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Pioneer stuck between Sharp & Panasonic as it exits plasma production


While the world waits for official word on the fate of Pioneer's plasma HDTV operations, The Nikkei offers an analysis of the state the company is in, and how it got here. The problems started with Sony's choice of LCD over plasma back in 2005, leaving Pioneer without a partner to sell its plasma panels (the way Samsung and Sharp sell Sony LCDs), and unable to reduce prices by boosting production. Now the company is caught between its top shareholder Sharp -- an LCD manufacturer, that wants to put Pioneer's speakers in its TVs and sell Pioneer LCDs -- and its new plasma supplier Panasonic (fear not, Panasonic hopes to exceed even the Kuro's contrast ratio in its upcoming displays). The Nikkei expects Pioneer to announce it will sell 40- to 50-inch LCD & plasma HDTVs at its press conference March 7, but we just want to know what happens to Project Kuro.

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