Sanyo has announced that it has finalized a deal to sell its mobile and cellular phone division to Kyocera. The deal completes talks which were reported as early as September of last year, with rumors dating long before then.
Sanyo’s mobile phone business has been in the air for over two years. Sanyo was intending to parter with Nokia, essentially converting their unit into the CDMA arm of Nokia’s handset development. That deal fell through with Nokia and Sanyo were unable to successfully collaborate together. Then Sanyo turned to sell the unit, with Kyocera being the sole buyer in talks that have been made public.
Kyocera will leverage Sanyo’s phone division as an effort to re-enter the American market. Kyocera only has one phone on the national carriers currently, with a handful of phones on MVNO providers such as Virgin Mobile. While Sanyo has been exclusive to Sprint, it is likely that Kyocera will tap Sanyo handset development and designs for use on all CDMA providers. Kyocera will also be able to tap Sanyo’s European GSM/UMTS handsets for sale in the United States, with minimal modification.