Japan firms to standardize mobile software: report

TOKYO Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:16am EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Four major Japanese electronics companies will standardize their core software platform for next-generation cellphones aimed at reducing costs and raising competitiveness, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

The firms -- Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC -- will apply the software system, used to drive animations and music, in the next-generation cellphones developed by NTT DoCoMo, the newspaper said without citing any sources.

The unified software will be loaded in NTT DoCoMo's next-generation model set to be launched during the financial year ending in March 2012, Nikkei said.

Electronics makers currently have their own software platforms but the move to unify all systems will lead to 50 percent reductions in development costs of next-generation phones, it said.

The Nikkei said the development usually takes one to two years and would cost about 20 billion to 30 billion yen ($213 million-$319 million) per model, the newspaper said.

The four companies would aim to retain domestic market share while aiming to expand overseas shares. Their domestic shipments have accounted for nearly 70 percent of overall shipments of 34 million units in the financial year that ended March, it said.

Their global market share however accounts for only 2 percent, lagging far behind industry heavyweights like Nokia and Samsung Electronics, the newspaper said.

($1=93.91 yen)

(Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Paul Tait)

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