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Old 04-24-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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Wal-Mart to Sell 199.99 dollar HD-DVD Player


WalMart to sell $199 HD-DVD player in Q4 2007?
Breaking news may have great impact on format war.
by Gerry Block
April 20, 2007 - In breaking news today, it would appear that mega-retailer WalMart has contracted a Chinese manufacturer to produce millions of low-cost HD-DVD players. Though somewhat obfuscated by translation issues and the breaking nature of the news, the current internet consensus suggests that Taiwan based manufacturer Fuh Yuan, in cooperation with TDK, will produce the blue laser drives for 2-million HD-DVD players. Broadcom will reportedly supply the system-on-a-chip decoder, and China Great Wall will handle final assembly. The deal represents around US $100,000,000, and it is reported that a new manufacturing plant has already been opened to fulfill the order.

Speculation suggests the players will arrive at retail in late 2007 and will be priced between $199-299. At such cost, WalMart's HD-DVD drives will be far below the current low of $399 for Toshiba's HD-A20 player, and will look cheap compared to the lowest priced Blu-ray hardware on the market today ($599).

If the current details of the plan prove to be true, WalMart's support of HD-DVD will have a significant impact on the next-gen DVD format war. The American retailer operates on a high-volume, low-margin business plan of market saturation, which is exactly the approach required to drive one format or the other to preeminence.

Stay tuned for updates and confirmation as the story develops.
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