Is the king of plasma displays ready to call it quits? Reuters is reporting that Japan’s Panasonic Corp is considering withdrawing from plasma television operations as part of a downsizing of its television business. The slimming down process would take three years and begin next fiscal year. The Nikkei newspaper says “Panasonic has already been selling assets, including real estate, to strengthen its financial position.” There’s also the revelation that Panasonic TVs generated sales of more than $10.5 billion in 2009-10, but the forecast is for less than half of that number in 2015-16. “We are considering a number of options regarding our TV business. But nothing has been decided yet,” a Panasonic spokesperson said.
Panasonic had already planned to shutter its plasma panel productions at its main plant in Japan sometime next year, according to the Nikkei. The consensus thinking seems to be that handling both plasma and LCD models wouldn’t make good financial sense, especially in Japan, where sales of flat panels are falling fast.