Electronics giant Panasonic has announced it will enter the smartphone fray in 2012, planning to launch at least one smartphone in parts of Europe and Asia.
Shown in the image above, the unnamed Panasonic smartphone will sport a 4.3-inch OLED display with a qHD resolution, and will be both water- and dust-proof. The image clearly shows a camera, but no flash, plus NFC is printed on the battery cover as well. Gadget blogs including GSMArena are reporting that Panasonic will use the Android OS in its European-bound smartphones, though Panasonic itself hasn't confirmed this.
Panasonic has been producing smartphones for its native Japanese market for a long time, and was a player in the Australian phone landscape up. Though it will take some time to gain brand awareness around its smartphone range, Panasonic is optimistic, planning to sell 9 million smartphones worldwide in the year 2016.
To be successful, Panasonic will have to successfully leverage its expertise in other fields of consumer electronics, including its high-profile display department and its Lumix range of digital cameras. Panasonic's major Japanese competitor, Sony, is already incorporating technology in its smartphones shared from different parts of its expansive business, including LCD panels, Bravia TV technology and Exmor-R imaging tech, plus Sony adds value with its digital content.