4.3" Android is first step in Panasonic global domination plan

This week, HTC announced a 30% drop in its November revenues over the previous month, with sales also down 20% year-on-year. With even the biggest and most established players in the smartphone space facing such disappointing figures, it takes a pretty big pair to plan an aggressive expansion into an increasingly crowded market.

But that’s exactly what Panasonic intends, as the company announced its plans for growth of its smartphone business in Europe, with its eyes set on global expansion in the medium-term. Next fiscal year, the company aims to sell 1.5 million smartphones in Europe, the first of which will be this new as-yet unnamed Android device.

Panasonic says that the handset will go on sale as a ‘reference model’, from which the company will expand its range. Calling it a ‘global smartphone’, its slim shell houses a 4.3” OLED display with qHD (960x540px) resolution. Available in black and silver, the device is also waterproof and dustproof.

Unfortunately, Panasonic hasn’t issued any further details about the new handset. The official renders, supplied by the company’s press office, clearly indicate a camera on the back - although no clues on the resolution, and it also appears to be lacking any kind of flash - while a front-facing camera appears to be another omission. Oh, and that ‘NFC’ label on that back indicates it’ll support that technology too.

Other than that, we’ll just have to sit tight and wait until Panasonic gives us some more info. Or we could just lose interest and go buy a Galaxy Nexus instead. 

Images via Panasonic press office

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A surprisingly refreshing design considering most phones usually look the same. I like the rounded edges.

My only concern is why the earpiece is not centered.

Wow, that looks very elegant - it reminds me a little of the 4th/5th gen. iPod nano.

However I'm not so keen on large phones - I do hope Panasonic follow Sony's lead and develop a compact Android device to rival the Xperia Ray.

These company just don't quite learn anything from the consumer yet ! If you plan to inform the world about your latest smartphone by not publishing any release date,spec immediately. Those folks will just pass by and go after currently hottest product such samsung or apple. Until then,you lost touch with the buyer due to unknown available date on market. Kinda dumb. It's like telling without revealing anything.

Yup, same here. 4 of my last 5 phones have had FF cameras, and I never used any of them. About the only us I could think of for one would be with ICS Face Unlock feature.

However, that is just me, if others need a FF camera then fair enough.

qHD is so 3 months old! 1280x720 is the way to go.

But the design of back and front is stunning. And that bezel is quite thin too.

Do people really use front facing cameras? I've had them on various phones for years, never used them, or my web cam for that matter. Guess having fugly friends doesn't help lol.

DARKFiB3R said,
Do people really use front facing cameras? I've had them on various phones for years, never used them, or my web cam for that matter. Guess having fugly friends doesn't help lol.

I don't currently, but it seems to be becoming a bit more popular now. If I had one, I'd use it to talk with my girlfriend when I'm away and on the move, rather than using my webcam. There's also the face unlock for Android ICS which I guess would require it.

Looks Sexay.There really should be a front-facing camera though. My major concern though is the placement of the volume and power (?) button. I can see many a people accidentally pressing them during normal use with a stray thumb.

wow, that actually looks pretty nice... give it some windows phone love and it could be interesting - but not without ff cam... come on already!