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Panasonic to exit TV market, hopes to build LCD panels for Apple's iPad - report

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
A new report claims Panasonic plans to leave the TV business and will instead focus on creating LCD displays for smaller devices, particularly Apple's iPad.

The details come from Japanese business newspaper Diamond Online, which were translated by Macotakara on Tuesday. It indicated that although LCD TV sets were the main product line for Panasonic, the company apparently plans to exit that business.

In its place, Panasonic reportedly hopes to make its way into the more profitable business of building LCD panels for portable electronics. In particular, Panasonic is said to be interested in finding its way into Apple's supply chain for the iPad.

Panasonic has allegedly already provided sample high-resolution LCD panels to Apple. One person quoted from the company indicated that Apple "seems to be satisfied" with the samples it was provided.

Retina Display


Earlier this year, with the launch of the new iPad with Retina display, Apple experienced production issues. Suppliers were said to have struggled building the high-resolution screens Apple needed for its third-generation iPad.

For the launch of the new iPad, only Samsung was able to provide display panels for Apple. Both Sharp and LG were said to have joined in slightly later after resolving apparent yield issues with the new iPad's Retina display.
post #2 of 58

So who's going to make Plasma screens?  Samsung?  Samsung's plasma screens are iffy unless you pay through the nose for them.

post #3 of 58
I would be very sad is Panasonic stopped making plasma TVs. I hope the rumours are false.
post #4 of 58
Panasonic plasma screens are among the best. This is very bad news.
post #5 of 58

Too bad if true.  Panasonic makes nice plasma screens.

post #6 of 58
Please, dear God, no. Every Panasonic product I have ever owned stopped working after a few months. Their quality is lower than any I have ever seen.
post #7 of 58

They better still be making plasma TVs or I will be very disappointed. I have a 5 year old Panasonic plasma that is still running great, and I'd like them to be there when I'm ready to upgrade

post #8 of 58
Guys they said LCD.
post #9 of 58

While waiting for Apple to make an actual Apple TV, I bought a 47-inch Panasonic. It was far better, and a better value than any other company's model in that size range.

 

Too bad they're giving up.

 

Then again, if they can deprive Samsung of business...

 
post #10 of 58

Samsung needs competition™

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post #11 of 58

Hasn't LED pretty much replaced the high-end LCD displays anyhow?  The ads say that the "green" LED's are better energy-wise.  I still have my Sharp LCD, which continues to be amazing 5 years later.

post #12 of 58

Maybe they are being a good supplier, who doesn't want to compete with a customer who they are going to supply panels for a TV set that said customer is going to unveil in a few months decided to drop their direct to consumer lines of that product.
 

post #13 of 58

I hope not because Sony has also said that they're going to "de-emphasize" the TV business.  If Sony and Panasonic leave the TV business, Samsung would become essentially a monopoly supplier (although there are still a few other minor players).   Also, as others have stated, Panasonic's Plasma sets are pretty damned good.    If they're only planning on existing the LCD consumer business, I suppose that's not so terrible, although I don't know how they would expect to make more of a profit selling to Apple, who is reputed to squeeze suppliers as hard as Wal-Mart, than selling to consumers, although their cost of sale would be eliminated (distribution/marketing/advertising). 

post #14 of 58

A poor judgement call.  Why quit doing something that you know how to do well.  They would be better off venturing into both venues and if they are successful building panels for mobile devices then so be it.  They could then downsize the TV side of their manufacturing plant.

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post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

A poor judgement call.  Why quit doing something that you know how to do well.  They would be better off venturing into both venues and if they are successful building panels for mobile devices then so be it.  They could then downsize the TV side of their manufacturing plant.

How would you know that it's a poor judgment call? If they're not able to make money on the business and can't find any way to monetize it, getting out of the business might be exactly the right decision. Since I assume that you were not part of the Board discussions, it is unlikely that you have enough information to know whether it's a good move or a bad one.

I really wish people would stop acting like they know what companies should do - when they don't have access to any of the financials or marketing information - or even any business experience, apparently.
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post #16 of 58
I give it a week tops before the rumors of Apple buying Panasonics TV division for the 'real' Apple TV start

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post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

A poor judgement call.  Why quit doing something that you know how to do well.  They would be better off venturing into both venues and if they are successful building panels for mobile devices then so be it.  They could then downsize the TV side of their manufacturing plant.

if you don't make a profit at it, why do it at all.  You're not going to make it up on volume.  LCD (true LCD) TVs are at the 'knock off' level.  No real money building something that sells for $300 that 5 competitors sell at $250.  IT's a TV...  

