Panasonic is still one of the most respected brands both in electronics and in surveillance. However, the company as a whole, has struggled greatly over the last few years. The companies overall revenue has been flat for years (at ~$70 billion USD), and they have eliminated 71,000 positions as they fought to stem losses.
During the same time, Chinese and Korean rivals have grown tremendously. Compare to a similar discussion / analysis on Samsung.
Strategically, the company is evidently shifting focus away from traditional areas to housing and automotive (one prominent recent deal was with Tesla for up to $7 billion USD in batteries).
The NYTimes has an interesting and detailed profile of Panasonic's attempts to reset itself. Key points:
- "Announced plans to stop making plasma televisions and consumer smartphones and to scale back output of digital cameras"
- Showcasing 'clean energy' technologies in their "PanaHome" division, "including solar power systems, LED lighting and sensors for reducing energy consumption."
- "Plans to continue making LCD televisions [and] more expensive [digital camera] models, along with a variety of home appliances."
While the Times does not mention Panasonic surveillance offerings, given the major changes underway, it is hard to imagine that surveillance will be unaffected.
In our testing, the challenge that we have seen for Panasonic is similar to what happened in consumer electronics. They have been caught in the middle. There's lots of solid quality, far less expensive IP cameras competitors now plus Panasonic's cameras are generally not the best for those that are willing to spend the most. Because of that, it's harder to choose Panasonic. Over the past few years, Panasonic has tried to push 'solutions' where people buy bundles of their cameras and recorders but there recorders are not really competitive.
I know Panasonic still has brand. Indeed, given those expectations, when we first started testing Panasonic against competitors, we were surprised to see how mediocre Panasonic did.
Now, it seems that Panasonic's brand is in decline, especially with less focus on the consumer electronics market and its inability to be player in smartphones and tablets where a company like Samsung has made such major gains.
What do you think?