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Panasonic to end smartphone production

The company will end production at its only smartphone factory by March 2014.

JAPAN, Tokyo : Panasonic logo is displayed outside of the Panasonic Centre building, the company's showroom in Tokyo on May 10, 2013. Picture:

Tokyo - Panasonic Corp is finalising plans to pull out of the consumer smartphone business in Japan and has approached potential buyers for its cellular base station business, the Nikkei reported.

The company told NTT DoCoMo Inc. that it would stop supplying new smartphone models from this winter, citing the Kyodo news service.

Panasonic, however, will still provide specialised models for corporate users and outsourced models for foreign markets. Production and domestic sales of conventional cell phones will continue as well, the Nikkei reported.

The company has also approached potential buyers for its cellular base station business, including Finland's Nokia, the Nikkei said.

Panasonic said in July that its mobile phone sales decreased sharply in the April-June quarter due partly to NTT DoCoMo's adoption of a new marketing strategy offering bigger discounts for smartphones made by Sony Corp and Samsung Electronics Co.