Nokia exits Japanese handset market

27 Nov 2008

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is withdrawing from the Japanese mobile handset market, blaming the decision on its inability to make inroads in a country that heavily favours locally-developed technologies. However, the vendor says it will continue to market its high-end, niche mobile phone Vertu.

Nokia is the world’s leading handset maker with a market share of around 40%, but has struggled to make inroads in Japan and currently claims less than 1% of sales there. ‘We have judged that we cannot continue to invest in product development just for Japan amid the current tough economic conditions,’ said Nokia vice president Timo Ihamuotila in a statement. Nonetheless, it will keep the Vertu brand in the country, and earlier this week CommsUpdate reported that Nokia has announced plans to enter the mobile market in Japan next year through a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnership with NTT DoCoMo. The manufacturer will collaborate with Japan’s largest mobile carrier to use its high speed mobile network to offer its own-brand cellular services. Nokia will also continue its global research and development work in Japan.

Japan, Nokia