There were rumours towards the start of April that Panasonic was all set to re-enter the Indian handset market following its disastrous attempt to sell flip phones in the mid-2000s. The company is now said to be on look-out for a major Indian distributer for its P51.
Panasonic is going the ODM (original design manufacturers) route - getting phones manufactured from third party manufacturers - enabling it to create a product portfolio suited for India.
Panasonic is no big player in the smartphone market, but it has already started running commercials between the ongoing IPL Tournament, giving rise to consumer expectations. According to the advertisements, P51 will have a 5-inch IPS HD display powered by a 1.2 GHZ quad-core processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera.
Furthermore, the company had earlier announced its plan to focus less on consumer electronic goods, contrasting with its domestic rival Sony's move to double the production of its mobile phones, cameras and game consoles. Panasonic termed it as a shift to focus more on operations that will cater to other businesses such as batteries and solar panels.
Even as Panasonic's move to re-enter Indian market rest on ironies, it appears to be well planned. Kazuhiro Tsuga, president of Panasonic Corp, had landed in Mumbai last month and became the third board-level official of the company to visit India in just four months. It is not a coincidence that the company is focusing on the Indian market; its chief aim is to take leadership of the ₹50,000-crore Indian electronics market that is dominated by South Korean firms Samsung and LG.