Another one bites the dust. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Panasonic on Thursday announced plans to stop developing consumer-level smartphones. It will continue to make and offer feature phones in its home market of Japan, and produce non-consumer smartphones if the opportunity arises.
This announcement has been somewhat expected since July, when Panasonic announced plans to review its smartphone strategy after posting losses in its mobile phone business.
Panasonic plans to stop development of smartphones starting in October. This won’t make much of a different in the U.S. or many other parts of the world, as Panasonic’s primary mobile phone market has long been Japan
This news isn’t too surprising. In July NEC announced that it too was leaving the smartphone game behind. With stiff competition from the likes of Apple(s aapl) and Samsung, even once-major smartphone manufacturers like BlackBerry(s bbry), HTC and Nokia(s nok) have fallen on hard times. Still, some extra competition is always a good thing, so it’s sad to see them go.