Panasonic planning to exit plasma TV market next year
Panasonic electronics is planning to exit the plasma TV market in early 2014 when its current fiscal year comes to an end. Sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that the company was contemplating a complete departure from the market.
Panasonic told Reuters that it was still exploring its options for the unit and that no decision has been finalized on its fate.
Although the company's plasma TVs are considered among the best on the market, such a move may help the company repair part of its ailing operation, which is losing billions of dollars. Last November, Panasonic announced it will cut 10,000 jobs by the end of March, just months after it laid off about 36,000 employees in the previous fiscal year. Ending its television operation could save it some much-needed cash and allow it to focus on other ventures.
Panasonic had previously mentioned that its retirement from the plasma business was nigh. This exit would come as interest in plasma TVs continues to fall. Global shipments of plasma TVs declined 21 percent in 2012 compared with a 1 percent decline for the LCD. That sharp fall follows years of market share decline for plasma, corresponding to the increasing dominance of LCD.