updated 11:11 pm EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
No other suitors likely for company, NEC holds less than five percent of market
Following the collapse of a Lenovo deal to purchase the division, NEC is planning to exit the smartphone manufacturing business. NEC had offered Lenovo a majority stake in its smartphone manufacturing business, but Lenovo declined to act on the opportunity.
The pair has an existing PC distribution and manufacturing agreement. NEC is planning to divest itself of its smartphone patent portfolio and focus on feature phones. NEC smartphone development employees are unlikely to be fired, but rather just shuffled to other divisions inside the company.
Anonymous sources previously claimed the negotiations for sale were underway, but would not mention any other entity in talks with the company aside from Lenovo. NEC has already worked with Lenovo in the past, forming a pact to help drive its PC business, making NEC's choice of potential suitor for its mobile business fairly logical.
NEC's struggle last year reached the point where it declared it would drop 10,000 jobs, following financial estimates at the time suggesting it would be taking a $1.3 billion loss. Most of the jobs were said to be culled from its mobile business.