We knew that Panasonic's mobile division was summoning its strength for a return to the Old World, and finally we have some detail: it's aiming to bring an "ultra-slim D-shaped" Android smartphone with a slim bezel, 4.3-inch qHD OLED screen, NFC and some rugged credentials to Europe in March next year. The manufacturer hopes to use Europe as a stepping stone to the US, China and the rest of Asia, aiming to broaden its range of Android devices and sell at a total of nine million of them outside of Japan by the end of March 2016. Read on for the full PR.
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Panasonic to Expand Smartphone Business to European Market

Panasonic will expand its mobile phone business into the global market, targeting at nine million units of overseas sales in fiscal year 2016.

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:
1. An ultra-slim D-shaped design for easy portability
2. Slim bezel with high viewing quality Quarter HD (QHD) 4.3-inch large organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen
3. 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.

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Panasonic reveals 4.3-inch OLED smartphone with global ambitions, no name