In the post-iPhone era, a lot of things changed in Japan, once the most admired country in the mobile world. The number of cell phone manufacturers, for example, has fallen from 13 to five after massive consolidation and re-organization, and all of the remaining players fight with a shrinking and rapidly greying domestic market.
That’s one of the reasons why Nippon’s cell phone makers have been talking about going international for a long time (years after basically all of them gave up on the world market), but now Panasonic seems to be ready to get serious.
Japan’s biggest business publication, The Nikkei, is reporting that the company is currently trying to strike a deal with a major telco in Europe to bring smartphones (Android handsets) to the continent. Apparently, Panasonic is thinking about whether to build the phones in one its own plants in South East Asia or outsource production to another company.
If all goes well, Panasonic also plans to eventually offer Android handsets in Asia and North America. The company has sold 4.4 million phones last year, but it wants to sell 7.5 million units internationally (per year) by 2015.
The picture above shows the Panasonic LUMIX Phone 101P that’s currently on sale in Japan and features Android 2.3, a 4-inch QHD LCD screen with 960×540 resolution, a 13.2MP CMOS Lumix sensor, a waterproof body (IPX5/7), Wi-fi, infrared connection, e-wallet function, and a digital TV tuner.