Death of plasma TV: Could Panasonic be thinking of pulling out?
Panasonic is reportedly considering withdrawal from the plasma television market. As shocking as that may seem, Japanese newspaper Nikkei claims that the company has already halted new development of plasma display technology and will cease panel production at its main plant in Amagaskai by the end of fiscal year 2014 as part of the firm's downsizing plans.
Projections show that, by 2015-16, Panasonic will earn less than half the amount from its television business than it was making at its peak. It made around $10.5 billion (£1.7bn) in 2009-10 on television sales, but that has steadily fallen since.
"We are considering a number of options regarding our TV business. But nothing has been decided yet," Panasonic told the newspaper.
It is believed the company will continue to manufacture and sell LCD (LED) TVs, but its withdrawal from the plasma TV market will be lamented by AV fans globally. It is still widely argued that plasma is the better display technology for picture quality, specifically with fast motion and black level representation.
Recent Panasonic plasma TVs have also been infused with some of the DNA of Pioneer's award-winning Kuro TVs - a range the rival Japanese company stopped making in 2010 because of financial constraints.
It could be argued that if Panasonic exits the market it dominates, it will sound the death knell for plasma TV technology full stop.
Will you be upset if Panasonic stops making plasma TVs? Or are LED or OLED TVs all that matter in the modern age? Let us know in the comments below...