posted on Thursday, 31st October 2013 by Steve May
There was a grim inevitability about the announcement, but Panasonic has finally, officially confirmed that it will close its plasma TV business at the end of this financial year. Much rumoured, the company states "in order to create a business structure that can respond to changes in the business environment and to accelerate the growth strategy of the company" it will end the production of plasma display panels in December 2013 and stop business operations at its various Amagasaki factories by the end of March 2014.
In a statement the company adds: "Since 2000, Panasonic has promoted its PDP business and led the global flat panel display market with its strategy of utilizing PDP for large displays and LCD for small- and medium-sized displays. However, with the rapid development of large-screen LCDs, and facing the severe price competition in the global market brought on by the Lehman Shock in September 2008, the company consolidated production in the Amagasaki P4 Factory, made a shift towards commercial applications and worked to improve the earnings of the business." It maintains that "rapid drastic changes in the business environment" coupled with declining demand led to the "difficult decision was made to stop production."
The announcement doesn't just cover consumer plasma TVs, but also the brand's commercial grade displays and interactive touchscreens (now a familiar prop on Sky Sports). However the brand's not calling time on its TV aspirations altogether, pledging to develop and provide "appealing products which meet the demands of customers," and that it "will aim towards new development of its visual and display businesses." Translated, that means: 4K Ultra HD here we come...
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Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.