NEC, Hitachi and Casio Deny Three-Way
With a combined share of over 20 percent of the Japanese handset market, a joint cellphone venture between NEC, Hitachi (HIT) and Casio might be a wise move for the companies, which are struggling in an increasingly saturated domestic market. So reports in the Yomiuri Shimbun and The Wall Street Journal that claim the three have decided to consolidate their mobile-phone operations aren’t wide of the mark at all. Such a move would eliminate overlap in product lines. And it would create a company second only to domestic industry leader Sharp, one that would have enough clout to expand into emerging markets like China.
But NEC, Hitachi and Casio are denying these reports anyway. Or rather, they’re denying that they’ve hammered out any sort of deal. “The media report out today is not something that the company has released,” NEC said in a statement. “It is also not true that we have made a decision regarding our cell phone operations.”