Panasonic Reportedly Done with the TV Industry. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-16-2012, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Two reports from Japan report that Panasonic will be departing the TV industry. Stating that they made a huge blunder in 2006-2008 and are now going to pay the price.
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-16-2012, 06:15 PM
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There's already two threads here about this "report", but so far there's nothing about it from any credible sources yet. I think maybe something has been lost in translation and this is getting blown out of proportion.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-16-2012, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

There's already two threads here about this "report", but so far there's nothing about it from any credible sources yet. I think maybe something has been lost in translation and this is getting blown out of proportion.

The reports are starting to add up (see the thread here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1433388/2015-plasmas-final-year/0_60 )

Here is an updated report:

http://www.whathifi.com/news/japan-panasonics-loss-making-tv-division-to-cut-production-of-lcd-and-plasma-panels

If you look at the enormous drop in display sales one really has to question the future of manufacturers other than Samsung in this area.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-16-2012, 06:44 PM
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Reuters reports that Panasonic is not exiting the LCD and plasma television business completely, but will be cutting production to focus on production of the smaller LCD panels.

That which may be known of God is evident within man, for God has shown it to them, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-16-2012, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tomwil View Post

Reuters reports that Panasonic is not exiting the LCD and plasma television business completely, but will be cutting production to focus on production of the smaller LCD panels.

You have to wonder how much R&D Panasonic, for example, will spend on LCD and plasma. I fancy extremely little. When you look at the LCD numbers vis-a-vis the plasma sales (and remembering that Panasonic covers a broad area of price points for plasma) it seems clear that future development of higher end plasmas is not going to happen. According to the HDJ insider (before he took a temporary leave of absence), the new plasmas are ready but after 2013 I doubt there is going to be much more in terms of high end models.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tomwil View Post

Reuters reports that Panasonic is not exiting the LCD and plasma television business completely, but will be cutting production to focus on production of the smaller LCD panels.

A year or two back Panasonic had stated that they will cut back on TV development and production so if this is true then maybe it's just part of that long term plan.

We need more clarification about all this and from reputable sources etc etc before going into doom-and-gloom mode wink.gif

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 07:37 AM
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Ok FlatpanelsHD has more detailed info - they're saying that Panasonic is exiting the LCD TV market, and that they're reducing Plasma TV production. I don't know why the Mac world is saying that they're "exiting the TV business".

http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1350462926

We already knew that they were planning to reduce Plasma production from earlier this year when they reported that demand has slowed so this is nothing new. And a few years ago Panasonic announced their long term plans to curtail production, close plants, lay off some workers etc so this is probably just a continuation of their long term strategy. And if demand has waned more than they thought it would, they need to cut back production to prevent being stuck with a surplus of inventory like they had at the end of their 2009 and 2010 fiscal years. 2011 inventory was much leaner at the end, and i presume that it will be even leaner by the end of this 2012 model year and will monitor demand and adjust production accordingly from now through December.

Panasonic has also said that there's no money in small LCD TVs since the market is saturated with cheap models from China and Korea so it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they stop making LCD panels completely. They're already sourcing panels from other companies for use in many of their current LCD TVs.

Their Plasma technology is mature, solid, and already paid for so there is no real need for much further development - just a little tweaking here and there. They have been reducing the number of models and skews for a few years now which seems to be part of their long term plan to streamline operations. And now that their lower-end Plasmas (UT50, ST50) perform almost as well as their flagship model they would be smart to reduce the number of Plasma models again for 2013 and eliminate some of the overlap.

Actually i can see OLED completely replacing LCD since they can be made in the same screen sizes that LCD offers (say from 1" to 70" etc), especially considering that the larger LCDs that compete with Plasmas cost much more than Plasma yet provide inferior picture quality so why not do away with LCD completely and focus on OLED for these market segments? Plasma can continue as their bargain line (relatively speaking) while still providing PQ close to that of OLED but for a lot less money.

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post #8 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I hope you're correct Randy because it would be a shame to see plasma pass into oblivion because Samsung and LG will quickly follow Panasonic's lead. I think you'll see only two or three models next year from Panasonic with the flagship available in a 70" version. It seems strange that all of these recent articles regarding Panasonic's TV demise did not mention their current fledgling OLED partnership with Sony.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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My Kuro is already "close to OLED" if we compare it to the modern Panasonic, so I'm none too happy about this.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 11:12 AM
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I know people have said it before and I will say it again. Just bring the Kuro tech and transition it to all models and we will be happier then a pig in mud , LOL. I think i know why they are sitting on the tech and not releasing it. Just milking the current tech, tweaking it a little bit and charging less. They might have to charge substantially more for the tv's and risk more loss of profits. Any ideas why the kuro tech is being sat on?
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 11:25 AM
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There so far isn't a bit of evidence Panasonic is leaving the TV market, as much as I'm sure others wish that were true (competition, not AVSers, don't flatter yourselves).

