Panasonic might enter the global smartphone market in 2012, based on a report by PRWeek.
The Japanese company is seeking a PR agency to assist in the launch of its smartphone in the UK and five other European countries. Its most recent lineup, which includes the Android-powered Panasonic P-07C and the Lumix-branded Lumix 101p with a 13.2-megapixel camera, have been available in Japan over the past few months.
Back in June 2011, Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo shared with Forbes about the company's plans to expand its presence beyond its home market of Japan. Ohtsubo concedes that the company is behind in the smartphone race, but it aims to compensate for the late entry by focusing design, user-friendliness and battery life on its Android portfolio to distinguish itself against its competitors.
Besides the earlier reported European countries, there's no word on Panasonic's plans to move into the US or Asia market. According to Ohtsubo, the US poses a challenge to Panasonic, with competitive pressures and cutthroat prices keeping Panasonic’s smartphones out of the market.