Nokia leaving Japanese market

Nokia couldn’t overcome the popularity of smartphones in Japan, so they’ve decided to pull out of the Japanese market.

According to the Associated Press, their luxury cell phones weren’t selling and that is what led to their decision to leave. Their most expensive cell phone cost $250,000.


That might have had something to do with it.


At the end of July the Finnish handheld maker is closing its last high-end store that sells Vertu cell phones in Ginza. In the past Nokia had four of these stores in Japan, according to Tomoko Morinari of Sunny Side Up, which is a Tokyo public relations company that has Nokia as its client.


She did not say when the decision to leave the Japanese market was made or how many Vertu phones Nokia had moved in Japan.


On Wednesday Vertu said that it was “withdrawing from the Japanese market” so that they could better focus on priority businesses. They also said that its Tokyo office will close by the end of this year, but they pledged to keep working with Japanese craftsmen in their other business dealings.


Nokia phones have never been popular in Japan because Apple Inc. and Sharp Corp. dominate that market. There was never much room for Nokia.


Vertu phones were marketed as status symbol items; there was one highly decorated phone that was sold for 20 million yen or $250,000 Morinari said.


Nokia warned its investors last month that second-quarter sales are projected to be much lower than what was expected. Global competition was too much to handle in all of their markets.


Nokia used to sell more cell phones than any other company, but this year Apple overtook it in that category. Nokia’s market share is now at its lowest since the late 1990’s.


Nokia’s failure to adapt to the smartphone market is perhaps the biggest reason that their sales are suffering around the world.