 

Keep the high end Plasma and generate a steady profit stream being an Apple supplier.  Toss the loss leader stuff, that most 'brands' outsource to crap contract houses anyway.

 

Contrary to what people feel, if Apple makes you an offer (and it seems they are buying capacity) they typically make it worth your while.   They pay cash, on time, and often pay for your capacity, and pay a premium for ability to deliver.

post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Hasn't LED pretty much replaced the high-end LCD displays anyhow?  The ads say that the "green" LED's are better energy-wise.  I still have my Sharp LCD, which continues to be amazing 5 years later.

Yes. in TV's it's the back light that's LED vs flourescent.   The 'color' is still LCD technology.  

 

LED uses a lot less electricity (like 50% less) than 'std' LCDs and has fewer ugly metals.  Put your hand on an LED screen vs an 'LCD' screen at your big box store and you can feel the difference.

post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I give it a week tops before the rumors of Apple buying Panasonics TV division for the 'real' Apple TV start

We can only hope... 1wink.gif

post #20 of 58

We had an old Panasonic 'fat-back' CRT display for our television. My mother bought it in 1994 and had two kids (so as you can imagine, glue, paint, glitter all coating its exterior). It only stopped working in late 2006/early 2007. Even to its last day it'd power up within five seconds, best telvision ever.

 

This is sad news.

post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

So who's going to make Plasma screens?  Samsung?  Samsung's plasma screens are iffy unless you pay through the nose for them.

 

Panasonic is the only company that makes TV's with decent built-in sound also.  All the rest force you to use an amp and buy a whole speaker package just to get any kind of reasonable sound quality. 

post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Yes. in TV's it's the back light that's LED vs flourescent.   The 'color' is still LCD technology.  

LED uses a lot less electricity (like 50% less) than 'std' LCDs and has fewer ugly metals.  Put your hand on an LED screen vs an 'LCD' screen at your big box store and you can feel the difference.

Never ceases to amaze me the amount of confusion the ad campaigns for these new sets has caused. I had a business associate swear up and down to me he had an LED TV, not LCD.

Personally, I prefer my three year old CCFL Aquos to the newer edge lit LED's. Yeah it might be thicker and heavier, but the lighting is much more uniform without any dead spots or backlight bleed. The local dimming LED's correct this, but they generally cost a grand or two more.
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Hasn't LED pretty much replaced the high-end LCD displays anyhow?  The ads say that the "green" LED's are better energy-wise.  I still have my Sharp LCD, which continues to be amazing 5 years later.

Ok here's where the whole "LEDs TVs are only LCD panels with LED lighting" posts begin
Edited by dasanman69 - 10/16/12 at 1:13pm
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post #24 of 58
Or perhaps they are going to be the exclusive manufacture of the Apple TV sets.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Hasn't LED pretty much replaced the high-end LCD displays anyhow?  The ads say that the "green" LED's are better energy-wise.  I still have my Sharp LCD, which continues to be amazing 5 years later.

No. LEDs do not replace LCDs in TVs (at least not at the current stage of development).

Historically. LCDs had fluorescent backlights. Recently, the fluorescent backlights have been replaced with LED backlights. The LCD display itself is unchanged.

It is true that they are experimenting with OLED displays where the LED itself is the display. However, they are not yet available in large enough sizes at competitive prices to have any impact. Perhaps in 5-10 years, it might be true to say that LED displays have replaced LCD displays. Today, it isn't.
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post #26 of 58

Sounds completely like a phony rumor. Panasonic makes some of the best plasma sets available.

 

I'll wait and see.

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post #27 of 58

The shake-ups in electronics will continue.  It's not that Apple is driving the change, but their process (design and production) and marketing is certainly influencing both other product manufacturers as well as consumers - who in many cases have figured out the old "you get what you pay for" mantra.  So much crap is cluttering the market that you have to work hard to differentiate in order to be noticed.  With tv's, there's just so little differentiation that price has become one of the only purchase influencers now.

