Aiwa began to raise its video profile this year and plans to become a bigger force in the category next year.
Next year's video plans might include an expanded selection of TV/VCR combos and DVD players, possibly including a DVD changer, said senior marketing VP Akio Imanishi.
The executive said the company's July re-entry into the TV/VCR market exceeded expectations and that two 13- and 20-inch models have been on back-order since that time. He expects back-orders to clear up in September.
Other video products planned for this year are coming out later than expected for a variety of reasons. In updating shipment plans, Imanishi said Aiwa's:
??First portable DVD player won't ship until late October or early November. In January, an Aiwa marketer expected late second- or early third-quarter shipments of the unit, which features a 5.8-inch widescreen LCD display and an expected street price of about $799. The delay was intended to ensure product quality, Imanishi said.
??????First full-size DVD player, which replaces a minisize model, will be on store shelves beginning at the end of August. Rapidly falling DVD prices forced the company to delay the product for about two months for a redesign that would permit a $350 street price, which is lower than planned, said Imanishi. "Originally, it was to be a higher-end product at about $700 with onboard Dolby Digital 5.1."
Also, Aiwa will ship its first two TV sets in September in 13- and 20-inch screen sizes. -- Joseph Palenchar