LG will abandon plasma TVs in favour of LCD and even newer OLED technology

LG to pull out of plasma display market

LG Electronics has said it will wind down its plasma television business by the end of November citing the superiority of liquid crystal displays.

The South Korean firm said in a regulatory filing today that the decision reflects a decline in demand for plasma TVs, with the business accounting for just 2.4 per cent of its 2013 annual revenue.

The exit has been expected as plasma displays, so-called because they use small cells containing plasmas of electrically charged ionised gases to produce their images, have been steadily overtaken in recent years by LCD TVs, which use essentially the same technology as the displays in calculators and digital watches.

"We wanted to keep it going as long as we could," LG spokesman Ken Hong told Reuters, noting that LG Electronics has been making its own plasma panels. "No matter how much we try to keep it going it's just not a business anymore."

Analysts said plasma displays were technically unable to catch up to the advances in screen resolutions of their LCD competitors, and that they also consume more power and generate more heat.

"All those factors combined to push industry players to concentrate on LCD technology," said Seoul-based IBK Securities analyst Eo Kyu-jin.

Market research firm NPD DisplaySearch said in July that global plasma TV shipments will fall to 500,000 in 2015 from 5.2 million in 2014, all but disappearing from the market.

Japan's Panasonic said in October last year that it would pull out of the plasma TV business. Once LG exits, Samsung Electronics would be the last major player.

Samsung said it plans to continue making plasma TVs but declined to say where it would get the plasma panels once sister company Samsung SDI pulls out of the business by end-November.

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