Panasonic Australia confident 2-in-1 will drive Toughbook business

The company believes that the local availability of the Toughbook 20 will drive further growth for its B2B business.

Panasonic Australia is confident the momentum for its Toughbook division will remain solid, after announcing that it managed to double the size of its business in the market over the last two years.

Marc Amelung, Panasonic Toughbook group manager, said the Australian market is proof the company's Toughbook business, which has been operating in Australia for the last 11 years, has been nothing but successful.

He attributed growth to the company's strong relationship with long-standing repeat customers, such as Telstra, NSW Transport Roads and Maritime, Department of Defence, and police and emergency services.

Amelung added that in the last 12 months, the company has gained new customers in the oil and gas industry, saying they are among some of the country's top gas and exploration companies without disclosing any specific names.

As part of plans to drive further growth for its Toughbook division, which Amelung told ZDNet makes up the largest part of Panasonic's B2B business, the company will launch the Toughbook 20 in May for a recommended retail price starting from AU$5,399.

The Toughbook 20 is a rugged 2-in-1 device, which Panasonic claims is the "slimmest and lightest device of its kind". According to the company, it will feature the 6th generation Intel Core vPro processor, a 128GB solid state drive, 8GB RAM, and Windows 10 Professional.

Hugh Ujhazy, IDC Australia associate VP, said IDC has predicted in Australia that 2-in-1 devices will exceed tablet revenue by 2019. He said two key reasons for the uptake of 2-in-1 devices will be the 24/7 workplace, and quality connectivity such as LTE and the expansion of the national broadband network becoming ubiquitous.

Panasonic's plan to drive further growth in the enterprise division reiterates what the company had announced during the Consumer Electronics Show at the start of the year.

Richard Hsu, vice president for Panasonic's Innovation Center North America, told ZDNet at the time that while the company has long been known as a consumer brand, Panasonic executives are confident about attracting corporate customers to its emerging portfolio of B2B solutions.

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