Toshiba Plans To Pull Out Of The Mobile Phone Business

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Toshiba Corp. plans to pull out from the mobile phone business by selling to Fujitsu Ltd. all its stockholdings in a joint venture with Fujitsu, sources close to the deal said Wednesday.

Toshiba, which currently holds a 19.9 percent stake in Fujitsu Toshiba Mobile Communications Ltd., will sell its holdings to Fujitsu, which now has an 80.1 percent stake in the joint venture. The firm will become Fujitsu's wholly owned subsidiary in the first half of 2012 at the earliest.

Fujitsu will then integrate the subsidiary with its existing mobile phone business to cut costs and improve efficiency, the sources said.

The two electronics firms set up the joint venture last October to integrate their mobile phone businesses. The firm mainly develops handsets for KDDI Corp.'s "au" mobile phone services.

According to research firm IDC Japan, Fujitsu's share of domestically shipped mobile phones, including those from the joint venture, accounted for 21.5 percent of the market in the January-March period this year, ranking second just behind leader Sharp Corp.'s 23.0 percent.