NEC to cut 10,000 jobs as iPhone continues assault on Japan

Most of the cuts, which may begin March 31, will be from NEC's mobile phone business and will include both full- and part-time positions. Apple's device has made hash of predictions that it wouldn't take off in Japan.

Land of the rising phone.

Japan's NEC will cut nearly one in ten of its workers as the iPhone continues to gobble up the market for smartphones.

The company said this week that recent poor performance stemmed from the popularity of the Apple iPhone in Japan, an increase in the number of foreign rivals it faces in the IT infrastructure market, and trouble expanding beyond its home country, Reuters reported.

NEC forecast a loss of $1.3 billion (100 billion yen) for the year ending March 31, and said about 7,000 of the 10,000 eliminated jobs will be in Japan, with the company taking a $520 billion restructuring charge.

Most of the cuts, which may begin March 31, will be from NEC's mobile phone business and will include both full- and part-time positions, Bloomberg reported. The company had 115,840 workers at the end of March, meaning the cuts equal about 8.6 percent of NEC's workforce.

In the three months ended Dec. 31, NEC said, the company's loss widened to $1.13 billion, from $345.43 million a year ago, with sales dropping 6.7 percent to $8.76 billion.

Despite a slow start in Japan, Apple's iPhone picked up steam there in 2010, increasingly winning the hearts of people in a country that had long produced dominant devices in the market for cutting-edge consumer electronics.

Apple was the top smartphone vendor worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Strategy Analytics, though Samsung was tops for the year.

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