Every once in a while, a company will show signs of preparing for a significant change in business practices. The past week has seen Panasonic get this type of attention, and the press was quick to pick up on it.
makes various TVs and entertainment devices, so it has many sources of income. Scrapping one won't hurt all that much.
Then again, a company wouldn't even be considering a complete discontinuance if the business segment weren't more trouble than it was worth.
In a report by Nikkei (JP)
, Panasonic is said to be preparing for an exit from the plasma TV industry, as part of a plan to greatly reduce TV production in general over the next few years.
To compensate for the flagging display business, Panasonic will, instead, get involved in airplane systems, enterprise products and automotive parts.
Plasma will be a significant loss for the home theater market. While LCDs are being praised and promoted, and sold much better than plasma, or any other technology really, plasma has the advantage of deeper blacks, wide viewing angles, lack of motion blur and vivid colors.
That said, the display technology could disappear as early as 2014, by which time Panasonic should have established a foothold in the alternatives we have enumerated above.
On the other hand, Panasonic may decide against doing any of this. According to an official statement
, “though the Company has been studying various plans for the strategy of the businesses, nothing has been decided.”
Panasonic's TV division has been losing steam for over a year now. It has actually been steadily flagging since 2009, when revenues reached a record. Already it has stopped investing in new plasma technology.
OLED displays will continue getting fuel, since the joint plans with Sony must go on, and LCDs will definitely stick around, but Panasonic is definitely changing its tune.