Reports earlier this month claimed that NEC may be planning to axe its smartphone business, and now the Japanese company has revealed that the rumors were true. NEC today announced that it is ceasing the development, manufacturing and sale of its smartphones, except for the ones that are already on the market. The company says that it will continue to provide support for its existing devices.
"We were late to enter the smartphone market, and we were unable to develop attractive products. That’s what it comes down to," said NEC CFO Isamu Kawashima at a press conference announcing the news. The company went on to explain that its handset shipments have been trending downward and that "it is difficult to foresee improved performance in the future." NEC isn't planning to exit the mobile industry entirely, though, as the company says that its regular cellphone and tablet businesses will continue on.
NEC controlled 23 percent of the Japanese cellphone market around a decade ago, but it appears that the fast-moving smartphone game ended up hurting the company. It's never good to see a firm decide to bow out of the smartphone game, and so it's a disappointment to hear that NEC has decided to give its smartphone business the axe. NEC's most recent U.S. release was the QWERTY-equipped Terrain, an Android 4.0 smartphone that launched at AT&T in June.