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Nokia and Sanyo team up for CDMA

A problem spun-out is a problem solved?

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3GSM Nokia is to create a joint venture with Sanyo to produce CDMA handsets. Financial details remain murky, but the new company will be a jointly-owned spin-out, on the model of Sony Ericsson. The new company will focus on cdma2000, and both parents' GSM and W-CDMA operations will remain inhouse.

The JV begins life with around 20 per cent of the market share for CDMA handsets, a market led by Samsung, but neither parent is in a position of strength.

Since retreating bloodied from the Korean market in the early noughties, Nokia has refocused its CDMA efforts by developing its own chipsets and low cost, mass-market designs. Despite claiming a 13.3 per cent market share, it's shunned by the world's biggest CDMA operator Verizon. The mobile phone business has proved to be a graveyard for Japanese ambitions. Neither Sony, Sanyo nor Sharp has been able to translate success in other consumer electronics into Tier One status.

Historically, CDMA has only been a factor in the United States and Korea, but operators in India and China are now providing the volumes. ®

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