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NEC, Casio, and Hitachi forming mobile joint venture next year

Chris Ziegler

It took a little longer than anyone had thought, but that rumored three-way deal involving NEC, Casio, and Hitachi in Japan to create a superpower mobile joint venture is now official. Two of the three -- Casio and Hitachi -- have already had their mobile units united in holy matrimony since 2004, so NEC is the new kid on the block joining in the fun to help spread out R&D costs a bit further, achieve even more spectacular scales of economy on component orders, and pull sophomoric pranks on Fujitsu to score popularity points with the cool companies. The deal's expected to close in April of next year, at which point the combined venture will be the second-largest in Japan behind Sharp and the idea of NEC bringing devices to the States won't seem that far-fetched -- Casio Hitachi already does through Verizon, after all.

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