The Mobile Phone Business in America

Guiding Customers with Product Planning Proposals Competitive in Niche Markets: Successfully Creating New Market Categories

In the early 2000s the Japanese mobile phone handset market was saturated, so handset manufacturer Company G decided to turn its attention to the overseas market. Hitachi High-Technologies made a sales pitch on its business experience in handsets for the North American market and proposed that the two companies collaborate on a mobile phone business project for the U.S. market. Company H, the top mobile phone carrier in the U.S., was selected as the target.

Hitachi High-Technologies determined that to get the project started quickly it would be essential to work together with Company I, a vendor for Company H. Once an agreement was reached with Company I, negotiations with Company H started in 2005.

Company G had also become interested in the possibilities presented by “water and impact resistant tough handsets,” a niche product category. Hitachi High Technologies America (HTA), the subsidiary responsible for local market research, prepared a product proposal for Company H and lead the development work. By providing extensive support to the customer, including hiring new engineers, helping solve the customer’s technical issues, arranging third-party certification testing, and assisting with customer certification testing, they were able to get the business started quickly.

Following the launch of the first-generation model in October 2006, HTA took charge of branding, promotion, and marketing for the North American market. By utilizing the Japanese and American networks of the Hitachi High-Technologies Group, they successfully established the “tough handset” as a viable market category. This is an excellent example of successful business development through the application of “trading company” expertise.

Mobile phone handset for the American market
Mobile phone handset for the American market