profits increase some 41% while handset sales across Japan plummeted 20% do in fact have a common link. You see, DoCoMo (among others) has decided to lower rates and reduce subsidies in order to better exploit market conditions; the end result is that consumers are buying new handsets less often, leading to decreased sales for firms like Sharp and Matsushita. Many analysts are suggesting that some of the smaller outfits are likely to band together in an attempt to take on the new market, with IDC analyst Michito Kimura proclaiming that Japan would have "fewer mobile phone makers, fewer handset sales agents and fewer cellphone models." Hard to say if that's a net positive or negative just yet, but it should be interesting to watch, regardless.
[Via mocoNews, image courtesy of Flickr]