Friday, September 27, 2013
Panasonic Shifting Smartphone Focus To Corp-Use Models
OSAKA (Nikkei)--Panasonic Corp. (6752) will effectively exit the consumer smartphone business, opting to redirect development resources to specialized models for corporate users instead.
It will end development of smartphones for consumers, the company announced Thursday. Consequently, more than 90% of its 1,000 or so workforce at subsidiary Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. will be reassigned to other divisions within the group.
The smartphones for corporate users will likely be centered around sturdy models for outdoor use. Panasonic already offers ruggedized notebook PCs and tablets. It aims to roll out new smartphone models by the end of March 2014.
Mobile phone operations incurred an 8.1 billion yen operating loss for the year ended March 31. Panasonic had targeted smartphone sales of 1.3 million units for the year ending March 2014. But sales reached a mere 100,000 units in the April-June quarter, held back by the popularity of Apple Inc.'s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy smartphones. NTT DoCoMo Inc.'s (9437) decision to focus sales strategy on Samsung and Sony Corp (6758) smartphones also hurt Panasonic sales.
(The Nikkei, Sept. 27 morning edition)