NEC to combine mobile handset business with Casio Hitachi

Breaking news - Yomiuri newspaper reports that NEC is considering merging their mobile handset business with Casio Hitachi, although no source is specified and the article sounds speculative.Japan's largest handset vendor is Sharp with 22% market share, second is Panasonic with 17%. If NEC (12%) gets together with Casio (5%) and Hitachi (4%), then they jumps up to the second position. Casio and Hitachi have already set up a joint venture Casio Hitachi, and NEC is reported to invest into this JV, holds more than 50% and combines their production facility. Panasonic, by the way, has acquired the handset business from Sanyo recently. NEC is a major vendor to DoCoMo/W-CDMA, and Casio Hitachi is KDDI/CDMA camp, so the combination makes much more sense than NEC-Panasonic talk about combining their development platform together - which was on the news some time ago, and I don't what happened to it after that. I have been advocating that Japanese vendors have to consolidate QUICKLY. Better late than never!! Michi