Panasonic has announced that it is set to re-enter the European mobile phone market with the launch of its Eluga range.

The Eluga, which will be waterproof and dustproof, will be based on Google’s Android platform and will debut from April from around £400.

Although the company states it accounted for 12 per cent of the European mobile phone market in the early 2000s, it withdrew in 2006 to concentrate on Japan, where it was the first manufacturer to launch a 3G device.

Panasonic’s European chief executive and chairman Laurent Abadie said the time was right to re-enter the market as smartphone use is on the rise.

Mr Abadie said the device would act as “a kind of super remote controller” for other Panasonic products and will use a microsim card – as seen in Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s Lumia 800.

This may be a good time for Panasonic to come back into the smartphone market after figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech recently showed that 71.4 per cent of mobile phone sales in the 12 weeks ending January 22nd 2012 were smartphones.

Posted by Simon Thomas

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