Double edge razor blades... That reminds me of when I worked for a contractor in high school. We were remodeling a bathroom. It had a metal, in wall medicine cabinet with a slot in the bottom for used blades. When we tore out the sheet rock, thousands of blades fell out on the floor. It was an old house, but I was surprised to find these in the wall.
Ha ha, Bert. Your story on the little gizmo "with which you could re-sharpen those blue Gillette safety razor blades" is a good one. I never knew those things existed!
But seriously, when I think about Panasonic's plasma saga, I am struck by the folly of the company's previous management investing in a new plasma fab when LCD was already becoming a mainstream...and it took so long for someone inside the company to point out that the emperor has no cloths.
Sometimes, corporate inertia has such an amazing consequence.
"I still run into people that insist that BetaMAX should have won out over VHS."
Since you mentioned it, there too, I deliberately opted for VHS. And was relieved to see that the rental places did too.
Why? Because it provided stereo audio and it kept the heads clean during rewind. Way before Beta did. In fact, I couldn't understand how anyone would be satisfied with mono sound, after TV (and of course radio decades earlier) had gonbe to stereo.
So, much like the plasma vs LCD tradeoff, certain things just matter more to me than they seem to matter to others.
Larry, they will sell their plasma TVs until they clear their inventory, but otherwise, they ARE exiting from the plasma biz. To end its production one year earlier than previously planned is the part that was a big news here.
Heh heh, Junko. Yes, if you happen to be the one to invent whatever it is that's become obsolete, or at least unessential, you do want to hang on as long as possible. And this doesn't just happen to consumer electronics. Maybe the trick is to embrace the new or better solutions before becoming desperate trying to preserve the older ones.
My father used to own a little gizmo with which you could re-sharpen those blue Gillette safety razor blades. A really clever device, which automatically flipped the blade, to sharpen both edges. As I was growing up, it seemed like these devices had been around forever. He finally bought a new one, even, and the guy at the store said they were going out of production.
Someone may have shed a tear on that too. Problem is, starting with the stainless steel Gillette "Silver" blades, the device was no longer necessary. It wasn't up to sharpening the stainless blades. Never mind all the razor generations after the two-edged safety razor, for which it would have been even more useless.
For me, though, plasmas were always too bulky, too heavy, too hot, so I did wait patiently for the LCDs to become feasible for TV. It just seemed like the bette4r solution. Very much like BluRay is a better solution than HD-DVD.
I still run into people that insist that BetaMAX should have won out over VHS. I know that I passed on plasma in spite of the darker blacks because of the heat issues that they were having at the time. I'm too old to even pretend to be able to see the subtle differences, much less care about them much. I was alarmed the first time that I saw this reported on CNBC, where it looked like Panasonic was exiting the TV business completely, but it seems that is not the case.
Junko - I understand Panasonic weren't able to sustain a profitable business and that's why they are getting out. It is just a shame as they are the best picture quality on the market for 2013 and actually pretty reasonably priced.
Panasonic aren't the only ones making Plasmas - Samsung has a line of plasma TVs (for 2013 not quite as good as Panasonic) but still very good. LG also has a line of Plasma TVs. We'll see how long Samsung and LG continue offering Plasmas.
Bert, you are absolutely right about that. It's common to see one technology taken over by another...it happens all the time in the consumer electronics industry.
But here's the thing. If you happen to be the developer, manufacturer and suppler of the technology which once you thought was leading edge and you have thrown a lot of resources at it, deciding to call it quits at the right time must be the hardest thing. You do tend to cling to the ones that you invested so much over time...no?
@Philosopher0923, thanks for chiming in. I know there are a lot of experts who love plasma out there.
That said, if you have to be the only one (like Panasonic) to keep investing big $$ in plasma fabs and yet consumers are not seeing the difference (yes, they only care about things like ultra thinness of a display or small 'bezel'), you'd have a very hard time justifying your investment in the business.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.