Nokia to exit Japan cellphone market by August: report

BANGALORE Fri Jul 1, 2011 1:22pm EDT

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BANGALORE (Reuters) - Nokia Corp. will finally exit the Japanese cellphone market at the end of August, the Nikkei reported.

The Finnish handset manufacturer had stopped supplying cell phones to Japanese carriers in 2008, according to the report.

Nokia will shut high-end Vertu handset stores in Tokyo's Shibuya and Ginza districts by the end of July, the report said.

The Vertu business has been struggling as the popularity of smartphones rose, the business daily reported.

Nokia's phone service, run on network infrastructure leased from NTT DoCoMo Inc., will be discontinued when its contract expires at the end of August, the daily said. Nokia's Tokyo office will stay open till the end of the year to handle fee refunds and other matters, the paper reported. Vertu handsets cost 600,000 yen ($7,450) to 20 million yen ($248,354) each, with some models decorated with precious metals or traditional Japanese lacquer designs, the Nikkei reported.

Nokia has been restructuring since its earnings deteriorated due to the rise of Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other smartphones.

($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)

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