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Pioneer passes up petite plasma production

Company will only produce 50in and above

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Pioneer is reportedly planning to stop making 42in plasma displays, outsourcing manufacture to a third party so it can focus its own manufacturing efforts on screens that are 50in or bigger.

The report, which has appeared in Japanese newspaper Asahi and was later picked-up by Reuters, gives no official reason for the move. It claims Pioneer will instead buy-in 42in and smaller plasma panels from either Matsushita Electric Industries, owner of the Panasonic brand, or Hitachi.

Pioneer’s expected to end its production of 42in displays from a plant in southern Japan by March 2009. It already buys LCD displays from Sharp and is rumoured to be considering selling the plant back to its original owner, NEC. Last year, Pioneer announced that it was suspending plans to build a new production plant, following falling sales of plasma displays.

However, the company wouldn’t be the first manufacturer to outsource plasma production over to a third party. Late last year, Fujitsu confirmed that it will end its production of the display format due to poor profitability, despite introducing it into that market in 1992.

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