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.