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Panasonic to stop selling consumer smartphones in Japan: Nikkei

Panasonic Corp's Logo is pictured at an electronics store in Tokyo March 28, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
Panasonic Corp's Logo is pictured at an electronics store in Tokyo March 28, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

(Reuters) - Panasonic Corp is finalizing 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.

It will end production at its only smartphone factory by March 2014, the daily said.

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

Panasonic, however, will still provide specialized 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.

(Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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