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Pioneer Completes Plasma Exit

by David Mercer | 2月 12, 2009

Pioneer’s plasma TV business is the latest casualty of the recession. The company announced today that it is ceasing TV development immediately, and will close its TV business altogether by March 2010. So it looks like Panasonic will be the only major Japanese vendor left holding the plasma baby in 2010, as I discussed 18 months ago. Koreans Samsung and LG will help to keep plasma going, but are increasingly focused on LCD and well behind Panasonic in the race for PDP market share. Pioneer tried in vain to hold the line on premium, high quality TVs. In fairness it was always going to be difficult even in good economic times. Pioneer’s TVs were generally regarded as some of the best on the market and served as an aspiration for those who could “only” afford a Sony or a Samsung. But the gap between the “mass market” and Pioneer was undoubtedly getting narrower, and Pioneer was going to get caught in the squeeze sooner or later. When Amazon is offering Toshiba 42” 1080p LCD TVs for £499, it becomes harder than ever to justify paying four times the price for a similar sized Pioneer, especially when most retail stores are simply not capable of, or interested in, demonstrating the differences in picture quality. The severe downturn in consumer electronics has accelerated the impact of plasma’s relative decline on Pioneer. What is left of the company’s display technology expertise now resides with Panasonic, and even in this downturn that huge company should be powerful enough to keep plasma alive for a few more years. It will be a long and lonely struggle. Client Reading: Digital Media Devices Global Market Report Add to Technorati Favorites submit to reddit
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