Japanese mobile phone comeback: Sony Sharp restarts Nugget Road in China

Japan's Kyocera, the Japanese mobile phone maker who withdrew from China three years ago due to operational pressures such as costs and markets, is planning to return to China this week. With the domestic smart phone market entering the outbreak period, in the near future, Japanese digital manufacturers including Sony and Sharp have begun to restart the “Nugget Journey” in the Chinese market. However, experts have stated that if Japanese mobile phones cannot be clearly positioned in the domestic market , then will repeat the era of 2G mobile phone rehabilitation.

Kyocera's first mobile phone will be released this week

According to the reporter's understanding, the first step of Kyocera's re-entry into China is to cooperate with domestic mobile operators. It will formally release its customized 3G smart phone, the KSP8000, this week. The phone will be reimbursed by the state-owned China Merchants and China Post Corporation. After the official listing, it will receive a terminal subsidy from China Telecom and will be sold with China Telecom and social channels.

According to Kyocera mobile phone related parties, if the sales performance and market response of the handset reach sales expectations, Kyocera will further develop new models and formulate relevant strategies to smoothly expand the future domestic market.

The Kyocera Group of Japan had established a joint venture with China Zhenhua Group several years ago to establish Kyocera Zhenhua and officially entered the Chinese mobile phone market. At the beginning of 2008, Kyocera had contracted its related businesses in full due to pressure from mobile phone business, and subsequently transferred the shares of the joint venture company to Zhenhua Group. By the end of 2009, Kyocera had completely shut down its mobile phone production base in Tianjin and completely retreated its business distribution in China.

Japanese mobile phone is coming back

According to statistics, as early as 1999, Japanese mobile phones represented by Toshiba, Matsushita and Mitsubishi entered the Chinese market, which was dominated by Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia. However, Japanese mobile phones did not have a firm footing. In January 2005, Toshiba Corporation of Japan took the lead to withdraw from China, and Sony, Mitsubishi, and NEC gradually withdrew. By January 2008, the last Japanese company, Kyocera, acquired Sanyo’s mobile phone business and then bid farewell to the Chinese market. At this point, Japanese mobile phones are showing a state of indecency in China.

The return of Japanese mobile phones is clearly attracted by the huge market of Chinese smartphones. According to the data from iMedia, the sales volume of the Chinese smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2011 reached 22.83 million units, an increase of 79.6% year-on-year; the number of smartphone users in China was 223 million, accounting for 23.2% of the total mobile phone users. Relevant data predicts that sales of domestic smart phones will exceed 100 million this year.

It is in the face of such a huge temptation that Japanese companies including Sony, Sharp and Fujitsu have begun to return to the domestic market. According to Fu Liang, an expert in telecommunications industry, in the era of 2G mobile phones, Japanese mobile phones have no outstanding advantages in technology and R&D. However, Japan has now fully entered the 3G communications market. With the rapid development of Chinese smart phones, Japanese mobile phones have seen hope again. It is also reasonable to make a comeback.

Is it possible to overcome the unknown?

"If a Japanese mobile phone wants to gain a firm foothold in the country, it must overcome the previous problems of disobedience," said Liu Qicheng, chief editor of Communications World Net.

He believes that the Japanese mobile phone has been so completely defeated, mainly because the Japanese mobile phone with an "islanding gene", perhaps due to the good sales of products in Japan and the United States make Japanese companies too confident and rest on their laurels. In the face of the ever-changing Chinese market, Japanese mobile phone manufacturers have also adopted the technology card in accordance with the characteristics of the local market. They did not consider that the emphasis placed on the appearance of mobile phones by Chinese consumers is better than the pursuit of product features.

Li Zhongcun, the person in charge of the industry’s website technology news, believes that Japanese mobile phones must have an accurate positioning for entering China.

Currently, in the domestic market, Apple, Samsung, and HTC have engaged in fierce competition around the high-end market. Local brands such as Huawei and ZTE have rapidly emerged as the terminal manufacturers, occupying the vast market share of thousands of smart phones.

“At present, high-end markets in China are difficult to enter, and in the face of low-end and mid-range markets, it is still unclear how Japanese mobile phones can be shed under the impact of domestic mobile phones,” said Li Zhongcun.

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