Panasonic announced Friday that it intends to expand its smartphone business into Europe in March 2012, and it hopes the move will be a stepping stone into the global smartphone market. Panasonic didn’t name its first smartphone, but did say that it features an ultra-slim form factor with a 4.3-inch qHD OLED screen. The phone is also waterproof and dust-proof, and will be manufactured in one of Panasonic’s Malaysian factories. Panasonic hopes to sell 1.5 million smartphones in Europe next year, and by 2016 the company aims to be selling 15 million phones cell phones annually, 9 million of which it expects will be smartphones. Panasonic’s full press release follows after the break.
Panasonic to Expand Smartphone Business to European Market
Tokyo, Japan – Panasonic announced today that it will expand its smartphone business to the European market in March 2012. At the same time, it announced its aim to bring its overseas smartphone sales to nine million units in fiscal year 2016, ending March 31, 2016, using Europe as a stepping stone to the global market.
With the mobile phone market rapidly shifting to smartphone usage worldwide and a steady growth expected particularly overseas, Panasonic aims to tap into this growth with its first global model smartphone for the European market in March 2012.The main characteristics of the global model are:
- An ultra-slim D-shaped design for easy portability
- Slim bezel with high viewing quality Quarter HD (QHD) 4.3-inch large organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen
- Waterproof and dustproof for ease of handling
Using this as a reference model, Panasonic will expand its lineup, aiming at sales of 1.5 million smartphones in Europe next fiscal year. 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).
The Panasonic Group created the Systems & Communications Company (SNC) in April this year in advance of its reorganization scheduled for January 2012 in order to handle products and services related to system, network and mobile communications. Within this company, Panasonic will maximize its internal resources, including making use of an existing factory in Malaysia. Currently, phones for the Japanese market are manufactured in this factory but now the same factory is also scheduled to manufacture the first global model as announced.
Panasonic will continue to expand its product lineup and increase sales in a speedy process by thoroughly utilizing the Group’s technological assets and development resources as well as its production and sales sites around the world, thereby strengthening development, production, and sales structure and product competitiveness.