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Is Sanyo selling off its mobile phone division?

Joshua Topolsky

According to recent rumblings, Sanyo Electric is seriously considering cutting its mobile phone operations loose, and is apparently in talks with a number of competing manufacturers about purchasing the ailing line. At the top of the "interested parties" list are Sharp and Kyocera, well known phone-makers hoping to pick up the company's under-performing slack (which currently constitutes about 15 percent of Sanyo's overall sales). The news comes as little surprise, given the current restructuring scramble Sanyo is attempting after a whopping 72 percent drop in operating profit in recent months. Phone sales for Sanyo are now expected to fall 1.5-1.6 million short, according to the company, which has posted a net loss for the past three years and is rumored to be selling off its semiconductor operations. At this rate, there may be dark days ahead for the Japanese giant.