Fujitsu is negotiating with an investment company to sell off its mobile division, indicating its intention to leave the phone business behind. While Fujitsu isn’t a household name when it comes to phones in the United States or internationally, it’s well-established in that market sector in Japan, with its Arrows Android phones being particular standouts among the domestically popular flip phones. However, just like its computer business, Fujitsu has decided it’s time to move on.
It’s reported Fujitsu is talking with Tokyo-based investment firm Polaris Capital about the sale, which if it takes place, will be worth between $365 million and $456 million, according to an anonymous source speaking to Reuters. An agreement may be in place by the end of January. Should the deal be made, Polaris will continue to sell the Arrows branded phones, states the Nikkei Asian Review.
Fujitsu split its computing and mobile divisions into two companies in 2016, with the phone business falling under the control of Fujitsu Connected Technologies. Reports that Fujitsu wanted to sell off its phone business gathered steam in mid-2017. Subsequently, 51 percent of its computing division — Fujitsu Client Computing Devices — was sold to Lenovo, along with five percent to the Development Bank of Japan, as it exited the world of PCs. Should the mobile business be sold to Polaris, Fujitsu will rely on system development, servers, and other core IT businesses, which the Nikkei Asian Review says currently generate 70 percent of its sales anyway.
Fujitsu comes fourth in the Japanese phone market, behind Apple, Sharp, and Kyocera. Like Sharp and Kyocera, it has never made a strong play for international business, despite small attempts several years ago with niche devices like the Stylistic S01, a phone aimed at senior citizens. It also once displayed a prototype Android smartphone that was supposedly destined for launch in the United States and United Kingdom. Outside of this, Fujitsu has demonstrated cutting-edge mobile tech, and was an early adopter of iris recognition.
If Fujitsu leaves mobile devices behind, it will leave Sony, Sharp, and Kyocera as the only Japanese companies making phones today. Fujitsu told Reuters a deal has not yet been reached.
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