Japan’s Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association has said that total shipments of mobile handsets fell by 15.6% year-on-year to around 3.38 million in May, as weak demand for replacement models continued to undermine the domestic market. With cellular penetration already high in Japan, operators and manufacturers can no longer rely upon new mobile subscriptions to bolster shipment growth, and in recent months there has been a worrying slowdown in the number of users upgrading old phones. Not including PHS handsets, in May the number of cellphones shipped fell by 14.7% compared with twelve months ago, to 3.32 million units, the sector’s fifth consecutive monthly fall.
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