Panasonic smartphones go global, starting with Europe

The electronics giant aims to reach sales outside Japan of 9 million smartphones a year by March 2016 by exapnding to Europe, the U.S., and China.

A prototype of Panasonic's forthcoming smartphone that will spearhead the company's attempt to expand beyond the Japanese market.
A prototype of Panasonic's forthcoming smartphone that will spearhead the company's attempt to expand beyond the Japanese market. Panasonic

Panasonic will expand its smartphone business beyond its home country of Japan, starting with Europe in March 2012, the electronics giant said today.

The company is powerful in consumer electronics, manufacturing not only products but also many of the components within, but it's absent from much of the world's stage in the pivotal and fast-growing smartphone market. No more, the company pledged, after a reorganization.

The European launch marks the beginning of an ambition to reach sales outside Japan of 9 million smartphones in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.

Leading the charge will be a phone with a large 4.3-inch, 960x540-pixel OLED screen and a waterproof and dustproof design. The announcement didn't specify the operating system, but Reuters quoted Panasonic as saying it's an Android phone geared for businesspeople in their 30s and 40s.

"Using this as a reference model, Panasonic will expand its lineup, aiming at sales of 1.5 million smartphones in Europe next fiscal year," Panasonic said. "Furthermore, in fiscal year 2016, Panasonic targets global sales of 15 million units, including nine million in Europe, Asia, China, and the United States and six million in Japan (of which five million are smartphones)."

Penetrating new markets is tough in the fiercely competitive new market. Nokia, once the dominant mobile phone company, is trying to re-enter the U.S. market with new Windows Phone models, but in the years it was absent, Apple's iOS and several other manufacturers' Android phones surged in sales.

Via the Verge

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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