SHARP pretax profit increases 26%

When BusinessWeek interviewed me for an article about SHARP in October 2004, the journalist interviewing me was very surprised that I was talking to him on a SHARP mobile phone.

While NEC and Matsushita are merging their mobile phone development, SHARP has leveraged the power to make the best displays into market leadership in Japan’s mobile phone market. While NOKIA leads outside Japan, in Japan’s market, NOKIA has a market share of around 0.5% and SHARP is No. 1.

Yesterday (July 25, 2006) SHARP announced quarterly results:

One year-on-year basis, sales for the April-June 2006 quarter have increased 13% to YEN 693.7 Billion (US$ 6 Billion), and revenues from mobile phones have increased 24% to YEN 131.6 Billion (US$ 1.1 Billion). Net profit increased 23% to YEN 23.8 Billion (US$ 0.2 Billion) for the April-June quarter.

SHARP focuses on the high quality top end of the market: while store prices of LCD TV’s have fallen by 30%, SHARP’s prices/unit have only fallen by 4%.

Similar to SONY (Qualia) and TOYOTA (Lexus), SHARP has introduced the new brand AQUOS for high-end liquid crystal displays. AQUOS features prominently in SoftBank’s rebranding campaign for Vodafone’s former Japan subsidiary, which will soon be called SoftBank-Mobile.

SHARP mobile phone
SHARP mobile phone

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3G RAZR for DoCoMo and i-Mode

At the Wireless Japan Exhibition, DoCoMo showed two types of Motorola’s RAZR phone for 3G:

  • one RAZR purely for 3G, including i-Mode, for DoCoMo’s FOMA 3G service. This phone has similar dimensions as the standard US version of RAZR (shown on the left hand side of the image below)
  • a second, much thicker version of RAZR for international roaming (shown on the right hand side of the image below), which includes a FOMA/3G/wCDMA/UMTS modem and a GSM modem
Motorola's RAZR for NTT docomo
Motorola’s RAZR for NTT docomo
Motorola's RAZR for NTT docomo's 3G network
Motorola’s RAZR for NTT docomo’s 3G network

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DoCoMo speeds up 3G by 10 times

DoCoMo has upgraded radio networks to 3.6 Mbps in the Tokyo region, and NEC’s N902iX handsets will be released very shortly.

DoCoMo has upgraded 3G networks in the Tokyo region to 3.6 Mbps (data download) in the Tokyo region using HSDPA technology (HSDPA = High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), and will soon sell NEC’s N902iX handsets. HSDPA upgrades will come to the Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe) region from autumn 2006.

DoCoMo announced that during 2007 the data uplink (sending data from mobile phones) will be upgraded to 1 to 2 Mbps, which is a substantial improvement to FOMA’s present 64 kbps upload speed.

DoCoMo/FOMA download speed: 3.6 Mbps (summer 2006 in the Tokyo region, Osaka/Kansai and other regions to follow)

DoCoMo/FOMA upload speed: 1 … 2 Mbps (from 2007)

NEC mobile phone handset N902iX for NTT docomo's  HSDPA network
NEC mobile phone handset N902iX for NTT docomo’s HSDPA network

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