Samsung, NTT DoCoMo to develop smartphone chips in proposed joint venture

Qualcomm may be facing some new competition in the mobile chip space, now that NTT DoCoMo and three other Japanese firms are looking to join forces with Samsung. According to Japan's Nikkei business daily, the quartet of firms (which includes Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic's mobile unit) is currently finalizing negotiations with Samsung over a proposed joint venture that would design, develop and market smartphone chips. The partners are reportedly planning to incorporate the new chips into their own devices, while selling them to other handset manufacturers, as well. DoCoMo would hold a majority stake in the ¥30 billion (about $390 million) partnership, which could help lower procurement costs, while reducing the partners' dependency upon industry-leading Qualcomm. A DoCoMo spokesman acknowledged that the provider is exploring a variety of collaborations, but was quick to point out that nothing's been finalized. Samsung and Fujitsu, meanwhile, have yet to comment.