Nokia Pulls Out Of Japan (NOK)

Nokia (NOK), the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, is pulling out of Japan, the world’s no. 4 mobile market. Nokia has tiny market share in Japan, and will only market its super-high-end Vertu phones there for now.

Reuters: Mobile phone companies also see limited scope for growth in Japan, where 109 million subscribers, or some 85 per cent of the population, already own a mobile phone. …

The quirks of Japan’s mobile phone market have prevented foreign companies, including Nokia’s rivals such as Samsung Electronics and LG, from successfully targeting Japanese consumers. …

Foreign companies, excluding Sony Ericsson, only occupy around 5 per cent of Japan’s mobile phone market, according to IDC Japan, a research firm. Japanese manufacturers, in turn, have only a small presence outside their home market.

Meanwhile, we can’t help but wonder how Nokia be able to take more market share in the U.S. Last quarter, Nokia held 8% of the U.S. market, fifth place behind Samsung, Motorola (MOT), LG, and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM), and just ahead of iPhone maker Apple (AAPL).

The problem: Beyond its N95 smartphone, which has a tiny (but passionate) niche audience among live mobile video broadcasters, the only Nokias we see in the U.S. are low-margin, throwaway phones that people get for free from their carriers.

Meanwhile, Nokia has had little success marketing its high-margin smartphones in the U.S., where Apple, Google (GOOG), and RIM are dominating mindshare.

See Also:
Another Apple iPhone Advantage: Mac Software Companies
Nokia: Global Consumer Spending Crash, Cutting Estimates
This Winter’s Smartphone Wars Are Set: Who’s Going To Win?

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