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Fujitsu pulls plug on low-profit plasma

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Japan-based Fujitsu has announced that it will end production of plasma screens due to poor profitability. The company was the first to commercially introduce this technology in 1992, but sales of plasma TVs have been falling behind those for LCDs.

Fujitsu General, a subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd, has already stopped most production of plasma televisions. It currently produces only high-end models sold primarily at US and UK boutique electronic stores.

Fujitsu General said in a statement that during the past several years, the pricing and profitability of this segment had compressed beyond the point which the company could realise a satisfactory return on investment.

Another Japanese firm, Pioneer, earlier this year suspended plans to build a new plant after running into the red over sliding sales of plasma displays. And this news comes only days after Sony decided to drop its rear-projection TV business worldwide, as we reported here.

The plasma television sector, however, continues to have strong supporters including Matsushita Electric Industries - maker of the Panasonic brand - which showed off the world's largest plasma video display at 103in at CES last year.

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