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Panasonic Returns to Smartphones with Android

Tuesday Panasonic Corp said that it was re-entering the Japanese smartphone sector in early 2011, followed by a worldwide roll out in 2012.

Panasonic originally pulled out of overseas mobile phone markets back in 2006 due to fierce competition from LG, Nokia and Samsung. However the company's new move is considered "late but ambitious" as it tries to grab a slice of the mobile pie dominated by Apple's iOS, Google's Android and Microsoft’s freshly-baked Windows Phone 7 OS.

Tuesday during a press conference, Panasonic admitted to its late arrival, however the Japanese-based electronics giant hopes to differentiate its handsets from others on the market by emphasizing their networking capabilities with other Panasonic products.

According to Osamu Waki, head of the company's mobile communications unit, Panasonic has chosen Android as its platform of preference. "We misjudged the speed at which smartphones would be taken up in the Japanese market," he told the press. "With the rapid shift to Android, we want to catch up quickly."

Tuesday Reuters added that Panasonic plans to raise total phone sales to 15 million units worldwide by 2015, revising its previous forecast of 5.4 to 5.5 million units in Japan alone.