voice and data services to millions of people in Japan. Its “i-mode” is one of the most popular mobile Internet services ever launched – and has helped NTT DoCoMo gain global recognition.

Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between Japan's Sony Corp. and Sweden's LM Ericsson, is the world's fourth-largest mobile phone maker. The company stands sixth in the Japanese market, however, it has been struggling to make profit in recent quarters due to heavy costs.

"It is true that Sony Ericsson is reviewing part of its product development plans with DoCoMo," said company spokesman Toshiyuki Kawamura in a Reuters (News - Alert) report.

The report states that Sony Ericsson plans to keep DoCoMo as a customer by trading mobile phones from other Japanese makers and selling them under the Sony Ericsson brand. Sony, however, will continue to develop and manufacture mobile phones for No. 2 operator KDDI Corp.

Other leading handset manufacturers, like Sanyo (News - Alert) Electric and Mitsubishi Electric Corp., have also recently withdrawn their manufacturing business from Japanese mobile phone market.


Jai C.S. is a contributing writer for TMCnet.

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