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Panasonic could end plasma TV production next year

Tom Morgan
9 Oct 2013
Panasonic ZT65
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Panasonic could be preparing to exit the plasma TV market, according to a new Reuters report

Panasonic, one of the last proponents of plasma TV technology, may be preparing to leave the market in 2014, according to a new Reuters report.

The company made a £9billion net loss over the last two years, with its TV business posting an operational loss of £571million last year alone, despite high-end televisions like the VIERA TX-P60ZT65B impressing the critics with its exceptional image quality.

Despite the plaudits, plasma technology is inherently expensive compared to LCD, which greatly outnumbers it in terms of global sales. According to research fim DisplaySearch, as much as 87 per cent of TVs sold in 2012 were LCD, with less than 6 per cent being plasma displays.

Panasonic will instead concentrate on LCD TVs, moving on to 4K sets in 2014 with the VIERA WT600 leading the charge, and continue joint development of OLED technology with partner Sony. That still puts the company behind Korean rivals Samsung and LG, which already have OLED TVs on sale.

According to Reuters sources, the final plasma production factory in western Japan will close next year, with the several hundred employees moved to other parts of the company.

A Panasonic statement said the company "continued to consider various options for the plasma display panel business but that nothing had been decided yet".

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