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Robert Silva

Panasonic and Sharp See Continued Losses

By November 1, 2012

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Things continue to look bad for the big Japan-based TV makers. Two prominent manufacturers, Panasonic and Sharp, are seeing big losses which will result in another round of layoffs and cost cutting, which, if not effective, could result in a retreat from the TV business. By the numbers, Panasonic is looking at $9.6 billion in losses for the year, while Sharp is expecting a record $5.6 billion dollars loss for this past year.

The significance of these two companies, with regards to their TV products, is that Panasonic is the foremost backer of Plasma, and Sharp got the whole ball rolling on LCD TVs in 1987.

Although LCD would survive without Sharp, as there are more than enough competitors to fill the gap, the market would lose Sharp's cutting-edge Elite branded and well-received 80 and 90-inch LCD TVs.

Also, it is doubtful that Plasma would survive as a TV option if Panasonic let go of that part of its business. The only other companies making Plasma TVs are Korea-based Samsung and LG - However, with their overwhelming emphasis on LCD, Plasma may just end up on the back burner as both companies allocate more resources on new technologies, such as OLED.

In fact, it is important to note that as Japan-based consumer electronics companies continue to experience heavy losses, their Korea-based competitors, although also seeing some downturn, are in much better shape, and are dominating both the TV and Smartphone markets.

If the likes of Panasonic and Sharp shut down their TV manufacturing units in an effort to trim overall company losses, that will mean a less competitive marketplace in TV product choices that would not benefit consumers.

For an in-depth look at the challenges facing both Panasonic and Sharp, with additional perspective on the current financial state of Sony, read two reports from Bloomberg Businessweek: Panasonic May Cut More Jobs as $9.6 Billion Loss Forecast and Sharp Widens Full Year Forecast. and Sony Reports Flat Q2 Sales (TWICE).

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March 10, 2013 at 6:41 am
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