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Zenith Slashes Plasma Prices, Inks With Ultimate

Demonstrating its aggressive focus on building a leadership position in flat-panel TV, Zenith announced a series of price cuts on 2002 plasma display line.

At the same time, the company revealed that specialty electronics chain Ultimate Electronics has agreed to carry all of Zenith’s widescreen PDP models in its stores, and would break the new low prices in circulars slated to run last weekend.

“Utimate Electronics is proud to be the first major retailer to offer its cutomers Zenith’s entire family of widescreen plasma displays,” said Dave Workman, Ultimate Electronics president.

Commenting on the price moves, Rick Powers, Zenith sales and marketing senior VP, said “We really feel that we are now hitting some price points … that really makes plasma more acceptable to a lot of the consumers out there.”

The most dramatic price move comes in Zenith’s second-generation 60W-inch PDP, which had its originally announced suggested retail price slashed by $5,000 to $15,000.

The panel (model P60W26) boasts a higher brightness performance over the first generation 60W-inch panel that debuted at a suggested retail price of $30,000.

Zenith also said it has “repositioned” the rest of the 2002 PDP line, by dropping the suggested price of its new 50-inch P50W26 16:9 HDTV monitor $1,000 to $10,999. Similarly, a $1,000 suggested retail price cut was issued for the 42-inch P42W22B 16:9 EDTV (enhanced-definition television) monitor was (now $4,999), and the 40-inch P40V22 4:3 EDTV monitor (now $4,999). The P50W26 will ship in August, while the P42W22B and P40V22 are available now.