The slow decline of Panasonic 4K TVs in the U.S market
Stephan Jukic – July 4, 2016
We’ve covered a number of Panasonic 4K TVs her at 4K.com and for the most part, they’ve been excellent additions to the market for these TVs in North America. This is an opinion we also share with more than a few readers and commentators to our Panasonic reviews and other pages on the site.
So with that being the case, it’s a bit sad and annoying to note the steady and increasingly obvious apparent decline of the Panasonic 4K TV brand presence among major retailers of new and used TVs through the U.S and rest of North America.
What was once one of the most popular manufacturers of TVs in the world seems to be going downhill and as far as the U.S in particular is concerned, they’re straight up pulling out. It’s time to take a slightly more careful look at the reasons behind this.
The self-removal of Panasonic’s TVs from the U.S market has been quietly going on since 2015 and has only accelerated in 2016, when the company decided to actively remove their TV presence from the U.S. As a result, while many of their more recent 4K TVs can still be found on the Panasonic USA website itself, they’re often out of stock. Furthermore, going to other major retailer sits like Best Buy or Amazon often produces the same result or worse, with Best buy having outright removed many Panasonic 4K and HD TVs from their sales inventory. In other words, buying any one of the 4K models that some reviewers have called great or even possibly raved about is becoming tiresomely difficult, causing many potential buyers to simply choose a much more easily located Samsung, Sony, Vizio or LG 4K television model instead.
This growing absence of Panasonic 4K television stocks is only made worse by the expanding presence of other overseas brands whose ultra HD TV offerings have not only improved but whose presence in the U.S and North America has grown considerably in the last couple years.
We’re referring here to TV makers like Hisense, RCA/TCL, Toshiba and even JVC. On top of these, brands like Vizio, which were once considered producers of strictly budget 4K TVs are now becoming bigger names with much more serious, premium 4K television offerings which are easily taking the place of potential Panasonic models which could have filled that same market space.
The woes that led Panasonic to this precarious and fading market position in the U.S can be traced back a ways to the crumbling sales of the company’s highly innovative, unique Plasma TVs a few years ago. As LCD TV designs kept improving in terms of backlight quality, power consumption and motion handling, Plasma kept weakening. Then, when 4K ultra HD TV models came on the market, they first took the form of LCD displays and soon after began arriving as OLED televisions. Both 4K TV versions led to explosions in sales of LCD and OLED TV models, further ruining the presence of Panasonic’s plasma models. In the end, by 2014, the company had completely shuttered plasma production.
And though Panasonic put out plenty of LCD TVs and later 4K UHD models with the same technology, the aggressive competition from rivals like Samsung and LG was apparently a bit too much to handle for the North American retail space. With an already shrunken market presence thanks to the failure of their plasma TVs, Panasonic further lost out in the eyes of a majority of consumers as a brand of choice for 4K display.
Nonetheless, the company keeps soldiering on in other ways. In both 2015 and 2016, they did indeed release several new and high quality 4K LCD TV models, in both the premium and budget price ranges and then in late 2015, Panasonic even went as far as to introduce the first ever 4K UHD OLED TVs besides those made by LG.
However even both of these more recent efforts failed in the U.S and rivals dominated in LCD while LG remains the absolute king of OLED TVs.
The company is still selling both its LCD 4K models and even their OLED TVs in Canada but for now, this seems to be more of a final trial effort by the brand. Re-entry to the U.S market is looking less likely by the month and the growing competition from brands like Vizio and the established players with their own very high quality 4K UHD offerings definitely doesn’t help the potential Panasonic presence across America.
Also, for now w can still look forward to the presence of Panasonic’s 4K UHD Blu-ray players and the company is definitely holding firmly onto its presence in the ultra HD camera market, both in the U.S and overseas.
Story by 4k.com