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Panasonic stops plasma to focus on OLED

Electronics giant Panasonic is to cease R&D and production of its famed plasma displays and switch to OLED developments.

According to Advanced TV, Panasonic Display VP Kiyoshi Okamoto confirmed that its latest ZT60 Smart TV will be the last plasma model to come from its R&D division. Okamoto stressed that Panasonic will continue to produce and sell its latest range of plasma TVs until 2014 at the earliest.

To date Panasonic’s OLED efforts have been limited to an R&D project with Sony.

For the past year TV display sales have suffered in the USA, and are not expected to recover until 2014, according to IHS iSupply. This year’s sales will fall 2.7 per cent, following on from last year’s decline of 5.8 per cent. In pure numbers IHS expects around 36.6 million sets (of all types) to be sold this year, recovering to 37.8 million in 2014.

But the Plasma sector suffered a near-catastrophic sales collapse, down 24 per cent last year (in the US) to just 3.6 million units, helping Panasonic’s decision to exit the market.