According to Japanese media reports and a bevy of blogs, an icon of the analog age -- the Panasonic Technics turntable -- is about to be consigned to history.

In a move which could have DJ's shedding tears over their 12-inchers, Panasonic has apparently informed retailers that it will cease production later this year of the turntables and other audio products using its Technics brand because of falling sales.

The Technics turntables have long been favored by DJs and audiophiles because of their high quality, reliability and direct drive system. However, as vinyl sales have collapsed, demand has dropped. As yet, Panasonic has not issued a statement on its web site about the rumoured discontinuation, although when similar speculation arose last year, it did issue a rebuttal. The company could not be immediately contacted,

However, it’s hardly doom and gloom over at Panasonic. The Japanese electronics giant issued its second quarter financial results today, showing a 27% rise in consolidated group sales during the quarter ended Sept. 30 to 2,206.8 billion yen ($27.3 billion), up from 1,737.8 billion yen ($21.5 billion) in the same quarter last year. Domestic sales were up 24% to 1,135.1 billion yen ($14 billion); international sales rose 31% to 1,071.7 billion yen (13.3 billion). Operating profit was up from 49.1 billion yen ($608 million) to 85.2 billion yen ($1.05 billion).

In the first six months of its financial year, which ends March 31, 2011, operating profit was 169 billion yen ($2.1 billion), up from 28.9 billion yen ($358 million) a year ago, based on consolidated group sales of 4,367.9 billion yen ($54.1 billion) -- up 31% on the same period last year.

Panasonic said sales grew across its product ranges, with particularly strong results from its home appliances division. However, in anticipation of a difficult second half, the company is predicting its sales in fiscal 2011 will be 20% up on 2010, at 8,900 billion yen ($110 billion).