Do you remember when you first saw a plasma television? I do, I remember seeing one in a local retail park when they first appeared in the UK many years ago. The fresh look and clean crisp picture quality was unlike anything I had ever laid my eyes upon. The market quickly flooded and many people followed suit in the plasma TV sphere, but Panasonic always remained in the top spots for their immaculate designs and sheer quality of image on their plasma models. It is nice to reminisce about tech history, but it appears as though Panasonic’s days in the plasma TV market are at an end.
In a long rumoured move, the Japanese electronics giant is planning to exit the market by March 2014 when its current fiscal year comes to an end, sources well-known to the the situation informed Reuters. The news that Panasonic was contemplating a departure from the market was first reported by the Japan-based newspaper Nikkei in back in March this year, but this reported timetable is sooner than some analysts had expected.
Although Panasonic’s plasma TVs are considered among the finest on the market, such a move might help the company repair its ailing operations, which currently, is losing billions of dollars. In November last year, Panasonic announced it would cut 10,000 jobs by the end of March, just a few months after it laid off 36,000 employees in the previous fiscal year. By cutting its television operation, the company could save it some much needed cash and thereby allow it to focus on other industries within the market.
Panasonic had previously hinted that its retirement from the plasma business was almost upon us, telling CNET that its latest high-end plasma would likely be the last generation of plasma TV development the company would undertake. Overall global shipments of plasma TVs declined 21 percent in 2012 compared with only a 1 percent decline for LCD TV’s. That drastic fall follows years of market share decline for plasma, corresponding to the increasing dominance of LCD. The exit would be timely as interest in plasma TVs continues to wane.
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