Plasma-centric manufacturer wants a slice of the LCD pie too.
If the rumours filtering through the grapevine are to be believed Panasonic is supposedly in talks with Hitachi and Canon regarding a join LCD panel manufacturing venture.
Panasonic is currently better known for its plasma TVs, but the company does have an LCD range too, (although recently its Viera TX-37LZD70 LCD received a less favourable review than its TH-42PZ70).
In fact it is actually Panasonic’s parent company, Matsushita, which is supposedly spearheading the deal, with it potentially ponying up around $2.7 billion to build a new LCD panel manufacturing plant for its use and for Canon, Hitachi and possibly Toshiba too. The idea of the collaboration would be to provide larger, cheaper, higher quality panels to all parties concerned. At face value it may seem counter productive to work with your rivals, but panel technology is only one aspect of many that affects TVs so the benefits should outweigh the disadvantages.
There is also some speculation that the plant would also be geared towards a move to OLED manufacture in the future, which could prove a boon to us consumers if the joint venture means production costs can be reduced from the current levels, describable only as insane. No confirmation is forthcoming from any of the companies thought to be involved in this deal, but no outright denial has been made either, which does indicate something may well be going on.