It's Official: Toshiba Gets Out of the TV Business in North America

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Toshiba 4K Ultra HD TVs at the 2014 CES. Photo © Robert Silva - License to About.com

Dateline: 01/31/2015
Just prior to the 2015 CES, Toshiba announced that they were not going to display any new TVs the annual gadget fest - so it is no surprise that Toshiba's latest announcement concerning their future in the TV landscape does not include North America.

Going forward for the U.S. TV market, Japan-based Toshiba will be licensing their brand name to Taiwan-based Compal Electronics. This means that beginning around March of 2015, new TVs showing up on U.S. store shelves carrying the Toshiba label, will not, in fact, be Toshiba TVs.

Toshiba now joins Japan-based JVC and European-based Philips with TVs marketed North America that are carry those brand names but are not manufactured by those companies - ​JVC TVs are made by AmTran and Philips TVs are made my Funai.

Before Toshiba's current TV retreat, they had been making TVs for several decades and were one of the first manufacturers to market 4K Ultra HD TVs and were also making headway in Glass-Free 3D TV. Also, their CEVO Processor technology and Cloud TV platforms were prominently showcased at recent CES trade shows.

There is no word yet on what the 2015 Toshiba-branded Compal TV line will look like in terms of technology offerings (LED/LCD, 4K Ultra HD, 3D, etc...), model/feature tiers, or screen sizes - so stay tuned as more info becomes available.

For the rest of the info known so far, including what products and markets Toshiba will now emphasize going forward, read their Official Press Release.

Now, the question is: Who will be next to drop out of the North American TV market? Sony? Sharp? Panasonic? All three Japan-based companies have ridden hard financial roads over the past few years in their TV divisions, but, unlike Toshiba, they were on hand with strong TV product lines for 2015. However, with Korea-based LG and Samsung the world market leaders in TV, and then adding Vizio as another market leader in North America, as well as aggressive moves into North America from China-based Hisense and TCL, the road is very bumpy for the remaining once-powerful Japan-based TV makers.