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Panasonic, Ailing Hitachi Team Up on HD

Hitachi, which has seen hard economic times in recent fiscal quarters, has announced as part of its new multi-tiered recovery strategy for its HD production line that it plans to work with Panasonic over the next few years to develop what Hitachi says will be "next-generation LCD and plasma HD [sets] that are thinner, more efficient and distinct from their competition."

This new focus on higher-end products will include flatscreen units with Internet connectivity components.

As one thrust of the new Panasonic partnership, Hitachi said it plans to purchase glass panels cut from Panasonic substrates for both LCD and plasma production to be sold under the Hitachi brand in the near-term, while increasing its order for Panasonic plasma panels starting sometime in 2010.

As far as its overall flat-panel plans, "These TVs will be among the thinnest in the world," the firm said in a Sept. 18 statement at its Tokyo headquarters.

Hitachi had claimed a loss of more than $1 billion for fiscal 2007 in its HD business and is counting on its new partnership with Panasonic, among other ventures, to help get the company's HD line back into the black financially.