Panasonic back in the smartphone market

Panasonic wants to release a smartphone in the highly competitive European market next year.

Panasonic plans to launch a smartphone in Europe in March and this will be the first step of a global rollout looking at 15 million unit sales worldwide in the year to March 2016, nine million of them overseas.

This is fairly ambitious given that Panasonic walked away from the international mobile phone market five years ago after getting a kicking. Panasonic’s mobile phone sales reached their peak in 2003 at 8.9 million units.

It is worthwhile pointing out that when Panasonic walked away from the smartphone market it was before the Apple invasion when its main rival was clunky Symbian offerings from Nokia.

Panasonic did continue making phones, mostly in Malaysia and for the domestic market and Japan so it is not having to do any major hiring to get back into the running. However, it is coming a long way from behind and competition is even tougher than it was when it left.

Executives were showing off a new Android model developed for overseas sales. The new phone will be made in Malaysia and shipped to Europe.

It will be an ultra-slim D-shaped design, with a slim bezel with high viewing quality Quarter HD (QHD) 4.3-inch OLED screen. It will be waterproof to cope with British weather and because you never know when you are going to need to take a call in a swimming pool.