Kyocera Corporation (京セラ株式会社 Kyōsera Kabushiki-gaisha) ( ) is a Japanese multinational electronics and ceramics manufacturer headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded as Kyoto Ceramic Company, Limited (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.
Origins to 2000
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 Corporation, 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 Company, Limited 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 Corporation in Japan in 1996, and Kyocera Solar, Inc. in the U.S. in 1999.
On Aug 4, 1999, Kyocera completed its merger with solar energy systems integrator Golden Genesis Company (Nasdaq:GGGO).
2000 to present
In January 2000, Kyocera acquired photocopier manufacturer Mita Industrial Company, Limited, 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. Kyocera Wireless Corporation was the first to combine BREW capabilities and enhanced brilliant Color displays on Entry-Level CDMA Handsets, when it demonstrated BREW-enabled handsets at the BREW 2003 Developers Conference.
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 2010, Kyocera launched its first Smartphone (Zio) since 2001, after focusing on lower cost phones.
In March, 2010, Kyocera announced the merger of its two wholly owned subsidiaries:San Diego-based Kyocera Wireless Corp. and Kyocera Communications, Inc.The merged enterprise continued under the name Kyocera Communications, Inc..
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 October 2010, Kyocera acquired 100% ownership of the shares of TA Triumph-Adler AG (Nuremberg, Germany) and converted the daughter company into TA Triumph-Adler GmbH. TA Triumph-Adler GmbH currently distributes Kyocera-made printing devices and software with TA Triumph-Adler and UTAX trademarks within the EMEA (Europe-Middle East-Africa) region. TA Triumph-Adler GmbH is located in Nuremberg, Germany and UTAX GmbH (subsidiary of TA Triumph-Adler) in Norderstedt, Germany.
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.
In March 2016, it was announced that Kyocera would acquire an international cutting tool company called SGS Tool Company. They purchased it for $89 million.
Printers and multi-function devices
Kyocera Document Solutions Corporation manufactures a wide range of printers, MFPs. and toner cartridges which are sold throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and the Americas. Kyocera printing devices are also marketed under the Copystar name in Americas and under TA Triumph-Adler and Utax names in EMEA (Europe-Middle East-Africa) region.
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.
North America (Kyocera Communications, Inc.)
Kyocera manufactures mobile phones for wireless carriers in the United States and Canada. 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 Japanese wireless carriers including au, willcom, SoftBank and .
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.
A leading global manufacturer of innovative solar power solutions for the last 40 years, Kyocera manufactures and assembles solar cells and modules at its own worldwide production sites using a true vertical integration process called “Chain of Custody.” This approach gives Kyocera complete control over every step of the manufacturing process, producing modules with built-In quality, proven superior field performance, and tight power tolerance. All manufacturing facilities are certified to 14001, and produce state of the art technology. One example, is the world-renowned Sakura Solar Energy Center is the site of a 43 kW Grid-tie System, installed in 1984. This system consists of more than 1,000 modules exposed to over 45,000 hours of solar irradiation. Research has proven that after 25 years, these panels have shown minimal degradation of only 9.6%.
Kyocera maintains production bases for photovoltaic cells and solar modules in Japan, Mexico, the Czech Republic and China. In 2009, it was announced that Kyocera's solar modules were available as on option on the Toyota Prius.
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).
Kyocera also holds the naming rights for the stadium for ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands, and its insignia appears on the back of Atlético Madrid's shirts. In Japan Kyocera holds the naming rights for the Osaka Dome. The indoor dome is the playground of the Baseball teams Orix Buffaloes and from August on also of the Hanshin Tigers.
On June 13, 2007, Kyocera Wireless Corp announced that it had earned the "Recycler of the Year" award for the year 2007 from the City of San Diego's Environmental Services Department (ESD).