Panasonic's new Android smartphone

Having bowed out of the European mobile phone market around five years ago, Panasonic has decided it’s time for a comeback. The Japanese company has announced that it will be releasing a new range of Android-powered handsets next year, with the first of its devices shipping in March 2012.

Its press release offered very little information on the upcoming handset, but what we do know at this point is that the device will boast a 4.3-inch OLED display with a 960 x 540 qHD resolution. It will be both waterproof and dust-proof, according to Panasonic, and it will sport an “ultra-slim D-shaped design” that offers “easy portability.”

Based on the photograph above, the device will also feature NFC capabilities that could see it shipping with support for Google Wallet and similar wireless services.

The device will first arrive in Europe, with launches in the U.S., China, and the rest of Asia following later. And Panasonic has very high hopes for the device. The company says it will use its first handset as “a reference model” for the rest of its lineup, and it hopes to sell 1.5 million in Europe alone by the end of the next fiscal year.

By the end of the fiscal year ending March, 2016, Panasonic is aiming to shift a whopping 15 million units, including nine million in Europe, Asia, China, and the U.S.; and six million in Japan.

Panasonic certainly seems to have produced an attractive handset, but whether the device’s internals maintain its appeal is yet to be seen. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the device over the coming months.

Do you like the look of Panasonic’s new smartphone?

[via TechRadar]