The TV business is horrible and it's becoming "winner" take most among branded product. The vast majority of the reason for this is the value of the yen, which has decimated the profitability of everyone Japan-based. In the meantime, LG and Samsung have out-marketed everyone from Japan and the results speak for themselves. Oh, and Korea Inc. is not exactly rolling in TV profits either, in spite of a market that is moving 250ish million units per year.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 11:40 AM
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Cutting production of panels does not equal getting out of the tv business. LCD Panels can and, in the case of most mfgs. actually are, outsourced anyway. This is nothing new in the industry--50 years ago the vast majority of color tv picture tubes, regardless of the logo under the screen, were built by RCA--in fact the whole tv chassis on most brands was sourced from RCA. More recently the crt "guns" on those big rear projection sets were mostly sourced from Hitachi, and Sony was buying thier video processors from Philips.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hungro View Post

Any ideas why the kuro tech is being sat on?

I read somewhere the reason Panasonic isn't making Kuros is they use too much electricity and many municipalities have restrictions on how much power a TV can use. Apparently, they tried making low current Kuro's and the results weren't good.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-17-2012, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

There so far isn't a bit of evidence Panasonic is leaving the TV market, as much as I'm sure others wish that were true (competition, not AVSers, don't flatter yourselves).
The TV business is horrible and it's becoming "winner" take most among branded product. The vast majority of the reason for this is the value of the yen, which has decimated the profitability of everyone Japan-based. In the meantime, LG and Samsung have out-marketed everyone from Japan and the results speak for themselves. Oh, and Korea Inc. is not exactly rolling in TV profits either, in spite of a market that is moving 250ish million units per year.

The value of the yen hurts, but I don't think it's the primary issue. The bigger problem is much of the world is in a depression and consumer electronics, in general, is getting hammered. No one is making money selling consumer electronics. Except for Apple.
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^That's a disgusting thought (only Apple profiting). ;0
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-18-2012, 02:49 AM
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There is a difference between reducing or outsourcing production of their LCD panels to LG and exiting the LCD TV market. Exiting the LCD TV market at year end would effectively be the same as exiting the TV market as Panasonic LCDs now make up at least 80% of their sales and plasma is dying faster than anticipated. So having no LCD TVs would reduce their brand presence so much that trying to push Panasonic branded OLEDs into the mainstream in a few years' time would be very difficult if not impossible.

Their strategy is probably to maintain a presence in the television market by outsourcing panel production to tide them over until higher margin Panasonyc OLEDs can be sold into the mainstream. This year may have been a test to see if they could secure enough sales to avoid outsourcing, and they didn't.

Panasonic's R&D priorities, marketing and model positioning haven't been good enough to obtain volume in the LCD market. They completely failed to market their IPS advantage. IPS wasn't in the model names and I don't remember seeing any adverts touting Panasonic IPS viewing angles. Remember what those other three letters, "LED", did for Samsung?
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-18-2012, 11:52 AM
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Plasma sales were up over 25% in 2010 and up another 25% in 2011. If plasma "dies" any faster, everybody might own one.

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post #18 of 19 Old 10-18-2012, 12:58 PM
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The value of the yen hurts, but I don't think it's the primary issue. The bigger problem is much of the world is in a depression and consumer electronics, in general, is getting hammered. No one is making money selling consumer electronics. Except for Apple.

Actually, the yen is the primary issue. TV sales are more or less flat. They aren't down by double digits. It's pretty much the same number of units in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2010 was up from 2009, which was up from 2008, 2007, etc.

If the world economy was the problem, you'd see reduced unit sales, which you haven't in any meaningful sense (it happened for the "first time ever" this year, see: http://www.bgr.com/2012/06/21/global-tv-sales-lcd-shipments-down/).

The Japanese, however, lose money on every sale at 80 yen: dollar, and 100 yen: euro. And the fact that Samsung is a better marketer right now means they are also taking share.

So flat market + loss of market share + loss on every sale = devastating triple whammy.

If the TV market actually starts to shrink, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp are all absolutely finished. Samsung, LG and China will use the opportunity to simple crush them while they are down. The Japan trio may be done anyway. Mitsubishi used to make TVs and basically doesn't anymore (they sell about 0.1% of the world's units), Toshiba is barely in the market globally, Philips (not Japanese of course) is more or less out of TV. Sony can't argue any rational case for still being in -- a decade of losses? please! -- and Panasonic is having a tough time justifying remaining as well. If the yen plummets, those guys will see profitability return much faster and it buys them time to turn things around. But the trends actually favor all three dying anyway, with, ironically, Sharp having the best chance at survival because it owns the only 10G fab on earth (well, it doesn't own much of it anymore, but if the trends toward bigness every accelerate, the Sharp brand has a leg up on everyone else).

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-18-2012, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like the exit strategy has moved into phase II which IMO means the end has been excepted and the closing door is inevitable. The yen is not going to rebound enough or in time to stave off the Korean and Chinese competitions current marketing advantages. I do wonder what role Vizio may end up playing in the American market. They seem to be quite aggressive right now.
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