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Ohtsubo Bullish On Q4 HD

10/13/2004 09:38:00 AM Eastern

Tokyo — LCD, plasma displays and even the U.S. holiday selling season for those products were all topics of discussion when Panasonic’s Fumio Ohtsubo visited with the international press, here.

On holiday sales, Ohtsubo noted that Panasonic was almost “completely sold out in LCD and plasma” for the quarter ending Sept. 30 and that while there have been “aggressive pricing moves” made for both types of displays, demand remains high. “Since we introduced our 65-inch plasma at CEDIA [in September], already 4,000 dealers have placed orders in the U.S.”

When asked about pricing of LCD and plasma displays during calendar year 2005, Ohtsubo noted that the cost-of-production goal is “that 1 inch equals $100 U.S. dollars, and the result must be a high-quality HDTV. We feel that with increased demand we can reach that goal next year.”

When asked about Sharp’s 65-inch LCD prototype shown at CEATEC and why Panasonic is not going with LCD in larger screen sizes, Ohtsubo said, “Sharp’s product is not in the market. It could take a year or two. We could show 65-, 80-, or 100-inch LCD displays.”

Panasonic’s market strategy for now and the near future remains that LCD displays will be for 32-inch and under products, while plasma is for 37-inch and above. “We believe that big screen plasma has an advantage over LCD. It is cheaper to build plasma and the quality is better.”

And when asked if Sharp could reach the “1 inch equals $100 U.S. dollar” cost goal with LCD soon, Ohtsubo stated, “Definitely not.”