Panasonic to end NTT smartphones

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. has informed NTT DoCoMo Inc. of its decision to end the supply of new smartphone models from this winter.

The decision reflects NTT DoCoMo’s strategy to put priority on selling handsets made by Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., both key rivals of Panasonic, sources said Monday.

NTT DoCoMo has effectively been the sole marketing channel for Panasonic’s smartphones, so the supply halt means that Panasonic will stop developing new smartphones.

Panasonic will continue smartphone production at its Malaysian factory for the time being, but will discontinue the operation if NTT DoCoMo stops placing orders for them, the sources said.

Earlier this year, NTT DoCoMo announced it will place priority on selling Sony’s Experia A and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 handsets under what it calls the “two-top” marketing campaign.