Panasonic Reports Steady Demand for Plasma

Panasonic expects demand for large plasma televisions to slide from 40% in the next two years but to hold steady after that at about 30% of the total market for "TVs of 37 inches and above," according to Hiro Wada, who is in charge of product planning for visual products and display devices at Panasonic. Panasonic's parent company, Matsushita, is the world's biggest maker of plasma TVs, which are losing ground to LCD models as LCD technology for larger screens improves. Matsushita is investing $2.3 billion to help double its plasma capacity in the next two years even though the company makes LCD TVs in sizes up to 37 inches. "In the plasma market, we want to stay number one," said Wada. He said plasma technology's relative youth at only 10 years old compared with about 30 years for LCD meant plasma still had plenty of room to improve. As well, he predicted that half of all flat-panel demand would be for TVs with diagonals above 30 inches by 2010.

Plasma is said to give better picture reproduction because it is self-illuminating, unlike LCD, which has to be backlit. Nonetheless, plasma's share of the flat-screen market has slid and rivals Sony and Sharp make only LCD TVs.

News source: PC World

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