No-name Blu-ray players available September

By Matthew Henry

HONG KONG: No-name brands could release their own Blu-ray players to take on the major brands by September, increasing competition and potentially driving prices down further.

A number of Chinese factories are pushing sample Blu-ray players at the Hong Kong fair this week, which they say could be available for rebadging and manufactured by July or August.

Electronics Australasia managing director, Tony Pack, who is currently attending the annual buying fair, told Current.com.au the players could allow new entrants into the category, which has to date remained the exclusive preserve of major consumer electronics brands.

“We have seen a few – maybe two – non-brand factories with a sample [Blu-ray player],” Pack said.

“This would be the beginning of non-branded players entering the market. These players could be launched by house brands.”

In an interesting twist, these cheap players are being developed by one of the leading Japanese brands supporting Blu-ray technology.

Pack said factories were suggesting $499 as a retail price for the units.

But they would have to do better than that to compete with major brands in the category.

Sharp’s Blu-ray player is currently on sale for $498 at JB Hi-Fi, while Sony and Samsung players are both listed in catalogues for under $600.

Pack said HD video had been a key theme at the show, particularly in digital imaging products.

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