Apple finally broke 60% share threshold in Japan smartphone market during Q4 2016, posting yet another record market share in this country, mostly driven by the robust sales of the new flagships iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
An increasing number of companies, mainly retailers, are launching low-cost smartphone services in Japan by taking advantage of a regulatory step designed to help users easily switch mobile operators.
The Japan Times
Panasonic has confirmed it is to stop selling smartphones in its home market Japan. It said it would also begin outsourcing production of handsets sold to other countries such as India.
Japan-based Kyocera plans to sell 25% more solar panels as an incentive program for clean energy boosts demand in Japan, which is projected to become the second-largest market in the world this year.
The Japan government has approved a cut to the FIT for solar by 10%. The cut would see the tariff paid be reduced to JPY37.8/kWh (US$0.40/kWh) from the current rate of JPY42/kWh (US$0.45/kWh), as of April 1.
Panasonic said its solar panel operation will probably remain profitable amid growing demand from domestic homeowners.
The Japan Times
The Japan solar market has significantly changed since the introduction of feed-in-tariffs (FITs) last July. With domestic demand growing faster than expected, Japan's government has proposed a FIT reduction of around 10%.
Canadian Solar Inc., the world's fifth-largest maker of solar modules, plans to build a plant in Japan as soon as fiscal 2013 to become the first foreign company to produce solar panels here, company sources said.
The Japan Times
Nintendo has forecast its first annual loss in at least 30 years after the yen reached a postwar high and the new 3DS console had weaker-than-expected sales.
Bloomberg (via Businessweek)
NTT DoCoMo will partner with several Japanese hardware makers and Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics to develop core chips for use in future smartphones, Japan's biggest business newspaper reported Monday.
The latest beta of iOS 5 features an earthquake warning system for Japanese iPhone users. The feature constantly checks in with Japan's early warning system, which consists of over 1000 seismographs scattered throughout the country.
"Nintendo 3DS has not been selling as expected since the second week [of availability], and this is not just in the Japanese market but also in the US and Europe, where no direct impact from the great earthquake has occurred," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
Engine control units made by Hitachi couldn't be delivered on time to Nissan because ICs needed to make them were not available from a supplier, Hitachi said.
Sony plans to launch new 3D television sets in Japan from 10 June. A 46-inch 3D screen will cost around 350,000 yen (US$3,898), 52% more expensive than a regular Sony flatscreen television.
Corning has announced that its Gorilla glass was selected as the protective cover glass for the docomo Prime series N-02B by NEC. NEC, a mobile phone leader in the Japanese market, is offering this touch phone with a 3.2-inch display.
Japan-based Mitsubishi Electric has announced it plans to almost triple production of solar cells in two years to meet demand for renewable energy. The company last month finished construction of a 24,000 square meter (258,000 square feet) plant in northern Japan that may begin operating this fall.
According to a report by Asahi.com, Toshiba is developing a new technology that can turn cell phones into virtual secretaries. Like many of Japan's mobile-related technologies, this will probably be available only in its home country initially.
CNET (via The New York Times)
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has said the Japanese economy has begun to stop deteriorating, but it has still kept interest rates unchanged at 0.1%.
Japan's core machinery orders, a closely watched indicator of the health of the economy, fell by 5.4% in April.
Bowing to what has long appeared inevitable, Japan lowered its growth forecast on Monday, projecting a 3.3% contraction for the fiscal year that began April 1.
New York Times
The Japanese government will lift punitive tariffs on computer chips South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor makes, leading to a settlement of a three-year-old trade dispute between the two countries, Kyodo News reported Monday, citing Finance Ministry officials.
Wall Street Journal
Japan's subsidies for home solar panels have attracted far fewer applicants than planned, industry data showed on Wednesday, underscoring the likelihood of bold government steps to promote solar power.