How it started (2003)

“Our relationship with FCNT – at that time, the cell phone Division at FUJITSU – began in May 2003 with a simple inquiry via the Gore website”, Shirai mentions at the beginning. Soon after this first inquiry, Gore & FCNT worked together in developing waterproof venting technology for their cell phone.

“FCNT was the first company to commercialize a thin waterproof cell phone device, up until this point it had only been used in rugged cell phones”, remembers the Field Sales Associate. Developing a thin waterproof cellphone was quite challenging, but GORE® Acoustic Vent proved to be of high-performing quality that competitors could not match. This was the starting point for a close technical collaboration which continues to this day.

Since this first step of collaborating on waterproof technology, Gore has been an important innovation partner to FCNT. “At that time, we learned how to optimize the vent parts together with FCNT. We needed to customize the size of components and make structural adaptations to fit their requirements, for example by selecting another adhesive.”, Shirai explains.

Successful launch of thinnest waterproof device – F703i (2007-2008)

Tsutomu Shirai describes the early stages of the cooperation as follows: “In the beginning of waterproof cell phone development, customized parts needed to be tested and adjusted on short notice in order to match FCNT’s shipping schedule.”  Since this was the early-stage of waterproofing technology for cell phones, these adjustment processes followed a trial-and-error principle. Fortunately, FCNT put their trust in Gore.

Thanks to a close partnership with FCNT and a well-structured communication between the responsible parties, Gore mastered the challenge and the time-critical schedules. “Throughout these processes, we were continuously able to prove our reliability to our customer and could also enhance our solid technical capabilities.”, Shirai briefly summarizes.

cell phone Fujitsu F703i

FCNT’s first waterproof (IPX7) cell phone F703i

cell phone F703i

FCNT’s first waterproof (IPX7) cell phone F703i

New feature needed: pressure adjustment (2010)

After almost 10 years of collaboration, Tsutomu Shirai received a phone call from the current FCNT Vice-President Mr. Hizuka who had an urgent request: He had discovered that a new pressure adjustment feature was needed for a product which was about to enter mass production in just one week. The internal pressure of the device was increasing, affecting the acoustic quality. He intended to use Gore’s pressure vents for the product.

Having experience with pressure vents already, we could easily select a process tooling that could be used from existing patterns of past FCNT products”, Shirai remembers and emphasizes: “We delivered fitting vents on time, so FCNT was able to meet their shipping schedule.

Docomo PRIME series F-06B phone using a GORE® Pressure Vent

Docomo PRIME series F-06B phone using a GORE® Pressure Vent

GORE® Vents used in tablets (2011)

FCNT’s first waterproof tablet – the first one with 4G communication globally

FCNT’s first waterproof tablet – the first one with 4G communication globally

FCNT Smartphones with Gore technology exhibited at CTIA Show in Las Vegas (2013)

Gore demonstrated its vents in use in the Fujitsu ARROWS X F-02E and Raku-Raku SMART PHONE at CTIA 2013, Las Vegas, NV. Customers could test the waterproof function of the phones by shooting water on them.

Read more.

FCNT phone resisted to the Earthquake (2014)

The importance of waterproofing once again became evident two years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Shirai recounts an article a local reporter digitally published in 2014 on A construction worker found a phone in the former civic center and handed it over to the press. Despite not expecting it to be functional, the reporter plugged the phone in – and was surprised when it turned on.

Even though the phone had been exposed to a large amount of seawater and mud for two years, it was still able to receive text messages and phone calls. The device was a FCNT Raku-Raku Phone 6 – a model that contains Gore’s vent filters.

Combining high water resistance and high ventilation (2014)

“FCNT’s Raku-Raku smartphones, like the one previously mentioned, are senior-friendly devices that are popular in Japan”, states Shirai. “The interface of the touchscreen is designed as if it contains actual buttons which makes it a lot easier for elderly to use the phone.”

Large physical volume change inside the cell phone made it necessary to integrate a pressure vent with high pressure control capability. Although the model required pressure vents that provide two contradicting features – namely high-water resistance and high ventilation – the advanced technology of GORE® Pressure Vents was able to satisfy both contradicting needs. The vent filter lineup helped the design engineers solve their challenges in a timely manner, so FCNT could again hold up their set schedule.

FCNT’s Raku-Raku Phone with soap wash function (2017)

GORE® Acoustic Vent GAW334 and GORE® Pressure Vent PE12, integrated in FCNT’s Raku-Raku Smartphone F-52B , enable thorough cleaning of the phone with soap and water. Read more.

Introducing Gore’s new thermal insulation technology (2020)

In 2020, FCNT discovered that their flagship 5G smartphone model generated too much heat and was not designed to distribute the temperature evenly in the proto stage. “FCNT approached us as they were looking for a solution that would help reduce the surface temperature of the phone”, Shirai explains and concludes: “That year, the pandemic also forced businesses around the globe to find new ways of communicating with each other.”

While working together with online tools was challenging for many businesses, Gore and FCNT experienced it as a bonding experience that strengthened their partnership. Despite the unusual conditions, Gore was able to propose an innovative heat management solution to FCNT which is now implemented in the arrows 5G F-51A GORE® Thermal Insulation. For further insights please refer to the corresponding case study GORE® Thermal Insulation in a 5G Smartphone.

arrows 5G F-51A smartphone using GORE® Thermal Insulation

arrows 5G F-51A smartphone using GORE® Thermal Insulation

Looking forward to many more years of cooperation

Over the past 20 years, Gore has been a trusted and reliable partner for FCNT. Our vents have been used in FCNT’s phones which entails more than 100 models – from their first waterproof cell phone to their newest smartphone models. “This clearly shows that the trust in the performance of Gore products happened for the right reasons,” Tsutomu Shirai emphasizes at the end. “We are looking forward to supporting FCNT in their upcoming developments as well”.

 Mr. Hizuka, VP of FCNT and Tomtom, and Gore Field Associate

Mr. Hizuka, Head of Product & Service Division, FCNT with Tsutomu Shirai, Gore Field Sales Associate


*FCNT Limited has changed company name from Fujitsu Technologies Corporation on April 1, 2021. FCNT website