When was the last time you saw someone using a Panasonic phone? I had to dig deep into my memory bank for this, and I came up with this: give or take 17 years ago. I suppose that there are many reasons behind the lack of Panasonic phone sightings in my neck of the woods, but it seems that the brand has given up on the consumer smartphone market – at least in Japan.

Panasonic

Earlier this month, the Japanese electronics company announced that they are, for real, giving up on this sector. As profitable as the sector is, the competition is just too tough, and Panasonic is not cutting it. Ponder on this: $15 billion in losses in the last 2 years. That is a whopping loss in no uncertain terms!

For sure, Japan is a different market from the rest of the world, but if a homegrown brand cannot make profits, it is only reasonable to shift its focus elsewhere; and that’s exactly what Panasonic is doing. (We also cannot overlook the fact that NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s leading mobile carrier, is focusing on Sony and Samsung handsets.)

For one, according to the company’s announcement, they are going to take away smartphone production from Japan and instead look at emerging markets. India has been mentioned, which is not surprising as well.

Additionally, Panasonic now wants to forget about the consumer market and zone in on the business sector instead. That means they are going to position themselves better as a supplier for businesses.

Do you remember the Toughbook laptops? The news is that Panasonic is going to try that line of thinking for smartphones, not for average Joe and Jane like you and me, but for businesses.

If, by any chance, you are a Panasonic smartphone loyalist, I think you’ll have to look at changing brands in the very near future.

[Image via Android Antics]