Fujitsu to Cease Making HDTVs by End of March 2008
Draw another chalk outline around a video company who couldn’t compete in the commodity driven world of video displays. Today, Japan’s Fujitsu announced they would cease selling their high-end plasma HDTVs effective March 2008. The company, in a written statement says it will return to their core businesses, which include heating and ventilation, and would still make displays for the medical industry but would no longer make or market plasma HDTVs for consumer consumption.
Fujitsu’s move comes as prices for flat HDTVs are dropping faster than home values in many American neighborhoods this holiday season. Consumers struggle to understand how an added value brand like Fujistu can demand as much as 20 to 40 percent more per HDTV set than a comparable, lower priced brand like Vizio. Fujitsu's distribution model and marketing plan was never as strong as added value companies like Runco/Vidikron or Meridian-Faroudja, who offer larger margins and more complete support, which earns the “push” from the specialty dealers.
One thing is for sure; Fujitsu's move out of the HDTV market will not be the last in 2008. As HDTVs increasingly become a low profit margin commodity and mid-level retailers like Tweeter struggle to find a way to add value to consumers versus the generic big-box players, expect other companies to follow suit with Fujitsu before the dust settles.
by: Jerry Del Colliano