Japanese consumer electronics giant Toshiba is set to revamp its TV division, an action that will cut staff numbers in half in that department. As much as 3,000 jobs could be cut as the Japanese electronics outfit looks to streamline its business for the future. The revamp could also see Toshiba closing two of its three overseas TV manufacturing facilities.
In a statement released regarding the revamp, Toshiba said that it would be focusing on emerging markets including Asia and Africa, and look to end efforts in what it calls “unprofitable regions”. Japanese TV makers like Toshiba have been hit by slowing demand, a depreciation of prices and sustained competition from Korean competition Samsung and LG. The company’s digital products division, which currently includes the TV manufacturing division, saw losses of 16.3 billion yen (around US$166 million), in the financial year to until 31 March, compared with the 3.3 billion yen loss a year earlier. Toshiba said the same statement that the revamp was aimed at “improving profitability and strengthening foundations of the business”. As a part of this major move, the Japanese firm said it would separate the TV business from its Digital Products & Services Company and merge it with Toshiba Home Appliances Corporation.
Toshiba is also placing a lot of hope in the ultra-high definition (uHD) 4K resolution technology for very large televisions. Leading TV manufacturers have been looking at this segment, which offers users four times the amount of detail as 1080p high-definition TV, as an area bursting with potential. Panasonic and South Korea’s LG are among the manufacturers that have already launched ultra HD TVs. Toshiba’s recent move to focus on the technology also comes as Japan looks to become the first country to broadcast 4K programming over satellite from 2014, in time for the football World Cup.