Panasonic Mobile Will Break Out of Japan
Panasonic is coming back to the global mobile phone market. The Osaka-based company, which had been focusing its mobile efforts on Japan since getting out of the space in 2005, plans to venture out of its home country next March, starting in Europe. Its first device, built specifically for the global market, will be an ultra-thin, waterproof, dustproof Android device sporting a 4.3-inch qHD OLED display. A tiny NFC label on the back of the device's prototype, so it's safe to assume NFC will be included as well (more photos of the prototype can be viewed on the Verge). Panasonic told Reuters that the device will be aimed at business users aged between 30 and 40. Admitting that the company is late to the game, the mobile honcho Toshinori Hoshi said, "We are well aware of our powerful competitors." Although the smartphone market has seen tremendous growth over the years, it's not all sunshine and rainbows for the manufacturers. HTC, for example, suffered a 20 percent sales drop in November from a year earlier, dipping to a 17-month low, despite having a full-range of exciting Android devices. On the other hand, Samsung has surged as the top smartphone maker, surpassing even Apple. Of course, now it's in a full-scale global legal war with Cupertino.