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Panasonic Clears Up Rumor, Will Not ‘Dismantle’ Camera Division

Panasonic camera fans freaked out this week when a report in Japan’s largest business newspaper, The Nikkei Asian Review, claimed the company was going to “dismantle,” “scale back” and restructure its digital camera division. According to Panasonic, this is not entirely accurate.

The original report was pretty blunt in its wording. It said:

Three other businesses units—digital cameras, private branch exchange telephone systems and optical disk drives—will be dismantled. Each will be scaled back and placed under the umbrella of other operations, with headcount to be reduced.

On the face of it, the news made sense. Camera sales aren’t exactly booming, and Panasonic isn’t one of the bigger players in the market—Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, all of these companies have thrown a lot of weight behind their camera business… with the exception of Sony, Panasonic is a much broader electronics company than any of these.

Still, it turns out the Nikkei Asian Review got it wrong.

In response to the article, Panasonic clarified their position, claiming that nothing will be “dismantled.” In fact, the internal reorganization is nothing more than that: just a reorganization meant to help Panasonic better serve their DI customers.

“Integrating all consumer electronics divisions, our consumer Digital Imaging business will move under Panasonic Appliances Company and is not being dismantled,” explained Panasonic in a statement. “The aim of this change is to further deepen our relationships with customers, strengthen our product capabilities, and continue to firmly develop and promote our business.”

As DPReview pointed out, and you no doubt already noticed, Panasonic makes no mention (or correction) of the claim that the business will be “scaled back” and “headcount… reduced,” leading us to believe that this restructuring will indeed lead to a smaller, more focused DI division for Panasonic.

Whether or not that will be a good or bad thing… we’ll just have to wait and see.

Image credits: Panasonic GX8 by Takeaway.

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