According to a Wall Street Journal report, Pioneer is considering its best options in light of losses experienced due to the global recession and may exit the HDTV business altogether. Bloomberg adds that Pioneer is expected to report a net loss of more than $1 billion this fiscal year, although a Reuters report indicates that the number may be closer to $848 million.
One possible option might be for Pioneer to exit the TV business—a possibility some news organizations have already reported as fact, though there has been no official confirmation from Pioneer as yet. If the flurry of rumors proves true, it would be a sad day indeed for videophiles, as Pioneer’s Kuro-series displays are widely regarded as the best plasma HDTVs on the market.
The Wall Street Journal report cites the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a Japanese daily business paper, as saying that Pioneer may also split off its DVD and Blu-ray player operations by forming a joint venture with Sharp.
The report says that last year Pioneer stopped making its own plasma panels, instead purchasing ones made by Panasonic. However, various sources—including Gary Merson from hdguru.com—note that Panasonic has announced a six-month delay in opening what it plans to be its largest plasma-building factory. Speculation is that delays in the opening of the Panasonic plant may be a major influencing factor in Pioneer’s decision whether to continue or to abandon TV production.
Reuters quotes a Pioneer spokesman as saying that, “There is a whole spectrum of possibilities with withdrawal on one end, in-house development and production on the other and sales of procured TVs somewhere in the middle.”
The Wall Street Journal report says that Pioneer will announce its midterm business plan later this month. Stay tuned for the latest developments.