Pioneer's Plasma TVs: R.I.P.Kenji Hall
Pioneer Corp. (6773.T), the world's fourth-largest maker of plasma televisions, announced on Feb. 12 that it's pulling the plug on its flat-panel TVs after the economic downturn wiped out its hopes of making the business profitable. The withdrawal of Tokyo-based Pioneer and the dire outlook for TVs this year suggest that an industry shakeup is afoot. Pioneer's drastic steps also highlight how Japanese tech companies are relying less on TVs—the center of the digital living room—as their main branding tool. And that's led to a reordering of a crowded field of more than a dozen Japanese electronics companies. Hitachi (HIT), NEC (6701.T), Fujitsu (6702.T), and Toshiba (6502.T) recently have restructured or ditched money-losing electronics divisions.
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