Panasonic Australia’s parent company Matsushita Electrical Industrial has announced that it will phase out development of its 2.5G GSM phones and focus instead on developing 3G Linux-based mobile handsets.
Panasonic said the decision was made to focus on market demand. “Every phone has a life span and the 2.5G GSM phones’ life will undoubtedly come to an end when 3G comes online. Since Telstra and Optus are about to launch offerings in that marketplace, Panasonic is concentrating its efforts on this market.”
Although the GSM market is undeniably a highly competitive one, Panasonic Australia insists that the decision is not solely based on global competition and the popularity of the VS series of 2.5G GSM phones is evidence of this. “We are not pulling out of the market completely but will continue to supply and produce those phones as long as the demand is there. The factory in China will continue to produce, however the demand for 2.5G GSM phones is predicted to fall away.”
Panasonic will now accelerate the development of a global mobile platform based on Linux which is already being used in the company’s Japanese market offering.