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Sony gives up on plasma

Sony has announced plans to exit the plasma TV market. The company has been facing increasing pressure in the market and it doesn't own any plasma display panel (PDP) plants to support its business. Sales for Sony PDPs for fiscal year 2005 were down 67% compared to the year before and the company has failed to disclose its targets for the current fiscal year.  Coupled with the enormous amount of backing Sony has committed to LCD, the move to exit the plasma market was almost inevitable.

With PDPs now out of the picture, Sony can now focus its efforts entirely on LCD TV production where it has seen much success. Back in February, DailyTech reported that Sony was number one in global sales for LCD TVs for Q4 2005. To keep up the momentum, Sony and Samsung invested $2 billion USD into the expansion of their jointly owned 7G LCD facility. The investment increased monthly production by 50,000 units per month. Sony is seeing large profit margins for LCD TV panels of 40" and above so the company is focusing on that sector of the market and is preparing for 8G. DigiTimes reports:

In a bid to secure more panels with which to win the large-size TV battle, Sony has signed a contract for the construction of an eighth-generation (8G) TFT-LCD production line through S-LCD, a joint venture with Samsung in July. The new plant is targeted to start production in fall 2007, with a monthly capacity of 50,000 glass substrates.

Earlier this year, Sony had to issue a recall for over 400,000 of its Bravia flat-screen and Grand Wega rear-projection LCD televisions. It was found that affected models wouldn't turn off after prolonged usage.




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