NEC isn't a company that we hear much about in the U.S., but that changed recently with the arrival of the Terrain, an Android-powered smartphone that recently launched on AT&T with push-to-talk support and a portrait QWERTY keyboard. Today NEC is making its headlines once again, but unfortunately the news isn't quite as good this time around.
According to a report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei, NEC is planning to give its smartphone business the axe. The publication claims that NEC has been holding talks with Lenovo about a deal involving its smartphone division since December 2012, with NEC reportedly offering a majority stake in NEC Casio Mobile Communications Ltd., its smartphone arm. The discussions never yielded a deal, though, and now it's said that NEC has decided to exit the smartphone game and instead focus on other handsets. NEC is reportedly considering selling some of its phone-related patents as well.
NEC was at one time a major player in the Japanese smartphone landscape, but the company is now said to control just five percent of the market there. Regardless of NEC's market share, it's never good to see a company exit the smartphone business, especially considering that NEC just unleashed the Terrain onto AT&T's shelves. NEC has yet to make any official announcements regarding the fate of its smartphone division, so some aspects of the company's plans are still a mystery for now. Stay tuned and I'll update you as more details become available.