Interesting stories and write-ups on Panasonic. They have sold off 51% of its Imaging Division and has given them until March 2016 to become profitable or goodbye to Panasonic camera's.
I have read many accounts from various analysts that they are believing that only Canon, Nikon, and Sony can survive in the future. Even then, some have said that is only if Sony chooses to continue to dump money at the division and if Nikon learns a much better business practice and aggressively expands (read into that as in acquisitions.)
Considering that all the "small" camera competitors are really the only one's who are innovating for consumers, I'm not sure what the future holds. We often think of "next generation" in 4-year cycles. In four years, the landscape may become more barren than we expect.
According to Bloomberg and 43Rumors, Panasonic is currently citing a massive profit increase due to restructuring of the company. Essentially what they’ve done is what any other company would do when they’re not surviving–trim the fat! Combined with layoffs, part of this is attributed to getting rid of emphasis on things that aren’t profitable for the company like Plasma TVs. Bloomberg states,
“President Kazuhiro Tsuga, in his second year at the helm, is pivoting toward products for cars and homes as he accelerates changes to recover from back-to-back annual losses. Panasonic suspended plasma panel production, trimmed smartphone and circuit board operations and sold a stake in semiconductor factories to focus on growing businesses.”
What the articles aren’t really citing though is a report from the Credit Suisse earlier on this year that states that Panasonic recently sold off 51% of its Imaging Division. In fact, the company has given them until March 2016 to become profitable or else they get the axe. That means that within the next two years, we need to start seeing some seriously game changing technology from Panasonic. This will be a tough task overall for the Four Thirds industry as Panasonic needs to work with Olympus to become a stronger force in the industry. Micro Four Thirds has the most market share in the mirrorless industry, but the offerings that we’re seeing from Fujifilm and Sony are both taking massive Great White Shark sized bites out of them.