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SECTIONS / TVS & LARGE DISPLAY

Panasonic To Dump Plasma TV: Report

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 10/10/2013

As it turns on 4K TV, Panasonic to turn off Plasmas.

The Japanese giant well known for its magnificent Plasma TV will cease production by the end of the financial year to March, sources told Reuters. 

Panasonic will book an impairment loss of more than 40 billion yen on the last remaining factory building in operation, the sources added. 

Panasonic Australia were not available for comment at the time of writing. 

The rumoured move comes as Pana embraces new, sexier technologies including '4K' UHD TV, and has developed a 56-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel, hot on the heels of LG, Samsung and Sony.

The Panasonic Group recorded a large net loss for the second consecutive year to March 31, 2013, with losses in its TV division a major contributor.  

In its annual report 2013, management pledged to "change the structure of our businesses so that we turn around all unprofitable businesses by fiscal 2016."

In an interview with CN last week, Richard Tassone, Panasonic Australia's Marketing Manager Consumer Electronics, said "the TV market is volatile, we're always reviewing our strategies, but believe our strategy is right, especially for new technology", referring to the premium pricing on first 4K TV, announced last month. 

He said LED, LCD TVs were continuing to grow, admitting the Plasma TV market is "smaller". 

Panasonic recently unveiled its first ever VIERA Ultra HD TV, or '4K', for A$7,699, which is pricier than rivals LG and Samsung, but the TV giant says it is the first second gen, "future proofed" 4K TV, so it is worth the extra cash.

At CES in January, Panasonic refreshed its Smart Viera Plasma HDTV lineup. 

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