Panasonic is set to enter the European smartphone market in March 2012 and has set itself a target of selling nine million mobile devices across the region by 2016.
The Japanese firm said it wants to tap into the rapidly growing smartphone market although it faces an uphill battle as there is already fierce competition in the sector and long-established firms such as Nokia and Research in Motion are struggling.
Panasonic has released a photo of a prototype device (below) and said it will come with a D-shaped ultra-slim design and a 4.3in OLED quarter-HD (QHD) screen.
The handset will be waterproof and dustproof, suggesting that Panasonic is taking a similar approach to Motorola by ruggedising its devices.
Judging by the context-sensitive buttons on the front of the prototype, the device will run the Android operating system, while a label on the back suggests it will also have near-field communications (NFC) capabilities.
The firm has set itself a modest target of selling 1.5 million smartphones in Europe next fiscal year, but hopes to shift 15 million units globally by 2016.
Panasonic will also release its first enterprise-focused Android tablets next year, designed specifically for outdoor workers in the aviation and construction industries.
These Toughpad tablets will come in 7in and 10in versions, but details are so far only available for the larger devices. This will sport an XGA capacitive multi-touch display with an anti-reflective coating and run Android Honeycomb 3.2.
Weighing in at 970g, the 10in Toughpad will ship with a Marvell 1.2GHz dual-core processor, have aFIPS 140-2 level 2 security rating and support data encryption, enhanced VPN authentication, trusted boot and device management.
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