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Panasonic to End Plasma Panel Production By April 2014

post #1 of 392
Thread Starter 

It appears that Panasonic is abandoning plasma panel production for good. According to Japan's Nikkei business outlet—and reported by Engadget—the company will not produce any more plasma televisions after the end of the company's current fiscal year, which ends in March 2014.

 

Panasonic's VT60 plasma was very highly rated, but there will be no sequel


About six months ago, Panasonic denied it was exiting the plasma business. The official word from the company was that plasma production would continue, even if R&D on new panels would not. The company's 2013 plasma models were among the all-time best-reviewed HDTVs, finally achieving (or beating) the image quality benchmark set by Pioneer's defunct Kuro line.

 

Quote:

"Sales will then continue until inventory runs out. The paper states that Panasonic has suffered losses exceeding 750 billion yen through fiscal 2012 thanks to the waning product line and is in talks to transfer tenancy rights or sell off its remaining plasma factory." source: Engadget

 

 

It looks like the curse of the Kuro has struck again; when a plasma panel's image quality gets too close to perfect, the whole line gets cancelled—and now the future truly belongs to LCD and OLED. I am curious how long Samsung and LG will continue building and selling plasma HDTVS, considering this development.

Update: Reuters has an article that is now cited by numerous national publications as a primary source for this news.

Quote:
"The move also signals the demise in Japan of a technology in which TV makers once invested heavily but has now been overtaken by advances in the liquid crystal display (LCD) business. Plasma display TVs accounted for less than 6 percent of global shipments in 2012, compared with 87 percent for LCD TVs" source: Reuters

 

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Edited by imagic - 10/19/13 at 7:37am
post #2 of 392
A sad day if this is accurate. That means no 2014 models. Without Panasonic, there would also be little incentive for Samsung to improve/produce another 8500 series for 2014...and then we'll all be left with is Edge-lit LED and first generation OLED. TV Y2K approaches!
post #3 of 392
Words fail to describe how I feel about this...
post #4 of 392
We been through this before with Nikkei, don't believe anything you read that Panasonic does not verify. Eventually Panasonic will leave the plasma business, but right now I put this with all the Apple rumors that never amount to anything.
post #5 of 392
Garbage in, garbage out.
post #6 of 392
Uh oh! I need to buy my plasma before the Super Bowl.
post #7 of 392
The future is a scary thing isn't it?
post #8 of 392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

Garbage in, garbage out.

 

In this case "garbage" is what you call the statement from six months ago, in which Panasonic's head marketing honcho denied this inevitable and unsurprising news.

post #9 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

In this case "garbage" is what you call the statement from six months ago, in which Panasonic's head marketing honcho denied this inevitable and unsurprising news.
+1 What else would you expect them to say "We're getting ready to fold so beware buying this years plasmas"?
post #10 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

+1 What else would you expect them to say "We're getting ready to fold so beware buying this years plasmas"?

As a company, I don't think Panasonic is going anywhere so your warranty from them is safe. Also, hopefully this means they have made progress on their printed OLED method and think they can overcome the yield problems in the near future.
post #11 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by sytech View Post

As a company, I don't think Panasonic is going anywhere so your warranty from them is safe. Also, hopefully this means they have made progress on their printed OLED method and think they can overcome the yield problems in the near future.
I dont doubt they will honor warranties. I was just being silly, really. smile.gif
post #12 of 392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sytech View Post


As a company, I don't think Panasonic is going anywhere so your warranty from them is safe. Also, hopefully this means they have made progress on their printed OLED method and think they can overcome the yield problems in the near future.

 

It's a fair bet that Panasonic does not want to cannibalize future OLED sales by offering far less expensive (and lower profit margin) plasmas.

I believe this decision will also hasten the demise of plasma at Samsung, and shortly thereafter you will see flat OLED hit the market. With high-end plasma put out to pasture, OLED will no longer need to be curved in order to differentiate itself.

 

post #13 of 392
Its common knowledge that plasma has been and continues to be on its way out.
post #14 of 392
Panasonic plasma's are the only TVs I consider. In the future, I guess i'll have to look elsewhere. frown.gif

I don't blame Panasonic. They exist to make a profit, not to make great TVs.
post #15 of 392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

Panasonic plasma's are the only TVs I consider. In the future, I guess i'll have to look elsewhere. frown.gif

I don't blame Panasonic. They exist to make a profit, not to make great TVs.

 

I think Panasonic will continue to make great TVs—although there certainly is no guarantee it will—but those TVs will just happen to be LCD and OLED-based. There is a huge opportunity for any company that can bring a 65" or 70" flat OLED 4K/UHD TV with true HDMI 2.0 to market for under ten grand. Huge. Panasonic could be that company, but not if it kept nursing a money-losing plasma division.

So while I agree that the company will (ultimately) always be looking at the bottom line, I do think that Panasonic takes pride in making great TVs, and I hope it finds a way to do so profitably.

 

I also think CES 2014 is going to be a blockbuster show, when it comes to flat panel technology. :D 


Edited by imagic - 10/9/13 at 6:44am
post #16 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

In this case "garbage" is what you call the statement from six months ago, in which Panasonic's head marketing honcho denied this inevitable and unsurprising news.

