Toshiba and Fujitsu Combine Japan Phone Businesses

toshiba and fujitsu combine japan phone businesses prime ntt docomo

Japanese technology giants Toshiba and Fujitsu have announce they’re planning to combine their mobile phone units in Japan—and, unsurprisingly, much of the focus of the new business will be on smartphones. The companies expect the new firm to launch in October; when it does, it will become Japan’s second largest mobile phone maker with nearly 19 percent of Japan’s mobile phone market.

“By combining their mobile phone development know-how and technological strengths, Fujitsu and Toshiba intend on enhancing their handset development capabilities and at the same time improving business efficiency,” the companies said in a joint press release. The companies expect to finalize the deal in July.

Fujitsu and Toshiba aren’t known in the North American market for their mobile handsets, but Toshiba makes handsets for number-two Japanese mobile operator KDDI, as well as a selection for NTT DoCoMo and Softbank; Fujitsu primarily makes phones for NTT DoCoMo, which is Japan’s leading mobile operator.

The Japanese market has always been unusual for mobile phones, often with highly specific feature phones sparking and following fashion trends. The Japanese mobile phone market is almost completely saturated and (therefore) highly competitive; Japanese mobile phone makers’ only real chance for growth is to try to expand into overseas markets.