We reported last year that NEC, Hitachi and Casio were in negotiations to merge their cell phone operations to become Japan’s second biggest manufacturer, following Sharp. And the new company, which is called NEC Casio Mobile Communications and was established on May 1, just yesterday announced ambitious expansion plans.
According to reports in various Japanese media, NEC Casio Mobile plans to ship a total of 12 million cell phones in fiscal 2012, up a whopping 60% of all handsets NEC, Hitachi and Casio together shipped in 2009 (the companies will merge their cell phone operations on June 1).
All of Japan’s eight (soon six) major cell phone makers are going through a slump currently, mainly due to a shrinking domestic market and rising development costs for advanced cell phones. In Japan, the new company wants to cooperate with all three national carriers (Docomo, KDDI au, and SoftBank Mobile).
In the US, NEC Casio Mobile is said to currently look into building business ties with Verizon and AT&T, according to reports. The company expects 4 million of those 12 million cell phones it plans to ship in 2012 to go to markets outside Japan.