Panasonic brings smartphones to India with the 5-inch P51

Although Panasonic's cellphones have traveled far from Japan, the company has left the hot Indian market relatively untapped -- until today, that is. The company is staking its first proper claim in the country with the launch of the P51. The Android 4.2-toting smartphone reflects the local market's taste for big-screened yet modest phones between its 5-inch, 720p LCD and quad-core 1.2GHz MediaTek processor, but comes across as a sort of Galaxy Note lite: Panasonic bundles both a capacitive stylus and a magnetic flip cover in the box. The remaining hardware is a slightly unusual mix of budget and premium components, with the so-so 1GB of RAM and 4GB of expandable storage buffered by an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera and support for both HSPA+ and dual SIM cards. The P51 will be comparatively expensive for India at 26,900 rupees ($517) contract-free when it's available next week, but it should be a bargain next to its pen-packing Samsung counterpart.

Update: Panasonic is being a bit clever with its Indian foray -- we now know that the P51 shares a TCL-built design template with the Alcatel Scribe Easy, keeping the French phone's basic formula while upgrading the processor, camera and screen resolution. However, the P51 is definitely identical to the TCL Y900 in China.

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Panasonic India Set to Redefine the Smartphone Segment

New Delhi, Delhi, India, Thursday, May 16, 2013 -- (Business Wire India)

-- Launches Smartphone P51

-- Eyes 8% market share in the smartphone category

Continuing its strong focus on India, Panasonic India today announced the launch of the P51, Panasonic smartphone, a first in the series of revolutionary smartphones marking the entry of Panasonic into the mobile phone segment in India. This phone is targeted at the young generation – the always-on-the-go college youth, and the premium executive class, who is always on the lookout for better, faster and savvier smartphones on the go!

The Panasonic P51 is a premium AndroidTM smartphone with sleek design and brings HD experience to a 5 inch screen with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. Powered by a Quad Core1.2GHz processor and running on AndroidTM 4.2 (Jelly Bean), the P51 comes with a magnetic flip-cover stylus offering comfort and convenience to the consumer. This Wi-Fi enabled device also sports an 8MP camera (auto focus with flash) and a 1.3Mpxl 720p HD front camera making it an ideal phone

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Daizo Ito, President, Panasonic India said, "Panasonic has a great legacy of being the pioneers of innovation in every segment. Continuing with our legacy, we are now launching our innovative smartphone which will redefine the Indian smartphone consumer experience. India has always been one of our alpha markets in the region and I take great pride in introducing our smartphone to India. We are confident that our product will provide the Indian consumer a great multimedia experience and the 'best value for money' proposition".

Mr. Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Panasonic India commenting on Panasonic's foray in the Smartphone segment said, "It has always been our endeavor to excel in all aspects of consumer technology. The launch of Panasonic Smartphone in India marks the beginning of our journey in the Indian mobile phone market and will bring together the ultimate smartphone user experience. The smartphone series will come power-packed with features and will cater to the consumers across the spectrum – from mid-tier to the premium class. With an aim to garner a market share of 8% in the first year, this product will showcase the convergence of Panasonic's pioneering technology and consumer insight. We are hopeful that consumers will embrace our phones with the same zeal and enthusiasm that they have shown for our VIERA and LUMIX range".

Panasonic has also collaborated with Jaina Marketing as the 'Strategic Partner for Marketing, Distribution and Customer Support' for their smartphone series. Speaking at the launch, Mr. Pardeep Jain, Managing Director, Jaina Group, said, "The smartphone market is growing at an incredible pace and is expected to reach 3.9 bn by 2017 globally. India is catching up fast with the smartphone race and with the launch of Panasonic smartphone. I am sure our expertise in the marketing & distribution, and customer care support will add value to an exciting proposition from Panasonic. We look forward to reaping the benefits of the intense smartphone demand in India".

Panasonic smartphone's brand ambassador, Varun Dhawan, said, "I am very happy to be associated with Panasonic India especially because of the legacy that Panasonic as a brand enjoys in India. The confidence that the consumers have today on Panasonic's range of products is evident by the way the company has grown. I feel privileged to be a part of the unveiling of the P51 and as a consumer, I can confidently say that it is not just an interesting smartphone because of its price point and multiple features but it also provides a wonderful user experience".

Panasonic smartphone will come equipped with amazing features like easy-to-use, ultra-responsive touch displays that allow users to check their social network updates, read SMS's, check calendar, and answer/reject/mute calls. This phone will be available across national retail chain stores, multi-brand outlets and distributors across India from May onwards.