Looking to get into a business? Don't bother with flat-panel TVs. The last company to seemingly get into this shindig and have a real go at it was Vizio, and it's been downhill ever seen. Sony, Sharp, LG, Toshiba and a host of others have cited the TV panel industry at being one with razor thin margins, and while new plasma and LCD sets used to sell for thousands, even big-screen sets are down into the low-hundreds at this point. Toss in shipping, and there's barely a profit to be made. Mitsubishi is joining the crowd of those backing further and further away from the TV industry.
Despite the fact that CES 2013 looks to be a showcase event for 4K HDTVs, Mitsubishi has decided to pull out of its rear-projection TV business, right around a year after tossing its ambitions aside in the LCD business. The statement from the company is as follows:
"This decision has been an extremely difficult one as it deeply impacts our loyal employee, customers, dealers and vendors. But the introduction of our competitors larger flat panel products and, more important, the severe price competition across the industry, has made it increasingly difficult to remain profitable. We can no longer sustain our business in its current form. Therefore, we'll no longer manufacture and sell our DLP rear projection televisions in the US. We'll focus our US operations exclusively on our professional grade visual solutions products, including projectors, printers, data wall products and display monitors. Our existing customer relations and parts and services departments will remain in place along with existing authorized service centers."
One has to wonder how many TV makers can survive with margins so thin. Will 2013 be the year of streamlining in the business? Perhaps a few mergers along the way? Or, maybe this is just the opportunity Apple needed to overshadow everyone who is exiting with a true Apple TV. (One can dream, right?)