A couple of weeks ago, the CEO of Philips Consumer Electronics stated that the company is phasing out its plasma HDTV products worldwide except for North America and Australia, and will just focus on LCD TVs. It is worth noting that Philips also was a player in the LCoS rear projection market for long time before abandoning that technology completely.
It is worth noting that Philips thinks that it can still be a viable competitor in the United States with plasma. This market is seen as supporting larger screen sizes that the rest of the world, as witnessed by the 63″ 63PFP7422D that Philips showed at CES in January.
The fact is that plasma panels are getting squeezed badly in the market. LCD HDTVs haved rapid gained a price advantage in sizes below 50″, and are showing signs of competing in the 50″ to 55″ size range. Meanwhile, rear projection models have enormous price advantages, especially at sizes 60″ and above. This does not leave much room for plasma. In addition, LCD and rear projection HDTVs are quickly moving to make the 1080p “Full HD” resolution standard. It is difficult and expensive for plasma to match this resolution, which only makes the competitive situation worse.
Matsushita — through its Panasonic brand — remains bullish on the potential for plasma, but they are the market leader in plasma. It remains to be seen just how long the other brands will be willing to hang in with the technology. Time may be running out for plasma.