TOKYO -- Panasonic will begin selling low-price smartphones in India under the respected Sanyo brand name next year.
The phones will only be available for order online, and are expected to sell for roughly 10,000 yen to 20,000 yen ($96 to $192).
Panasonic acquired Sanyo Electric in 2009, and subsequently consolidated its products under the Panasonic brand. However, the Sanyo name still carries weight in India thanks to its former sales of large household electrical appliances through a joint venture with a local company. Panasonic aims to expand its business by capitalizing on the Sanyo brand, a tactic the company has used before: it began selling Sanyo-branded TVs in the summer.
Through this push into the Indian smartphone market, Panasonic hopes to compete with South Korean and Chinese rivals such as Samsung Electronics and rising manufacturer Oppo Electronics.
The production of the Sanyo smartphones for India will be outsourced to an external company. The phones will be sold on Amazon.com and other e-commerce sites.
Panasonic had bowed out of the competitive Japanese and European smartphone markets by 2013. But the company is fortifying its sales in India as well as emerging countries in the Middle East and Africa.