A Reuters report has emerged this week that Panasonic are planning to back out of the production of plasma television panels by the end of this year to March 2014, demonstrating a defining moment in the decline of Japan’s TV industry.
Panasonic’s plasma TVs have always been well received by the Australian public, and such a move will have an effect on the quality of televisions we are able to purchase in the future. But the truth is that plasma televisions have been losing market share to LCD screens every year, with Panasonic reporting losses for some time. Plasma display TVs accounted for less than 6 percent of global shipments in 2012, compared with 87 percent for LCD TVs, according to research firm DisplaySearch.
If the report is true, Panasonic will leave behind LG and Samsung as the only other companies that make plasma TVs, and even LG only make the plasma in one size. CNET’s resident TV reviewer David Katzmaier said in his report yesterday: “The loss of Panasonic plasmas would be a huge blow to TV buyers who want the best picture quality for the money,” siting it’s affordability for high picture quality.