NEC to shut down struggling smartphone business

No improvement was seen for the company's declining mobile phone shipments, which led to its decision to cut bait.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
NEC's dual-screen smartphone.
NEC's dual-screen smartphone. CNET Asia

NEC is finally pulling the plug on its smartphones.

The company announced Wednesday that it will end the development, manufacturing, and sale of smartphones. NEC will continue to provide support for its existing smartphones and will keep making conventional mobile phones. Its tablet business will also stay alive.

NEC's decision was based on its dour forecast. Its mobile phone shipments have continued to drop, and the company said it saw no improvement for the future. NEC's mobile phone business suffered an operating loss of 9 billion yen ($92 million) last quarter, according to Reuters.

NEC had reportedly been trying to interest Lenovo and other companies in buying its mobile phone business. But the talks with Lenovo allegedly broke down over issues of majority ownership and patents.