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Panasonic’s Taylor Outlines Views On Blu-ray, Flat Panel

UPDATE! Secaucus, N.J. — Joseph Taylor, executive VP/COO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, said Blu-ray has won the HD disc format battle and indicated while the company is still solidly behind plasma, LCD may get more attention.

 Those were just two of the issues Taylor discussed in an exclusive one-on-one interview with TWICE, the first since the 25-year Panasonic Industrial Company veteran took on his new job earlier this year

Concerning Blu-ray and HD DVD, Taylor commented, “I’m giving a very politically incorrect answer. I think the battle is over. I think Blu-ray has won.” 

He said there are two “determining factor[s] … Who did the content providers select? At the moment, overwhelmingly, the content providers have selected Blu-ray. What are consumers buying? Since the beginning of the year content [sales have been] almost two to one for Blu-ray.” 

Taylor added, “There may be some noise for a little while, but in the end I think Blu-ray will be the technology that wins the battle.” 

With so much of Panasonic’s emphasis on plasma in the last few years, when asked if the company is comfortable being the leading plasma TV market share leader, while surveys show a trend towards LCD in flat-panels, Taylor remarked, “We are never comfortable and hope we never become comfortable (with the status quo). Really the marketplace will decide which flat panel they prefer.”

He noted, “We are in a unique position because we just don’t just provide plasma but LCD. In this unique position we can do what our customers need us to do.” 

In discussing Panasonic’s emphasis on plasma in recent years, Taylor said plasma is the centerpiece of the company’s strategy to drive sales of high definition devices but, “We are not just pushing plasma … We are saying ‘flat panel’ because we are also a major manufacturer of LCD products as well.”

For more from Joe Taylor check TWICE Spotlight for an edited video of the interview. And on July 2 check the print issue of TWICE and/or for a full report.