Huawei or Lenovo may acquire Fujitsu’s smartphone business which the company is planning to sell in the coming months, industry sources close to the Japanese tech company said on Tuesday. The Tokyo-based firm is currently in the process of planning the sale of its handset division and may open the first round of bidding at some point in September, insiders said, adding that the local Polaris Capital Group is also interested in acquiring its business, as is CVC Capital Partners from the United Kingdom. Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn is the final name on the list of interested suitors revealed by the sources, though it’s currently unclear which one of those companies has the strongest desire to take over Fujitsu’s struggling phone unit.
Industry watchers believe that Fujitsu could profit from the sale in a significant manner, potentially raising hundreds of millions of dollars despite the fact that it’s reportedly adamant to maintain its smartphone brand — currently the fifth largest in its home country — and not sell the entirety of its holdings in this segment, which would presumably be the two conditions that any potential buyer would have to agree to. If Fujitsu is truly seeking to offload the majority of its mobile business to another company, such a move would be in line with the firm’s recent activities in this segment, with the tech giant spinning off its struggling business into another entity in early 2016 and stating that it will be looking for another company to support its future endeavors in this sector. This strategy shift is aimed at allowing Fujitsu to refocus its resources on the IT sector which is still the company’s core business, according to previous statements from its officials.
The possibility of Fujitsu leaving the smartphone sector is in line with numerous troubles that most original equipment manufacturers had in the Far Eastern country in recent times. Even larger smartphone businesses like Sony Mobile and Samsung Electronics have stagnated in Japan to a degree in previous years and have only recently managed to improve their performance at the expense of Apple, still the most popular phone vendor in the country.