Nokia to Exit Japanese Handset Market

Nokia said on Thursday that it will stop developing handsets for NTT DoCoMo and Softbank Mobile, IDG reports, concluding a five-year-long push by the Finnish handset maker when it first launched its Japanese 3G service back in 2003.

“The current global economic conditions pushed Nokia to withdraw from the Japanese market,” said Thomas Jonsson, a company spokesman, in the article. “The company [examined] its operations worldwide and decided that development for the Japanese market is not a priority,” he said, adding, “we’ve not reached our own internal targets over a sustained period.”

The company said that the decision won’t affect its high-end Vertu handsets, and that the company still plans to keep an R&D center open in Japan. A report is going around that Nokia is launching a separate MVNO network next year in Japan with different branding, but Nokia has so far declined to comment on that.