Sharp sold out stock of $699 Blu-ray players with eight free movie deal

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Sharp has sold out of all its Blu-ray player stock with its current promotion that gives customers eight free Blu-ray movies via redemption with every BD-HP20X Blu-ray player sold  from 1 October to 31 December 2007.

The three free Blu-ray titles are in addition to the five currently being offered by Sharp, Sony, Pioneer, Samsung and Panasonic as part of the initiative from the Australian Blu-ray Disc Working Group that comprises consumer electronics retailers, IT, media and hardware manufacturers.

“We have decided to launch our new Blu-ray player at a very competitive price of $699, but on top of that to really push the sell through, we’ve decided to add another three titles,” said Sharp Australia’s associate director, group general manager sales and marketing, Joe Constantino.

“So not only are we offering a competitive price but we are also offering eight Blu-ray titles in all and we think that package is very competitive and a great offering to the consumer.”

The uptake by retailers has left Sharp out of stock.

“Based on this offer, our retail partners have really run with it and we have pre-sold all our Blu-ray stock until December,” Constantino explained.

“We are trying to get more stock in now because the back orders that we have got far exceed what we brought in and we brought in quite a bit of stock but it wasn’t enough because the take up from retailers has been fantastic.

“The proof of the pudding will be the sell through but we’re hoping the $699 price and the eight free Blu-ray titles will really drive those Bu-ray sales.”

When asked about the ongoing ‘format war’ between Blu-ray and HD DVD in light of JB Hi-Fi’s decision to now stock HD DVD, Constantino said that there are some key drivers that will determine consumer demand.

“Most punters would have to say that Blu-ray is very well positioned. Will there be one technology at the end of 12 to 18 months it’s hard to day. All I can say from a Blu-ray point of view is that it offers greater storage capacity and the support from the movie houses is a lot stronger.

“The two main things that are going to drive Bu-ray, I think, are price, which is an obvious one but the second thing is how many titles are going to be available on that format. There is no doubt that gaming will drive it as well and also as more peripheral items like Blu-ray camcorders come out onto the market and people are recording their movies in Blu-ray, they will need a Blu-ray player. So these are the drivers that will push Blu-ray.

“HD DVD has a fight on their hands, there is no doubt about it.”

For more information on the Sharp promotion visit www.sharp.net.au or for the Blu-ray association promotion see www.blurayaustralia.com.au.

In another promotion, Sharp Corporation is giving away a free flight to every consumer who purchases one of the following LCD TVs between 1 October and 31 December 2007:

TV sizes 32 inches and above, model numbers: LC32PD5X, LC37PD5X, LC42PD7X, LC46PD7X, LC52PD7X, LC32D53X, LC37D53X, LC37D63X, LC42D63X, LC46D63X, LC42D83X, LC46D83X or LC52D83X.

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