Panasonic stops phone sales in Europe, goodbye Android Eluga

Roughly a year ago Panasonic launched their first smartphone outside Japan since 2005, but has now decided to pull out of the smartphone market in Europe, although Panasonic will still continue their phone business in Japan, but will halt handset sales in Europe by March this year, so it is goodbye to the Android Eluga smartphone.

A report over on Computer World has reported the news of Panasonic’s withdrawal from the European smartphone market, and spokesman James Bell declined to comment on just how this move would effect Panasonic’s plans to eventually move into other markets including the United States.

Panasonic launched the Panasonic Eluga Android smartphone back in April and the company had high hopes for the handset that offered a 4.3-inch qHD OLED touch screen, 1GHz OMAP 4430 dual core processor, along with an 8 megapixel rear facing auto-focus camera and touch-card interface that enabled users to interact with Panasonic home alliances; however the features of the handset were not enough to distinguish the device from rival smartphones.

Apparently the move out of Europe is part of restructuring, which also includes chopping management salaries, consolidating factories, reorganising the firm’s mobile operations, and doing away with the firm’s basketball team.

Panasonic has also revealed their earnings for the 6-month period through September, and states that business reforms dragged the company to an 8.8 billion dollar loss, as revenues slipped 10 percent, which is five times the company’s loss the year previous.

Panasonic predicted a slight profit for their fiscal year through March, however the company now says they will book almost 10 billion dollar in losses.

With its mobile operations, Panasonic has said they are to set up an new firm entirely dedicated to the handset business, separating from its base station business into a newly formed subsidiary, whilst Panasonic will cut management salaries, which includes a 40 percent reduction for the firm’s president and chairman along with a 20 percent cut for other execs, and will also have their number of domestic factories from six to tree that produce rechargeable batteries for consumer devices.

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