Much has been written about Panasonicâ€™s exit from the plasma business, and Reuters adds fuel to the flames. They claim to know that this yearâ€™s plasma TVs will be the last, and that Panasonic will shut down its last remaining factory by March 2014. Panasonic says that nothing has been decided at this stage.
Conflicting information on Panasonicâ€™s plans
The rumors started in late 2012 and in April 2013 Panasonic confirmed that plasma research has ceased, but that production will continue into 2014. At last monthâ€™s IFA show Panasonic even confirmed to FlatpanelsHD that new plasma TVs will arrive in 2014.
This yearâ€™s plasma TVs from Panasonics are the last, if you believe Reuters
However, plans have changed if we are to believe Reutersâ€™ sources. They say that Panasonic will shut down its last remaining factory by the end of this fiscal year, which ends in March 2014. Panasonic usually releases new TVs in the spring, which means that the current 2013 TVs could be the last plasma TVs from Panasonic.
Panasonics has issued the following statements to FlatpanelsHD.
The content of the report is not something that was announced by Panasonic.
The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the strategy for the PDP business, but nothing has been decided at this stage.
The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the utilization of the Amagasaki Factory, but nothing has been decided at this stage.
The Amagasaki plant is Panasonic's only active plasma factory, after the other factories were shut down recently.
Panasonic will instead focus on OLED technology for TVs, according to several reports. They exhibited their first OLED TV at CES in January 2013 as a prototype that was manufactured in collaboration with Sony, and at IFA in September 2013 Panasonic exhibited a new prototype that was manufactured at Panasonicâ€™s own factory.