September 28, 2023


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Japanese smartphone will disappear from the market?  

5 min read

Japanese smartphone will disappear from the market?  


Japanese smartphone will disappear from the market?  

After Japan’s Kyocera (Kyocera) announced its withdrawal from the mobile phone business in the past half a month, Japan has ushered in the second brand that left the market sadly.

On May 30, FCNT, a major Japanese smartphone manufacturer, issued a statement saying that it had filed a petition to the Tokyo District Court to start the civil regeneration procedure, and would accept the bankruptcy protection procedure on the same day.





Kyocera exits FCNT bankruptcy

FCNT is not well-known in other countries. In fact, its predecessor was the mobile phone business division of Fujitsu Co., Ltd. , which has been operating since 2000. Now FCNT is a TOP5 brand in the Japanese smartphone market.


Japanese smartphone will disappear from the market?  



According to the survey report of MM General Research Institute, a Japanese ICT market research and consulting agency, in terms of manufacturer shipments, in 2022, FCNT will keep pace with Sony and Samsung , with a share of 8.0% in the Japanese market, second only to Apple iPhone and Sharp .


However, such a mobile phone brand declared bankruptcy.


Regarding the reason for the bankruptcy, FCNT stated that due to the saturation of the mobile phone terminal market, stagnant sales, the depreciation of the yen, and the global semiconductor shortage and other factors, the cost of the company has risen sharply, resulting in a rapid deterioration of revenue and capital turnover.

A Japanese credit investigation company pointed out that FCNT has a debt of about 73.36 billion yen (about 3.728 billion yuan). Therefore, the insolvent FCNT can only declare bankruptcy.


At present, FCNT plans to immediately stop the mobile phone manufacturing and sales business. At the same time, the repair and after-sales service of mobile phone terminals cannot continue without the support of sponsors and will also be stopped.


In addition, in addition to FCNT, the objects of the bankruptcy application include REINOWA Holdings, the parent company of FCNT, and Japan EMSolutions (JEMS), a subsidiary of smartphone manufacturing.

A Japanese credit investigation company pointed out that the total liabilities of the above three companies are about 143.106 billion yen . It also marks the largest bankruptcy case in Japan so far this year.


It is worth mentioning that just half a month ago, Kyocera, a veteran mobile phone manufacturer with a history of 34 years, stated that it would withdraw from the smartphone market by the end of March 2025.

Kyocera’s financial report shows that in February this year, Kyoc

era lost 2.27 billion yen (about 16 million US dollar), and its profitability deteriorated, so it had to reduce marginalized consumer products.

Kyocera may not be a well-known brand to domestic consumers, but Kyocera has been making mobile phones since the 1990s.

In 1989, Kyocera launched Japan’s first mobile phone, model “HP-101”, creating a precedent in the Japanese mobile phone industry.

Since then, Kyocera has been committed to the research and development and production of mobile phones. However, in the ever-changing era of smartphones, the update speed and market share of Kyocera products have gradually declined, and they have been gradually marginalized, unable to compete with global technology companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei .


However, around 2009, the mobile phone business has become Kyocera’s largest loss-making business segment. At that time, under fierce competition, Japanese mobile phones such as Toshiba , Panasonic, and Mitsubishi were also declining.


After Kyocera withdrew and FCNT went bankrupt, only Sony and Sharp remained in the smartphone business in Japan.


Japanese mobile phone brands are on the decline

In the supply chain of mobile phone components such as CMOS image sensors and storage, Japan is second to none, but the development of mobile phone terminals is not satisfactory. There used to be many well-known mobile phone brands in Japan, such as Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, and Casio, but now, most mobile phone brands have no voice in the global market.


Regarding the decline of Japanese mobile phone brands, industry insiders have analyzed that the appearance design of Japanese mobile phones runs counter to the mainstream, long-term neglect of the localization adaptation needs of overseas users, and the low cost performance of products are the main factors.


According to Hou Lin, a senior analyst in the mobile phone field at GfK, Japanese mobile phone brands are clinging to their turf in the era of smartphones and are weak in innovation. , This exit is also helpless to stop losses.


For Japanese mobile phone brands such as FCNT and Kyocera, their marginalization in the consumer market is also due to the smartphone environment.


From the perspective of the Japanese mobile phone market, the Japanese ICT market research and consulting agency MM General Research Report pointed out that due to the impact of price increases and reduced demand for replacements, Japan’s domestic smartphone shipments will drop by 11.8% in 2022, falling below 30 million units, which is nearly 30 million units. For the first time in three years.

The unsatisfactory environment of the Japanese mobile phone market has directly affected the development of Japanese local mobile phone brands.


From the perspective of global competition, the global smartphone shipment data released by the research organization TechInsights in the first quarter of 2023 shows that Samsung and Apple together account for 42.9% of the market share, and the remaining nearly 60% of the market share is mostly dominated by Xiaomi , OPPO , Chinese brands such as vivo occupy.

When Apple, Samsung and Chinese mobile phone brands basically cover most of the global mobile phone market, there is naturally little room for Japanese mobile phone brands to play.


An analyst at the consulting firm Navers, took Kyocera as an example and pointed out that Kyocera focuses on niche brands with a relatively focused market and insufficient product competitiveness.

It cannot compete with Apple in the high-end market, and it is difficult to compete with Xiaomi, Xiaomi, etc. Brands such as OPPO competed and finally had no choice but to withdraw.

Kyocera President Hideo Tanimoto said bluntly when officially announcing the withdrawal news that even in the Japanese domestic market, it is difficult for Kyocera mobile phones to compete with Chinese mobile phones such as Xiaomi and OPPO, so they had to make a choice to withdraw from the smartphone market.




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