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Kyocera announces consumer smartphone market exit

The Duraforce Ultra. (Source: Kyocera)
The Duraforce Ultra. (Source: Kyocera)
Kyocera is an OEM that offers rugged, occasionally sapphire-reinforced, smartphones to retail customers - or, rather, it did. The company has decided to quit sales to consumers as of May 2023, having posted a multi-million-dollar loss in its last financial performance report. Its devices may still be available to enterprise buyers, however.

Kyocera found internet fame a few years ago with its Duraforce Ultra 5G and its "sapphire shield" display's ability to withstand the classic JerryRigEverything "scratches at a level 6, with deeper grooves at a level 7" phase of durability testing. Besides that, it lays claim to having been in the mobile phone industry, starting in its native Japan, since 1991, and to have released "the world's first handheld, wireless color videophone" in 1999 - not to mention the world's first connected laptop in 1983.

The OEM has clearly not been able to parley these achievements into substantial consumer mobile device sales, however. It has now indeed followed LG out of the space, citing a lack of "marketability", according to company president Hideo Tanimoto.

Kyocera has also reportedly incurred a loss of 2.27 billion yen (US$16.6 million) earlier in 2023. Therefore, it will be selling its line of rugged Android smartphones and flip phones to business customers, meaning that users such as frontline or construction workers might still have access to the devices they are accustomed to in 2023 and beyond.

Buy a DuraForce Ultra 5G on Amazon


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 05 > Kyocera announces consumer smartphone market exit
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-05-17 (Update: 2023-05-17)