This past week Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., Ltd, the parent company of mobile phone maker Panasonic Mobile, announced that Panasonic will no longer compete in the GSM handset business due to “severe global competition”. The company said that it will refocus all of its efforts on 3G handsets, where it has been quite successful so far.
This means that the Panasonic Mobile plant in the Philippines will be closed. The GSM production lines at the Czech plant will also be shut down and the GSM manufacturing in Beijing will be retooled to focus on 3G phones. The company also announced that it is working to shift all of its future handsets over to the Linux based platform that the company is currently using in the Japanese market.
This shift towards Linux means that the Panasonic R&D facilities in the US will be closed, as these offices had been working on devices based on the Symbian OS. The Panasonic R&D labs in the UK will refocus on 3G technologies.