Sharp Corp plans to take on Apple's iPhone by the end of the year, with the international launch of a smartphone featuring a 3D panel that can be viewed without special glasses.

The new phone will also likely have a 3D capable camera, the spokeswoman said.

Though Japan's biggest mobile phone maker, Sharp is a small player in global terms and has so far failed to capitalize on rapid growth in the smartphone market.

A previous venture into the segment, the Kin model manufactured for Microsoft, flopped in the United States and was cancelled in June after less than three months.

Sharp unveiled its 3D panel technology, which is only suitable for small screens such as those on mobile phones and portable game consoles, in April.

Mobile electronics that let users view 3D images without special glasses have been around for some time, since people tend to look at the display from a fixed distance and angle on personal devices, making it technologically less difficult to offer a 3D function.

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