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Panasonic in talks to sell its handset business, says Japan press
Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Wednesday 20 March 2013]

Panasonic is mulling plans to sell its mobile phone business, the Sankei Shimbun reported Tuesday (March 19), without providing its sources.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and HTC were both pinpointed by the press as among the potential buyers for Panasonic's handset division, though there seems no good reason why either of them should make the acquisition.

Nonetheless, HTC might consider owning a well-known local brand to further expand company presence in Japan. HTC has enjoyed impressive sales of its J series, including the recently-announced J Butterfly, in the country.

The possibility for TSMC to acquire Panasonic's handset business is more unlikely. TSMC serves system companies in sections ranging from consumer mobile devices to industry and military grade products, and therefore the contract chipmaker surely does not want to become a direct competitor of any of its customers.

A more likely scenario is that Panasonic, or the buyer of Panasonic's handset division, works with TSMC to develop smartphone solutions. However, the rumor about TSMC being interested in taking over Panasonic's mobile phone unit has raised some eyebrows.

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