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Mitsubishi tapping out of the phone market? UPDATE: Yeah

Chris Ziegler

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A lot of readers might be surprised to learn that Mitsubishi even makes cellphones, but yeah, it sure does. Its domestic Japanese market has typically been the recipient of its impressive wares, selling models on NTT DoCoMo using the "D" model name prefix -- but maybe not for much longer. Nikkei is throwing out some rumors today that Mitsu will be exiting the dog-eat-dog cellphone manufacturing biz and possibly doing so very swiftly, even withdrawing models due to hit DoCoMo in the next few weeks. Despite raking in over 100 billion yen (about $958M) annually from its mobile division alone, the company has apparently been unable to make it profitable and recently downgraded its handset sales forecast for the current fiscal year. Frankly, we wish Mitsu had sold enough handsets abroad for us to be really upset about this. Nikkei says an official announcement could come as soon as today, so we'll update you when we know more.

[Thanks, rinse]

Update: Nikkei was dead on. Mitsubishi has just announced that it is ending its cellphone manufacturing business, a venture that goes back some 25 years with the introduction of car phones on NTT's network. For what it's worth, the company says that it'll continue to support its devices and move the 600-odd employees in the business to other parts of the company. It also says that it will "work to maintain and further strengthen the partnership with NTT DoCoMo through the communication related business [it aims] to expand," so don't get too teary-eyed, DoCoMo. Hit the link for the official release.

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