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Panasonic to stop making new smartphones for NTT Docomo: Kyodo

Panasonic Corp's logo is pictured outside the company's showroom in Tokyo November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
Panasonic Corp's logo is pictured outside the company's showroom in Tokyo November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

(Reuters) - Panasonic Corp has told NTT Docomo Inc it would stop supplying new smartphone models from this winter, Kyodo news service said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

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 and Samsung, the two most popular models in Docomo's handset lineup.

NTT Docomo, Japan's largest mobile carrier, has said its marketing efforts this summer would be focused on two handsets made by Sony Corp's Xperia A and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy S4.

NTT Docomo has effectively been the sole marketing channel for Panasonic's smartphones. The supply halt means that Panasonic will stop developing new smartphones, the news wire said.

Panasonic will continue smartphone production at its Malaysian factory for the time being, but will discontinue the operation if NTT Docomo stops placing orders for its smartphones, the sources said, Kyodo reported.

Panasonic's cellphone segment booked a group operating loss of 5.4 billion yen in the April-June period, the report said.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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