 

The talk of Apple jumping into the tv game scares the heck out of the legacy brands and has to shake up even the newer players, including Samsung, given the power of Apple marketing to drive consumers to buy all things Apple.

post #28 of 58

They'd probably just exit the LCD TV market. Their LCD TVs haven't fared all that well in reviews and are generally far less impressive than their fantastic plasmas so it might make sense to concentrate on plasmas and try to move the LCD manufacturing to more lucrative areas.

post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasakka View Post

They'd probably just exit the LCD TV market. Their LCD TVs haven't fared all that well in reviews and are generally far less impressive than their fantastic plasmas so it might make sense to concentrate on plasmas and try to move the LCD manufacturing to more lucrative areas.

I think you are right.  The article didn't specify, it just said "exit TV market."  Could be there was more info there and that they intend to stay in plasmas.  They just bought Pioneer's plasma business a couple of years ago - I doubt it has paid for itself yet.

 

 I have two Panasonic high end plasmas in our studio.  They are absolutely the closest in color accuracy to the old CRT standard.  They even have a THX mode that puts the set in REC.709 color space.  Cost effective too.

post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Sounds completely like a phony rumor. Panasonic makes some of the best plasma sets available.

 

I'll wait and see.

 

Pioneer made some of the best plasma sets available - yet they left the business.

post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Please, dear God, no. Every Panasonic product I have ever owned stopped working after a few months. Their quality is lower than any I have ever seen.

 

Actually I've had the opposite experience.

 

Panasonic products have been the lowest cost, most rugged and high performing products for me. That includes DVD recorder and Video cameras. Sony is usually the worst (at the consumer price level) and often have annoying DRM and strange interfaces to contend with.

Samsung is usually a hit or miss situation -- never anything stellar.

post #32 of 58
This is a great shame if true, Pani make great TV's. If they do go that'll leave just Samsung, LG, Sony and Toshiba producing mainstream TV's (for Europe anyway) with Sony maybe on the way out too, that'll leave just the Koreans and Tosh, what competition and choice is that for customers? Oh wait a second there's Philips too.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Sony is usually the worst (at the consumer price level) and often have annoying DRM and strange interfaces to contend with.

Please name the annoying DRM they come with, and what strange interfaces?
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie_YVP View Post

 

Pioneer made some of the best plasma sets available - yet they left the business.

 

I have a feeling that the days of Plasma may be drawing to a close. LED tech is going to be "good enough" and cheaper due to all the money going into it's use in the smaller "retina' displays.

 

Panasonic is probably realizing that IN THE FUTURE, just making a large screen TV isn't going to be profitable. I seriously doubt they would NOT be talking to their bean counters and looking a the tech down the road.

 

Being the BEST right now, is not the same as being profitable in the future.

post #35 of 58
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post
Please name the annoying DRM they come with, and what strange interfaces?

 

Are you joking? Every single product they make is either their own made up crap interface and/or uses their own proprietary DRM. They only gave up that crap and adopted SD very recently, but they still use their proprietary crap on the high end.

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post #36 of 58
An LED TV _IS_ an LCD TV. The only change is the use of LED strips as a backlight rather than cold cathode tubes. It's one of the biggest deceits of the consumer technology to market them as a new technology as they are 90% the same. I wonder how the marketeers are going to differentiate actual LED TV that work by emitting light rather than withholding light when they start to become available in the next few years. Maybe Panasonic are getting out before the lie comes home to roost.
post #37 of 58
That's the logic of our current economy, the company that sells the best TVs wants to exit that market.
And some people still believe offer and demand.
post #38 of 58
Noooo 1frown.gif
post #39 of 58
I am sorry to say much of this information is incorrect.

It is true that Panasonic is working hard to supply the very large portable device manufacturers with displays and that we may see Panasonic concentrate engineering and manufacturing in their core display business, which is building PDP displays for professional, broadcast and consumer markets.

The article has generated many calls from a/v enthusiasts to buy Panasonic's well respected VT50 series TVs before they are all gone.

Robert Zohn
Edited by Robert Zohn - 10/16/12 at 3:50pm
post #40 of 58

I'm with a bunch of you guys.  Hate to see Panasonic T.V's go as they are usually one of the better looking screens for the price.  Still though I love that Panasonic is joining in on providing for Apple since I've always liked the quality of their products.

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