MOBILE PHONE MAKER Panasonic has announced it will flog its handsets outside of Japan in 2012.
The firm had pulled out of the worldwide mobile market back in 2006 to focus on the Japanese market, where it is aiming to sell 5.5 million handsets in the 12 months leading up to March 2011. However Panasonic said it also expects to shift 15 million units worldwide by 2015. Those lofty sales goals are built on its plan to offer smartphones based on Google's Android operating system.
It hopes its smartphones that it will release worldwide in 2012 will help it grab part of the growing market. Osamu Waki, head of Panasonic's mobile communications unit said that the company misjudged the demand for smartphones in Japan but wants to take a stab at regaining lost ground. "With the rapid shift to Android, we want to catch up quickly," said Waki.
Panasonic will join the ranks of Samsung, HTC and LG in the fight for Android smartphone supremacy. Perhaps the biggest challenge for the firm will be to differentiate its offerings from those of its competitors, though for consumers having more competition in the marketplace is far from a bad thing.
Aside from the operating system and a vague 2012 launch, Panasonic did not offer any details on hardware, or the markets and mobile operators it will be targeting. µ
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