[photopress:it_sharp_mobile_phone.jpg,full,alignright]This is a somewhat unusual development. Sharp will start selling its mobile phones in China ahead of the Beijing Olympics this year.
It will be a hard struggle.
Although they have cutting-edge technology, Japanese handset makers have a very small presence abroad, partly because they cannot compete with the economies of scale of Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. As well Japanese mobile interfaces also tend to be more complex than the competition which does not aid overseas sales.
Sharp, which is known for its Aquos brand flat-screen liquid crystal display televisions, would be one of the few Japanese company selling mobile phones in China following rival Kyocera’s withdrawal.
NEC has stopped selling mass-market phones.
Sharp said in an announcement, ‘China will be a promising market in the next decade or two and, with the Japanese market maturing, we need to look to overseas markets. It’s an Olympic year, and a good time to bring high-end mobile phones to the market.’
The company said that it was still in talks with Chinese operators.
Sharp is Japan’s leading mobile handset maker although, worldwide, Japanese phone makers are not in the race.
The sector in Japan remains highly fragmented — there are more than 10 mobile makers — leaving no clear leader with the economies of scale needed to compete with foreign rivals such as Nokia.
Source: Financial Times
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