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).