Panasonic is currently considering exiting the plasma TV market as early as March 2014, according to Nikkei. Panasonic has already stopped plasma research and could move its focus to OLED-TVs soon.
Update: Panasonic has responded to the reports. We have included the full response at the end.
Panasonic considers exiting plasma TV market
Japanese news publication Nikkei reports that Panasonic, citing an “unnamed executive”, could close its last plasma TV factory in Amagasaki, Japan by March 2014, which is the end of Panasonic’s fiscal year.
Panasonic exhibited this 4K OLED-TV at CES
If true, Panasonic will not move forward with a complete production halt but instead reduce the production gradually over the next year in a move to completely phase out plasma technology. Nikkei also repeats a previous rumor that Panasonic will stop plasma research and they suggest that it has already happened. Nikkei adds that Panasonic has already written off the value of its production equipment at the plasma plant.
- "We are considering a number of options regarding our TV business. But nothing has been decided yet," a Panasonic spokesperson said to Reuters.
Panasonic still seems to be committed to LCDs and Nikkei says that they will continue the partnership with Sony that aims to bring OLED-TVs to market within a few years.
"The content of the report regarding our Plasma Display Panel (PDP) business is not something announced by Panasonic.
In regard to the PDP business, Panasonic will continue to deliver value added products, proposing new ways for our customers to enjoy their TVs. This includes taking advantage of PDP features such as the touch pen function as well as the big screen and high picture quality. In addition, for non-TV use, we are expanding our Business to Business (B2B) opportunities for the PDP business with products such as the Interactive Plasma Display.
Regarding the growth strategy for the TV business, we are looking into a variety of options, but nothing has been decided at the moment.
Regarding new products for 2013, in follow up to our global announcement in January 2013 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US, we are holding subsequent local product launch events worldwide. Panasonic has been enforcing global business, aiming to sell value added products with better design and high picture quality that meet the needs of our global customers.
There will be no change of service support for PDPs, and our dealers should have no concerns about continuing to sell Panasonic PDPs."