Back when I was working in consumer electronics retail, if you wanted the best picture, fastest refresh rate, deepest blacks, and most vibrant colors, you went with a plasma television. And if you were purchasing a plasma television, you were purchasing a Panasonic. Sure, it’s no Kuro, but I am still in love with my ST60 in my living room. They didn’t do anything else well, at the time. Their sound bars were mediocre, their “home theater in a box” systems left a lot to be desired, their Blu-ray players did the trick, but really, they were known for their TV’s, at least in my eyes.
Have they forgotten about us? Panasonic wears a lot of hats and they do a lot of really cool things. For instance, they have partnered with Telsa and are producing batteries in the Gagafactory. They also just showed a flexible lithium ion battery, which is cool. They released showed off the GH5, professional level camera, but they aren’t even showing a new TV.
Of course, their top executives say that consumer electronics is just part of what the company does, and it appears to be a small part. “We have exponentially expanded our non-consumer business,” said Joseph Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic’s North American arm.
What is else is Panasonic doing? They touted a partnership with the city of Denver to build signs and test new types of electric grids. They also mentioned technology developed with Facebook to store data, now being used by the US Department of Homeland Security.
“Panasonic has evolved to be much more than a company that makes consumer electronics products,” said Lauren Sallata, Panasonic America’s vice president of business marketing.
I hope I am not alone on this, but I do miss the old Panasonic.