Panasonic to Sell Smartphones Starting 2011

Panasonic Corp. (PC) will begin selling its own smartphone in Japan in 2011 and overseas in 2012.

The new phone will use the Google (GOOG) Android operating system, Reuters reported.

Panasonic stopped selling phones overseas in 2006 and is forecast to sell 5.4 million to 5.5 million phones in Japan in the year to March.

Now, the company hopes its late entry into the smartphone market will help take worldwide sales to 15 million in 2015.

"We misjudged the speed at which smartphones would be taken up in the Japanese market," said Osamu Waki, head of the company's mobile communications unit. "With the rapid shift to Android, we want to catch up quickly."

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