Samsung has announced that it will finally pull out of the plasma TV market by the end of the year.
Earlier this week, Samsung SDI quietly announced its intention to cease production of plasma TV panels by November 30. Since then the company has elaborated on its decision.
“We plan to continue our PDP TV business until the end of this year, due to changes in market demands,” a company spokesperson told CNET. “We remain committed to providing consumers with products that meet their needs, and will increase our focus on growth opportunities in UHD TV’s and Curved TV’s.”
Those same “market demands” caused Panasonic, formerly the leading plasma TV maker, to withdraw from plasma panel production at the end of last year.
According to a company insider at the time, the key factor behind Panasonic’s withdrawal from the plasma market it dominated was the emergence of the 4K or Ultra High Definition standard.
Put simply, the cost of developing 4K plasma technology would have been prohibitive – a factor that a Samsung executive corroborated earlier in the year with regard to his own company’s plasma plans.
Of course, Samsung is in a far less precarious financial position than its Japanese rival. In fact, it’s the biggest consumer technology company in the world.
But the fact remains that demand for plasma television sets is too low to justify continuing development costs – despite the standard’s superiority over LCD in terms of pure accurate colours and blacks.
That leaves LG alone in the plasma market, though rumour has it that Samsung’s local rival will also withdraw from plasma production in the near future.
It looks like 2014 could be looked back on as the year that plasma finally died.
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