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Samsung retires from Japanese consumer electronics market

Korean electronics maker says it stopped selling TVs, DVD players, portable music players, and other devices because of meager profitability.

As of the end of October, Samsung no longer sells its consumer gadgets in Japan, according to the Associated Press.

The Korean electronics giant had actually pulled its products out of Japanese retail outlets a year ago, but as of the end of last month, it ended its Web presence also.

"We judged direct sales to individual consumers are less profitable than business-to-business sales," Lee Eun-hee, a Samsung spokeswoman, told the AP. Samsung will still sell flat panel monitors, LCD panels, and memory chips directly to businesses.

While Samsung is the largest provider of flat-panel televisions in North America, reaching 11.8 percent of the market, the competition in Japan is much stiffer. There it has to compete in a gadget-crazed country on the home turf of Matsushita (Panasonic), Sony, Sharp, and others.