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Old 02-18-2008   #281
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Default Re: HD DVD about to fight back...

The Nikkei Tuesday morning edition

Toshiba To Announce Plan To Exit HD DVD Business

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Toshiba Corp. (6502) has decided to stop developing and manufacturing HD DVD players and recorders immediately and to halt sales of HD DVD products by the end of March, The Nikkei learned Monday.

This decision is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon by President Atsutoshi Nishida, along with plans to build new semiconductor plants.

The company has yet to discuss the future of HD DVD drives, which it has been supplying to Hewlett-Packard Co. and others, but intends to stop manufacturing them as well.

Toshiba has sold a total of roughly 1 million HD DVD recorders, players and personal computer drives around the world. Of these, 600,000 to 700,000 players have been sold, mainly in North America and Europe. The Japanese sales of around 10,000 to 20,000 units consist largely of recorders. Players sell for about 200 dollars in the U.S., while recorders go for around 100,000 yen in Japan.

Toshiba intends to take back the roughly 100,000 HD DVD units in retailers' hands, but not to accept returns from consumers.

Production lines for HD DVD devices can be used to make devices for conventional DVDs, so the withdrawal from the HD DVD business is unlikely to have a major impact on jobs. But Toshiba's losses from the retreat are estimated to reach into the tens of billions of yen.

Since launching an HD DVD-compatible device in Japan back in 2006, Toshiba had spearheaded the fight against the rival Blu-ray Disc next-generation DVD format, which has been supported by Sony Corp. (6758), Matsu****a Electric Industrial Co. (6752) and others.

HD DVD quickly lost traction after Warner Bros. Inc. announced in January its decision to stop releasing HD DVD titles. Support for Blu-ray by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other major U.S. retailers drove the final nail into HD DVD's coffin.
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