Fujitsu on Thursday announced it has reached an agreement with Polaris Capital Group to sell its Android smartphone unit. The move is technically presented as a restructuring effort that will see the division spun off as a separate entity, albeit one in which Polaris owns a majority stake. Fujitsu didn't reveal the price of the sale, having only disclosed that it expects a financial boost amounting to approximately $276 million as a result of the sale, with that figure also including its 30-percent stake in the company that's set to be separated from its main business. The Japanese consumer electronics maker attributed the decision to the increasingly competitive state of the global smartphone market, noting that it's still confident its mobile technologies can be successful going forward as it wanted to keep a stake in the new entity even though it's ceding its leadership to another party.
The move was announced following over a year of speculation about the fate of Fujitsu's mobile unit which has a significant presence in Japan but has still been weighing down the company in recent years. Both Lenovo and Huawei were previously said to have expressed interest in purchasing the division and were reportedly negotiating with Fujitsu over the matter as recently as last summer. It's presently unclear what prompted the talks to fall through, with Fujitsu remaining relatively tight-lipped about its efforts to offload the mobile division even though it repeatedly hinted at its efforts to do so.
The development leaves Japan with only three Android smartphone manufacturers that boast an international presence, with by far the largest one of them being Sony. Sharp and Kyocera are also still developing contemporary handsets and recently signaled their intentions to continue doing so going forward. The sale of Fujitsu's unit to a foreign buyer is yet another indication that the (Android) smartphone market is a difficult segment to penetrate with the goal of establishing a sustainable business in the long term. Samsung and Huawei are among only several original equipment manufacturers that are presently making a profit on smartphone hardware sales, with Huawei's margin being relatively slim even after years of significant investments.