Panasonic to introduce 12 new cell phone models next year

Dec 04, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 4, 2003 (CENS)--Panasonic of Japan recently debuted several new cell phone models in Taiwan, including the X70 and X80 foldable and G51 mini models, and it also announced plans to introduce another 12 new models next year.

The G51 color-display mini handset is contract supplied by Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc.; while most of the G- and A-series models Panasonic plans to demonstrate next year will be produced by local Compal Communication Inc. and Quanta.

Panasonic Systems Sales Taiwan Co., Ltd. Said that Panasonic unveiled its first foldable handset model, the GD88, last year, enjoying smooth sales in the international market as a new guidepost for audio/video handsets. This year, the Japanese company introduced the X70 and X88 X-series high-level models to further boost its sales in the upper market.

Panasonic is scheduled to debut 12 new handset models in Taiwan next year, aiming to win a 15% share of the domestic here, a senior official with Panasonic Taiwan said. He noted that Panasonic expects to sell 555,000 cell phones for a 12% market share in Taiwan this fiscal year to end next March, and the sales volume is expected to rise to 600,000 handsets for a 15% market share, in next fiscal year.

Statistics compiled by local market investigation firms show that Panasonic's GD55 black-and-white mini handset model, which is supplied by Quanta, has accounted for 5% to 6% of the local cell phone market, making it the fifth- to sixth-hottest model in the domestic market.

Currently, Quanta handles contract production of GD55, G50, G51 and G70 models for Panasonic. The G70 is a super-mini handset just demonstrated in Europe and mainland China but will not be sold in Taiwan. Quanta began supplying the G70 model to the said two markets last month, and Compal Communication also started delivering the G60 model to Panasonic in the third quarter.

Industry sources said that Panasonic would finalize next year's orders with Quanta and Compal Communication in the first quarter of 2004. The sources added that the Japanese cell phone brand plans to self-produce most of the X-series high-level models at its plants in Japan and farm out to overseas partners the G-series models for the middle-level color-display segment and the A-series for the black-and-white entry-level segment.
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