Panasonic to Sell Smartphones in Europe in 2012

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Panasonic will enter the European mobile market again-- and plans to start selling smartphones in Europe from Spring 2012-- according to the Nikkei business daily.

Panasonic smartphonesThe newspaper says Panasonic is in talks with "a major telecommunications firm" operating in Europe and will be offering Android-powered handsets.

The news lines up with rumours Panasonic is looking for a PR agency to help with a smartphone launch covering 6 EU countries (including the UK). According to PR Week, Panasonic will launch the P-07C-- a 4.3" touchscreen handset with mobile TV capabilities.

Another potential Panasonic Android is the Lumix P-02D, currently offered in Japan by NTT DoCoMo.

Panasonic used to sell mobile phones outside of its home Japan until 2005, when it retreated out of Europe and China due to stiff price competition and other market pressures. More news should emerge on the run-up to CES or MWC 2012, since Panasonic will be making an appearance at both shows.

Go Panasonic To Sell Smartphones Overseas (Nikkei)

Go Panasonic in PR Agency Hunt for Foray into Smartphones (PR Week)

Facebook Friends HTC for Phone Making

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It is actually happening-- will the market "like" it? According to AllThingsD, Facebook is entering the mobile arena with a smartphone carrying the social network at its very core.

Facebook PhoneWho will make such a phone? Taiwan's HTC, a recent choice on Facebook's part. Samsung was also being considered as potential hardware partner, apparently. 

Code-named after TV vampire slayer Buffy, the phone will run on (surprise?) Facebook-modified Android. According to All Things D sources, "Buffy" Android will also support HTML5 and might be too deeply customised to run regular Android apps (demanding an alternative Facebook app store). 

AllThingsD says the Faacebook phone will only hit the market in 12-18 months' time-- but Business Insider differs, and insists the launch "might come much sooner than that," on Q2 2012. Even if "not everyone close to the project is optimistic" the Facebook phone will manage to hit the market. 


HTC Reveals Beats Phone

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HTC announces its first smartphone featuring Beats audio technology-- the Rezound, previously known as the Vigor. 

RezoundIt has a 4.3" 1280 x 720 resolution display and uses Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (expandable to a further 16GB via microSD card), wifi and Bluetooh 3.0. 

The only feature making Rezound stand out from all other Android handsets the Beats technology-- which users can enjoy using the pair of headphones (complete with built-in microphone and on-cable remote) HTC includes in the package. 

Is this the real reason why HTC paid $300M for 51% of the Dr. Dre owned company back in August?

Go HTC Smartphones

Nokia Shows Off Windows Phone Goods

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Nokia presents a hopeful face at Nokia World 2011, unveiling not one but two Windows Phone 7 devices-- flagship model Lumia 800 and the "colourful and affordable" Lumia 710.

Lumia 800The company describes the Lumia 800 as "the first real Windows Phone"-- a sleek handset sharing industrial design with the stillborn Meego-powered N9, using the same 12.1mm thick polycarbonate plastic casing and 3.7" AMOLED curved display.

Inside is a 1.4GHz processor, 16GB of internal storage, a camera using Carl Zeiss optics and the latest Windows Phone version (7.5 aka Mango), complete with WP7-optimised versions of familiar Nokia apps and 25GB of free SkyDrive storage.

It will be available in 3 colours (cyan, magenta, black) from November 2011.

Meanwhile the Lumia 710 is the "no-nonsense" option, with a chunkier plastic design, 3.7" display and the same 1.4GHz processor as the Lumia 800. It will ship in either black or white (together with a number of replaceable back covers) in European markets from "early 2012."

Thanks to a deal with Beats headphone maker Monster, Nokia also offers a pair of co-branded on-ear and in-ear headsets.

Also unveiled at Nokia World is a new Symbian feature phone family-- "Asha," from the Hindi word for "hope" (maybe they should have used "hamphi," Hindi for "gasp"?). The new series has x4 affordable models in total (Asha 303, 300, 200 and 201) and will be available from Q1 2012.

Go Nokia Showcases New Phone Portfolio at Nokia World 2011

The Razr Returns

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The most successful Motorola mobile phone returns, as the company announces an Android-powered take on the ultra-thin Razr series-- the Droid Razr, bearing the tagline claiming it is "TOO POWERFUL TO FALL IN THE WRONG HANDS."

Droid RazrMotorola says the Droid Razr is the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone around, with a 7.1mm-thick body and a 4.3" Super AMOLED 960x540 touchscreen. Inside is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and an 8MP rear-facing camera capturing video at 1080p resolution. 

Construction is in Kevlar fibre and Gorilla Glass, while a mysterious "force shield of water-repellent nanoparticles" supposedly protects the device from water-based attacks. 

It runs Android 2.3.5, with an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich more than likely (Google owns Motorola, after all) and is also compatible with Atrix-designed peripherals-- complete with the Linux-based Webtop app. 

Go Motorola Droid Razr