Panasonic's market leading plasma TV range could cease production in the next three years, according to the Nikkei newspaper.
Panasonic Viera plasma: for how much longer?
According to Nikkei (subscription required) and reported by Reuters, Panasonic may be considering an end to its plasma television range. Panasonic expects to see earnings halve in the TV market over the next three years, and could be considering closing its main plasma production plant in the 2014 fiscal year.
Panasonic produces what are widely considered the best plasma TVs on the market. It acquired Pioneer's Kuro-related plasma technology patents in 2009 after Pioneer decided to exit the market. At the time, Pioneer held the crown as the maker of the best plasma screens on the market, though such premium televisions met with limited consumer demand.
When Pioneer announced the end of Kuro, high-end stores battled to snap up the last of the stock to keep selling the premium products to their videophile clientele. Similar demand could appear for its peak models, like the Panasonic PZT60 Series, should Panasonic decide to exit the plasma scene.
While plasma TV has been the panel of choice for visual purists for many years, the price pressure from the LCD market, along with the arrival of OLED screens, puts plasma firmly on the back-foot for the decade ahead.