Panasonic has wrapped up shop and decided to call it quits on the smartphone industry, reports the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei. The company only controls one smartphone factory, and it intends to close its doors by March 2014. Phone shipments will finish by this winter.
Panasonic blames the severe drop in sales on Japanese largest service wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo, which it says gave bigger discounts to rival companies such as Sony and Samsung. All that will remain of Panasonic’s cellphone business will be reserved for foreign and corporate markets.
Sony is the Japanese leader of smartphones. Beyond Sony, though, the smartphone industry has all but dried up for Japanese companies, and the population by-and-large prefers foreign made devices like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy devices. This is an industry that once bathed in the money of its domestic market, but it hasn’t taken long for that to change.