US merchandizing VP =/= "Panasonic's head marketing honcho"

Until there's an official press release, nothing is official. The only official statement I read out of Japan back in February not long after the Nikkei story (can't seem to find a link to it right now) said that "no decision has been made on the future status of its TV business operations." This report, if it's true, does it contradict that statement?
post #17 of 392
Very sad to see this technology come to an end. Let's hope the future of LED LCD and OLED bring us better TVs than the great VT/ZT 60 and our beloved Kuro plasmas.

Paul
post #18 of 392
Plasma sales were <6% of the market in 2012 (not sure exactly how they define the market, but whichever way you look at it, 6% vs 87% is not good). It's perfectly understandable that Panasonic would retire this technology under those conditions - the market has spoken. Now my question is, why has the market gone so heavily toward LCD? I get that they are brighter and shinier in Best Buy, but how does that impact online sales? I guess people see the brighter set in Best Buy and go buy it online? It's an interesting phenomenon that once a particular technology gains momentum, no amount of objective evidence that a competing product is better can turn the tide. Must be a herd thing - are people afraid to get out of line and buy plasma, when everyone else is getting LED/LCD? Or is the power/IR combo that turns people off? I'm thinking IR is the big one.
post #19 of 392
Looking on the bright side, there will likely be some hellacious deals available over the next couple of years. On the down side, I just bought one, before the really deep discounting happens! I'm good with it though - just got a 65" Panasonic, (to add to my 42" and 50" Panasonics), so I'm set for the next several years. Who knows what awesome TVs will be available by then?
post #20 of 392
Sad. Very sad. I would love to be able to buy a new P65ZT60 for under $1000 though.
Edited by ProfD - 10/9/13 at 7:17am
post #21 of 392
And thus PQ went to $hit into the night for the LCD tech can't deliver cinematic images that the people crave........whether 2K, 4K or 20K........

........curtains........

*saprano's kuro shines brightly*
post #22 of 392
Dang it, once again I will not be getting my hands on a premium picture display....

I was saving up for a Kuro in college and then they went out. Now I was saving up for a ZT60 and it is going out as well....

I guess I may just go with a projector next time around....
post #23 of 392
Definetly getting a vt60 now
post #24 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfD View Post

Sad. Very sad. I would love to be able to buy a new P65ZT60 for under $1000 though.
When pigs fly.
post #25 of 392
With Panasonic and Sony "joining forces", look for the PANSONY booth at CES. biggrin.gif
post #26 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

Dang it, once again I will not be getting my hands on a premium picture display....

I was saving up for a Kuro in college and then they went out. Now I was saving up for a ZT60 and it is going out as well....

I guess I may just go with a projector next time around....

On the contrary, prices should fall significantly, bringing that ZT60 within your reach. They'll still be selling them for probably a year or more before all the inventory runs out. Production doesn't stop until April next year, and there is probably a 3-4 month leadtime to get those units on a boat and into stores in the US. Then there will be availability through amazon, Newegg, etc for a while after that, when you'll see much lower prices. Just because they announced an end-of-life date, doesn't mean they won't be available, and still great TVs after that date.
post #27 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by jontyrees View Post

On the contrary, prices should fall significantly, bringing that ZT60 within your reach. They'll still be selling them for probably a year or more before all the inventory runs out. Production doesn't stop until April next year, and there is probably a 3-4 month leadtime to get those units on a boat and into stores in the US. Then there will be availability through amazon, Newegg, etc for a while after that, when you'll see much lower prices. Just because they announced an end-of-life date, doesn't mean they won't be available, and still great TVs after that date.

Yep. You'll still have over a year to still purchase the VT/ZT after production stops. There will be plenty.
post #28 of 392
Very sad to hear, plasma t.v. Has the best picture then most t.v. That are out there.! Come on Panasonic don't kill it!
post #29 of 392
http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1381318916

"Panasonics has issued the following statements to FlatpanelsHD.
The content of the report is not something that was announced by Panasonic.
The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the strategy for the PDP business, but nothing has been decided at this stage.
The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the utilization of the Amagasaki Factory, but nothing has been decided at this stage.

The Amagasaki plant is Panasonic's only active plasma factory, after the other factories were shut down recently."

I find it hard to believe that they have not decided yet, like they claim in that statement, since CES 2014 is just three months away, unless their senior executives are just dithering fools who are not capable of making timely decisions.
post #30 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I think Panasonic will continue to make great TVs—although there certainly is no guarantee it will—but those TVs will just happen to be LCD and OLED-based. There is a huge opportunity for any company that can bring a 65" or 70" flat OLED 4K/UHD TV with true HDMI 2.0 to market for under ten grand. Huge. Panasonic could be that company, but not if it kept nursing a money-losing plasma division.


So while I agree that the company will (ultimately) always be looking at the bottom line, I do think that Panasonic takes pride in making great TVs, and I hope it finds a way to do so profitably.

I also think CES 2014 is going to be a blockbuster show, when it comes to flat panel technology. biggrin.gif  
I'm not sure how huge that opportunity is. OLED will be a money-losing division, too. I think you're overestimating market size of those wanting to pay <$10k for a 70". You yourself own a Vizio LED, don't you? I mean, that says a lot in and of itself. wink.gif
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