updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue November 16, 2010
Panasonic vows Android phones in Japan next year
Panasonic announced today it will start selling Android-powered smartphones in Japan in 2011, maintains a Tuesday report. The handsets will arrive in other global markets sometime in 2012, and will be relatively high-end, as the plan is to compete with Apple's own iPhone and Samsung's range of Galaxy S handsets. Panasonic will try to make up for its late arrival by focusing on a high level of networking between the phones and existing Panasonic hardware.
Panasonic makes phones in Japan, but stopped exporting them back in 2006. The company hopes to boost smartphone sales three-fold in Japan by 2015 as compared to forecasts.
"We misjudged the speed at which smartphones would be taken up in the Japanese market," said the head of Panasonic's mobile communications business, Osamu Waki. "With the rapid shift to Android, we want to catch up quickly."
At the start of last month, Panasonic introduced a Lumix-branded smartphone (pictured) with a proprietary OS, much to everyone's surprise.