Panasonic blames Samsung's cheap 3D sets for price war

Panasonic has started a 3D row with rival Samsung claiming that it may fail to reach its 3D set sales targets due to an  “unexpected” price war in the US.

The company, which was the first provider of this technology in America, has told Bloomberg that “no one can keep up” with price cuts by Samsung.

Yoshiiku Miyata, head of Panasonic’s TV business, said: “It’s become unclear whether we can reach our target” of selling one million 3D sets by the 3rd of March.

Panasonic joins Sony which is also moaning about Samsung’s price cuts and claiming that the price war may pressure earnings at makers which expected 3D models to compensate for the price declines of mainstream flat-screen TVs. Yoshihisa Ishida, head of Sony’s home-entertainment segment said that prices of 3-D sets were falling faster than anticipated.

On Best Buy, Samsung sells its 50-inch 3D plasma for $989.99, while the same size 3D Viera with a higher resolution is priced at $2,499.99, Sony’s 46-inch liquid-crystal display 3-D Bravia model is priced at $2,299.99.

In July, Samsung reported its second-quarter net income jumped 83 percent to a record $3.6 billion. This was more than four times the combined profit of Panasonic and Sony.

Since it started selling 3D TVs in the US in March Samsung has sold more than one million units, which Bloomberg reckons gave it an 88.3 percent share of the U.S. 3-D TV market.

Panasonic, has now said it will aim to boost TV sales by 33 percent to 21 million sets including one million 3D models this fiscal year. It said despite signs of slowing demand in the U.S. and Europe, sales remain strong in Japan and developing nations.

“We are promoting cost reductions and sales of new products to make the business profitable,” Panasonic’s Miyata said.