First of all, do we really know for a FACT that the B650 has been discontinued? That was first posted here at least a couple months ago (maybe longer) after Best Buy ran an ad labeling clearance on the set and some people said their local BB reps told them it was discontinued. At the time, other people reported that their retailers disputed that. Then there happened to be a shortage of the units right around then so it seemed to jive with the reports. But subsequently stores have gotten more units and I have even seen them at Best Buy and out of curiosity asked if they were still selling them and had them in stock and they looked it up and said yes. Odd, given that they were supposedly discontinued that new inventory keeps showing up. I also just did some Internet searches and this thing is in stock all over the place, at online and B&N stores (though not at Best Buy.com right now). I have never seen or seen anyone link to an official report from Samsung or any other news source that this was discontinued. The Best Buy ad and what people said they were told by retailers is it - and we all know how accurate retailers statements typically are. (It's also worth noting that one of the people who originally pushed this discontinue discussion, HiFiFun, also insisted the entire 2009 Samsung plasma line-up had been discontinued, so his credibility is clearly weak.)
To be clear, I am not disputing that it was discontinued. I have no idea. I just would like to see the proof. Without it, I remain skeptical.
Now if it was discontinued, contrary to what omeletpants writes, it is unusual. They would have done it (when it supposedly happened a couple months ago) less than 6 months after release and approximately 6 months before the replacement model was likely to be released. So the normal idea that they are discontinuing it because they have a replacement wouldn't apply. Further, if you are going to preemptively discontinue one model in your product line, the 650 doesn't seem like the logical choice. Based on industry reviews it is particularly well rated among the line, including the Consumer Reports top pick. Why kill your stand out model and leave others? Perhaps they wanted to force more people toward the 850/860, the only other models in the line with the Internet capacities. But this seems like a stretch. Some others, of course, speculated it was because of the buzz issue and they decided it was easier just to kill production early and focus on the 2010 model. But there is no evidence for this theory. The 650 is no more prone to the buzz than other models and if anything the 850/860 would be more so. Second, because time and shown that there was not a preemptive release of a replacement model - we would have heard something about it by now. Certainly we will see the eventual replacement models in a week at CES. But it will be months until they hit the market and if they were about to hit the market immediately we would have already seen something.