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Pioneer confirms halt of PDP production

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Mar 2008 10:02 User comments (4)

Pioneer confirms halt of PDP production Once an innovator in the field, Pioneer Corp. has confirmed on Friday that it will stop the production of Plasma display panels (PDP) as it attempts to change the fortunes of its money losing business. The company is reportedly in talks with rival Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. about purchasing plasma panels for use in its flat-panel televisions.
Pioneer fell behind Samsung, Matsushita and LG Electronics Inc. in PDP technology despite being one of the leading developers at a time. "We have judged that maintaining the cost competitiveness of plasma display panels, or PDPs, at projected sales volumes will be difficult going forward," Pioneer said in a statement.

Pioneer is facing a loss of 15 billion yen ($145.6 million) at the end of its fiscal year (March 31st) after previously forecasting a profit of 6 billion yen ($58 million). After opting out of plasma panel production, Pioneer faces a one-time fee of 19 billion yen ($184.5 million), but expects to return to profitability by the fiscal year ending March 2010.

In 2007, Pioneer partnered with Sharp Corp. to procure Sharp's liquid crystal displays and the company is reporting that the partnership is going very well. The two will also work on Blu-ray Disc recorders and players.

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4 user comments

17.3.2008 22:58

As competition lessens, so will innovation.Sorry to see Pioneer go.

28.3.2008 8:54

I have a Pioneer 5070 and it is a fine set. However, it is an example of why Pioneer got itself in trouble in the plasma business. When I bought mine, it was $3500 at Best Buy while similar, if slightly less capable Panasonic panels were almost $1,000 less. There simply was not that much difference in the performance of the units. (I got mine on-line, so the spread was only about $500.) That $800 to $1,000 spread continues today for the 768p models and is even worse for the 1080p models (vs. Panasonic).

Worse, the Panasonic sets get better reviews in Consumer Reports (but Pioneer gets better reviews in the enthusiast press).
Pioneer has been simply over-pricing its products and this only works when a technology is very new or if you want to be a boutique brand catering to a relative few people with more money than sense.

38.3.2008 15:00

Yup I would definately buy Pioneer if it was cheaper. I also know Panasonic is not as good as Pioneer but with huge price difference I don't mind it.

Pioneer take a big slice of your prices and you will get buyers that's a fact :-)

49.3.2008 10:08

Another example...

In today's Best Buy ad the 50" Pioneer 1080p set is $5,000 (down from $6,000). The 50" "standard" Panasonic 50" 1080p is $2600 and the "Magnolia" upscale Panasonic 50" 1080 p is $3,000. The 58" Panasonic 1080p is $5,000.

So the Pioneer is 2x the cost of a Panasonic similar. Inky black blacks vs. near-inky black blacks is simply not worth paying 2x for at these prices.

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