Panasonic re-enters India smartphone market with P51

The Japanese phonemaker has ambitious plans to capture an 8 percent share of the Indian smartphone market in its first year, amid growing competition especially from local brands and new Chinese models.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor on

Panasonic has re-entered India's smartphone market with its dual sim P51, and is eyeing an 8 percent share of the smartphone market within India, in the first year alone.

According to a press release Thursday, the Panasonic P51 is priced at 26,990 rupees (US$492.70) and has a 1.2 GHz quad core processor and a 5-inch screen, with an In-Plane Switching (IPS) display of 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and 295 pixels per inch (PPI) pixel density. The touchscreen itself is a Asahi DragonTrail scratchproof and damage-proof glass for added durability.

panasonic p51
(credit: Panasonic)

The dual SIM Panasonic P51 runs on the Google Android 4.2 Jellybean OS with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB onboard storage, with microSD support up to 32 GB. As expected, it has both Wi-Fi and BlueTooth connectivity, along with microUSB. I am a little surprised that there is no support for 4G, for now at least.

The rear camera is a 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, and front camera is a 1.3 MP HD camera. The Panasonic P51 also comes with a free magnetic flip cover and supports input via a stylus pen. This phone measures just 8.5mm in width, weighs 135 grams and will be available in both black and white.

The handset will also come preloaded with news apps by Times of India and Economic Times, in a partnership with the Times of India Group's online division.

Panasonic has ambitious plans to have an 8 percent share of the smartphone market within India, in the first year alone. I say ambitious as even though Panasonic may be a Japanese brand leader, they have their work cut out for them, especially against local Indian brands such Karbonn and Micromaxx, along with the new Chinese models being offered in the market.

Furthermore, in India, people generally associate Panasonic as a brand with other household electronic devices, such as air conditioners and televisions. However, this should work to Panasonic's advantage as they are known to develop and sell durable and reliable products. What remains to be seen is if they can now deliver the same with smartphones in the ever growing and competitive mobile phone marketplace in India.

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