The Japanese company is learnt to have partnered with Delhi-based Jaina Group for marketing, distribution and customer support of its smartphones in India, people aware of the deal told ET. Panasonic did not comment on the partnership but these people added that Jaina Group will also advise the electronics maker to create a smartphone portfolio that will be suitable for the Indian market.
Jaina Group is one of the two parent companies that owns local handset maker Karbonn Mobiles and is likely to use its experience in local mobile phone market to aide Panasonic that will get its handsets made from original design manufacturers (ODMs) overseas. This unique model for the Indian market could be a test bed for Panasonic that may look to replicate it in other emerging markets if sales of its smartphones take off here.
Panasonic intends to take on the likes of Samsung and Apple, who together make up for more than half of smartphone sales in India. Television commercials show Panasonic’s smartphone with a 5-inch HD LCD screen and a 1.2 Ghz quadcore processor besides an 8-megapixel rear camera. The Android phone is expected to cost anywhere between Rs 28,000 and Rs 30,000.
Panasonic sells Android smartphones in its home market of Japan and has increased its focus on smart devices since last year. “Reflecting a drastic shift towards smartphones, the featurephone market has contracted substantially. Looking ahead, Panasonic will increasingly channel management resources into the smartphone field in an effort to expand its market share,” the company said in its annual report for the year ended March 2012.
The company holds around one fourth of the overall handset market in Japan but has been facing sluggish sales. Panasonic attempted to cash in on the global smartphone growth and introduced smartphones in Europe but met with little success.
Times of india