NEC, Matsushita, Panasonic Establish Mobile Handset Joint Venture
Jul 27, 2006
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NEC Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a development company for mobile handsets. The new company will contract development of mobile handsets and a common software and hardware platform.

Through this joint venture, the three companies intend to reinforce existing collaboration between NEC and Panasonic Mobile. The development of common middleware, applications and hardware platform will enable the companies to avoid duplication of development efforts, leading to greater efficiency and enhanced development capabilities, and a reduction in both fixed and variable costs. This will equip NEC and Panasonic Mobile with a solid technology platform to stay at the top of innovation in functionality and communication speed as the industry moves to 3.5G and 3.9G technologies towards 2010, while simultaneously focusing resources on differentiation.

The three companies intend to establish this joint venture early October 2006. The company will be capitalized at 100 million yen (approx. U.S. $865,400) with an equal ownership between NEC and Panasonic Mobile. It will plan and develop common software and hardware platforms. It will also design and evaluate a common application CPU and integrated system LSI. The companies will source, design and evaluate key devices. They will design and manufacture an evaluation board as well.

Through this joint venture, NEC and Panasonic Mobile expect to create synergies by combining NEC's expertise in communications and computer technologies and Panasonic Group's strength in consumer electronics and audiovisual products.

NEC and Panasonic Mobile will respectively handle product planning, product development, procurement, and manufacturing, as well as sales of handsets bearing their respective brand names NEC and Panasonic.

NEC, Matsushita and Panasonic Mobile started collaboration on the development of mobile phones in August 2001. This effort has led to the successful shipment of NTT Docomo's FOMA(R) mobile phones in November 2004, which incorporates a Linux(TM) based middleware platform jointly developed by NTT Docomo, NEC and Panasonic Mobile.

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