Japan’s top handset manufacturer Sharp has announced plans to enter the Chinese handset market before the Beijing Olympics begins. Sharp President Mikio Katayama reportedly said the company plans to take advantage of China’s rising demand for high-end handsets and target the country’s wealthy consumers.
Sharp will be the only Japanese handset firm selling phones in China. NEC and Panasonic have both pulled out of China, and Kyocera plans to withdraw soon, saying that its market share was hurt by competition from entry-level handsets made by Nokia and Samsung. According to data from Analysys International, Nokia, Samsung and Motorola make up more than 60% of China’s handset market.
Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama told Reuters that there are a growing number of consumers in China looking for “high-tech handsets, such as those equipped with cameras almost as good as digital cameras.” And that consumers are looking for nice displays on phones “especially for the Olympics.” Sharp is known for high quality LCDs for mobile phones.