Panasonic to quit Japan smartphone market: President

Written by Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: Sep 5 2013, 08:09am hrs
Panasonic will pull out of the smartphone market in Japan and pare its smartphone operations to outsourced production in emerging markets like India, the companys president said on Wednesday. The company, which has suffered $15 billion in losses over its latest two financial years, is staking its turnaround on a transformation from a consumer gadget maker to a supplier for other businesses.

Panasonic president Kazuhiro Tsuga has warned he would weed out any division that fails to meet a 5% operating margin goal within three years.

Tsuga said that the companys mobile division was likely to lose more than the 1.1 billion yen ($11.02 million) targeted loss for the financial year ending next March. Panasonics mobile division posted an 8.1- billion-yen loss last year.

Its not acceptable for the company to be bleeding red ink like this, so we have to think about ways to develop assets that we do have in a more effective direction, Tsuga said.

While the company is stepping back from the smartphone market, it has said it is developing smartphones for business use that would be similar to its popular Toughbook notebook PC series.