Panasonic Officially Halts Plasma TV Research & Development
Panasonic has placed an indefinite hold on research and development of Plasma TV panels in favor of OLED displays.
Based on a report from The Verge, it seems that Panasonic's latest range of Plasma TVs (including the Viera ZT60 pictured to the right) will be the company's last, as it has now ceased all research and development into plasma panels and will be shifting to OLED displays.
Panasonic Display Vice President Kiyoshi Okamoto further clarified that the end of research efforts would in the short term have no impact on production and that the company will continue to manufacture and sell Plasma TVs until at least 2014. Though Okamoto has left open the possibility of resuming research efforts into the plasma technology, we can't foresee this happening in the near future because of a steady decline in plasma TV sales together with the company's current financial situation whereby it posted a nearly ¥700 billion loss the quarter before last.
Of course, it still remains to be seen as to whether Panasonic can profitably develop and sell OLED panels. It is important to note that thus far, manufacturers have, without exception, struggled with yield-rates and consequently made OLEDs "prohibitively expensive and rare."