|Traded as||TYO: 6971
|Founded||April 1, 1959|
|Key people||Tetsuo Kuba (Chairman); Goro Yamaguchi (President)|
|Products||Printers, digital imaging systems, electronic devices, telecom equipment, semiconductor components, solar power generating systems, applied ceramic products, etc.|
|Revenue||¥1.19 trillion ($14.5 billion USD) (Fiscal year ended March 31, 2012)|
Kyocera Corporation (京セラ株式会社 Kyōsera Kabushiki-gaisha ) is a multinational electronics and ceramics manufacturer headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded as Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. (京都セラミック株式会社 Kyōto Seramikku Kabushiki-gaisha ) in 1959 by Kazuo Inamori and renamed in 1982. The company has diversified its founding technology in ceramic materials through internal development as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions. It manufactures industrial ceramics, solar power generating systems, telecommunications equipment, office document imaging equipment, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools, and components for medical and dental implant systems.
Kyocera’s original product was a ceramic insulator known as a “kelcima” for use in television picture tubes. The company quickly adapted its technologies to produce an expanding range of ceramic components for electronic and structural applications. In the 1960s, as the NASA space program, the birth of Silicon Valley and the advancement of computer technology created demand for semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs), Kyocera developed ceramic semiconductor packages that remain among its core product lines today.
In the mid-1970s, Kyocera began expanding its material technologies to produce a diverse range of applied ceramic products, including solar photovoltaic modules; biocompatible tooth- and joint-replacement systems; industrial cutting tools; consumer ceramics, such as ceramic-bladed kitchen knives and ceramic-tipped ballpoint pens; and lab-grown gemstones, including rubies, emeralds, sapphires, opals, alexandrites and padparadschahs.
The company acquired electronic equipment manufacturing and radio communication technologies in 1979 through an investment in Cybernet Electronics Corp., which was merged into Kyocera in 1982. Shortly afterward, Kyocera introduced one of the first portable, battery-powered laptop computers, sold in the U.S. as the Tandy Model 100, which featured an LCD screen and telephone-modem data transfer capability.
Kyocera gained optical technologies by acquiring Yashica Co., Ltd. in 1983, along with Yashica's prior licensing agreement with Carl Zeiss, and manufactured film and digital cameras under the Kyocera, Yashica and Contax trade names until 2005, when the company discontinued all film and digital camera production.
In the 1980s, Kyocera marketed audio components, such as CD players, receivers, turntables, and cassette decks. These featured unique elements, including Kyocera ceramic-based platforms, and are sought by collectors to the present day. At one time, Kyocera owned the famous KLH brand founded by Henry Kloss, though Kloss and the original Cambridge design and engineering staff had left the company by the time of the Kyocera purchase. In 1989, Kyocera stopped production of audio components and sought a buyer for the KLH brand.
In 1989, Kyocera acquired Elco Corporation, a manufacturer of electronic connectors. In 1990, Kyocera’s global operations expanded significantly with the addition of AVX Corporation, a global manufacturer of passive electronic components, such as ceramic chip capacitors, filters and voltage suppressors.
Expanding sales of photovoltaic solar energy products led the company to create Kyocera Solar Corp. in Japan in 1996, and Kyocera Solar, Inc. in the U.S. in 1999.
In January 2000, Kyocera acquired photocopier manufacturer Mita Industrial Co., Ltd., and created Kyocera Mita Corporation (now Kyocera Document Solutions Corporation), headquartered in Osaka, Japan, with subsidiaries in more than 25 nations.
Also in 2000, Kyocera acquired the mobile phone manufacturing operations of QUALCOMM Incorporated to form Kyocera Wireless Corp. In 2003, Kyocera Wireless Corp. established Kyocera Wireless India (KWI), a mobile phone subsidiary in Bangalore. KWI has established alliances with several leading players providing CDMA services in India.
In April 2009, Kyocera unveiled its EOS concept phone at CTIA, with an OLED and which is powered by kinetic energy from the user. The prototype phone also has a foldable design which is capable of morphing into a variety of shapes.
In March of 2010, Kyocera launched its first Smartphone (Zio) since 2001, after focusing on lower cost phones.
In June 2010, Kyocera acquired part of the thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) design and manufacturing business of Sony Corporation’s subsidiary Sony Mobile Display Corporation.
In July 2011, Kyocera's wholly owned Germany-based subsidiary Kyocera Fineceramics GmbH acquired 100% ownership of the shares in Denmark-based industrial cutting tool manufacturing and sales company Unimerco Group A/S. The company name has since been changed to Kyocera Unimerco A/S.
In February 2012, Kyocera became the total stock holder of Optrex Corporation, which was subsequently renamed Kyocera Display Corporation.
Kyocera Document Solutions Corporation manufactures a wide range of printers, MFPs (also marketed under the Copystar name), and toner cartridges which are sold throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
In the past, Kyocera manufactured satellite phones for the Iridium network. Three handsets were released in 1999 including one with an unusual docking station which contained the Iridium transceiver and antenna, as well as a pager for the Iridium network.
Kyocera manufactures mobile phones for wireless carriers in the United States, Canada, and Latin American and marketing is done by its subsidiary Kyocera Communications, Inc., Kyocera acquired the terminal business of US digital communications technology company Qualcomm in February 2000, and became a major supplier of mobile handsets. In 2008, Kyocera also took over the handset business of Sanyo eventually forming 'Kyocera Communications, Inc.'. The Kyocera Communications terminal division is located in San Diego.
Kyocera Corporation manufactures and markets phones for the Japanese market which are sold under different brands. Kyocera makes phones for some of the largest Japanese wireless carriers including au, WILLCOM, and SoftBank.
In May 2012, Kyocera released the world's first speaker-less smartphone, the Kyocera Urbano Progresso. This phone produces vibration to conduct sound through the ear canal instead of the customary speaker, making it easier to hear phone conversations in busy and noisy places. This also benefits those who are having difficulty hearing, but are not totally deaf. It can be used across the world with CDMA, GSM, GPRS and UMTS antennas. This phone is only available in Japan.
Kyocera maintains production bases for photovoltaic cells and solar modules in Japan, Mexico, the Czech Republic and China. Kyocera's solar modules are available as on option on the Toyota Prius. Kyocera Solar has also began manufacturing solar modules in San Diego, California, to meet the US market's demand for clean energy.
Advanced Ceramics are carefully engineered materials in which the chemical composition has been precisely adjusted using refined or synthesized raw powder, with a well-controlled method of forming and sintering. Kyocera sells ceramic knives via its web store and retail outlets under the name Kyocera Advanced Ceramics.
Kyocera is currently the shirt sponsor of the soccer club Kyoto Sanga F.C. of the J-League (its hometown team; here the words "Kyocera" are written in Japanese, everywhere else is the Latinized logo).
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