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Is Panasonic Getting Out of the Plasma TV Business?
Say it ain't so! On the off chance that you don't already have a case of the Mondays, here's a bit of sad news: The web is buzzing with rumors that Panasonic will soon drop plasma from its TV lineup.
According to Japan's The Nikkei newspaper (via Reuters via Electronic House), Panasonic is planning to cut its losses and permanently pull out of the plasma market. That's not to say that you should run out and start hoarding the company's plasma TVs like they're Twinkies. Panasonic is planning to make this move a gradual one.
Panasonic will kick off a three-year plan during the next fiscal year. The Nikkei is reporting Panasonic's plans to shut down plasma TV panel production at its main plant in Amagaskai in fiscal year 2014. Reuters also says that the company is already cleaning house a bit, selling off assets and real estate.
Plasma has long been a favorite of video fans. If you're one of those looking for a little hope, a Panasonic spokesperson did tell Reuters that no final decisions have been made yet.
It wouldn't be a total surprise, though. Just one year ago, Panasonic announced record losses and plans to pull back on the company's total number of flat panels. That said, the company seemed dedicated to the category for the long haul, announcing 16 new plasma models for the year, in sizes ranging from 42 to 65 inches.
In 2012, Panasonic was just one of three companies (total!) still cranking out plasma TV models.
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