Fujitsu and Toshiba have ended their mobile joint venture to develop and sell mobile phones to local operators, with the former buying over the latter's 19.9 percent stake.
According to a press release by Fujitsu on Monday, the Fujitsu Toshiba Mobile Communications venture was set up in 2010 to develop and sell mobile phones for KDDI and other carriers. Fujitsu owned 80.1 percent in the venture, while Toshiba owned the rest, it stated.
With the buyout of Toshiba's shares, Fujitsu renamed the company to Fujitsu Mobile Communications and established it as a wholly owned subsidiary as of Apr. 1, 2012. The new business unit will have about 300 employees, and will focus on the design, development, and sales of mobile phones, it said.
When the joint venture was first set up in June 2010, the two companies said they hoped the merger would make them "the number one provider of mobile phones in Japan" and replace Sharp as the top producer.
On Monday, local rival Panasonic was reported to be considering outsourcing its local mobile phone production to Beijing and Malaysia even as it sought to move beyond the tough domestic market conditions and target overseas markets such as Europe instead.