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Kyocera alters consumer smartphone strategy (Update: Kyocera statement)

Update: Kyocera has clarified that the original news was a translation error.

Published onMay 15, 2023

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Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Kyocera has announced it will alter its consumer smartphone strategy in Japan.
  • Kyocera’s President says the changes are due to the inability to make a profit in the current market.
  • The company says it will instead focus solely on corporate phones.

Update, May 15, 2023 (10:10 PM ET): Kyocera reached out to Android Authority to clarify that the original news described below is inaccurate due to translation errors. Instead, Kyocera is restructuring its consumer strategy in Japan to more closely align with its business-first strategy in North America.

Here is a Kyocera statement from Vipul Dalal, Vice President of the Communications Equipment Group at Kyocera International, Inc. of San Diego:

Kyocera refocused its North American wireless phone market strategy to emphasize business solutions several years ago, and our Japan-based parent company is now doing the same in the Japanese market. The rugged durability of a Kyocera smartphone remains attractive to many consumers, and consumers can continue to purchase our smartphones as they always have – through carriers such as Verizon, both in-store and online, and through the Kyocera website.

Original article, May 15, 2023 (12:02 PM ET): Just as HTC announced the revival of its U series phones, another company says it will be bowing out of the consumer smartphone market. However, it won’t be giving up on making smartphones entirely.

In a report from the Japanese publication Nikkei, Kyocera announced it is waving the white flag on its consumer smartphone business. This announcement was made during a financial results briefing for the end of the fiscal year.

As to why the company is giving up on consumer smartphones, it appears to be related to high costs and an inability to make a profit, according to a Google-translated quote from President Hideo Tanimoto. “The [spread] of high-speed communication standard ‘5G’ will raise the cost of terminals,” said Tanimoto. “We decided to withdraw because we could not make a profit.”

The outlet points out that the company doesn’t disclose sales figures for its mobile phone business. However, it’s believed that when the fiscal year came to a close, half of its total sales were to consumers and the other half to corporations.

Kyocera won’t be totally abandoning its phone business, however. Instead, the company will reportedly shift its focus strictly to the corporate side.

We will shift our focus to corporate smartphones, etc., where we can easily demonstrate our strengths in maintenance and operation support, and try to rebuild.

Tanimoto also mentions that some of its consumer models that are used in conjunction with corporate customers will still be supported. This new development will mark the end of a nearly 35-year run for the company in the consumer handset market.

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