Kyocera Moves Phone Mfg. To Mexico

Last year, we aksed, “How efficient is it to build a commoditized piece of hardware, like a mobile phone handset, in Finland or the US?” and we answered our own question with, “Not efficient enough.” This year, we confirm that that answer still applies, as the former Qualcomm handset division now owned by Kyocera announces plans to move manufacturing just an hour South of San Diego to Mexico. Kyocera has already been retailing some phones OEMed by other companies like Curitel in order to benefit from offshore costs. The Tijuana move leaves just Motorola actually making phones in the US, and that’s just for their iDEN phones (which we expect will go offshore once Nextel USA leaves iDEN). Meanwhile, up in Canada, RIM is still making hardware in Kitchener-Waterloo, and Sierra Wireless is producing terminals on the left Coast.

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