Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony is rumoured to be considering a return to the plasma TV market.
The company, which famously withdrew from the sector in 2006, has since gone on to achieve considerable success with its Bravia range of LCD TVs, which features LCD panels manufactured in conjunction with South Korea's Samsung Electronics.
However, strong consumer demand for plasma TVs as evidenced by Panasonic's success in the sector has reportedly prompted Sony to reconsider its position.
The fact that its joint venture LCD panel manufacturing plant is close to capacity is also reportedly influencing its renewed interest in the sector. Sony is said to have recently entered negotiations with Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display (FHP) over the procurement of plasma panels.
FHP has remained a minor player in the plasma display manufacturing sector compared to rivals Matsushita Electric (which operates the Panasonic brand), LG Electronics and Samsung SDI, which together accounted for more than 86% market share in the third quarter of 2006.
The deal would undoubtedly boost FHP's position in the plasma TV market, which is predicted to grow to 30 million unit shipments annually by 2010.
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