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Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Japanese DVD shipments more than double


The number of DVD recorders shipped in Japan more than doubled in the past fiscal year as new entrants in the already crowded market helped whet customers' appetite, a research firm said.

Some 4.43 million DVD recorders were shipped in Japan in the fiscal year to March, up 104.1 percent from a year before. The value stood at 230 billion yen (2.1 billion dollars), up 43.8 percent, the MM Research Institute said.

It said both DVD makers and large retailers made concerted marketing efforts, particularly to coincide with the Athens Olympics where Japan took home a national record in medals.

"In addition to these factors, prices dropped sharply as companies like Mitsubishi Electric and Victor Co of Japan (JVC) entered this market, helping stimulate consumer appetite," the research firm said in a statement.

For the current year to March 2006, it forecast shipments will increase to 5.6 million DVD players, up 26.4 percent year-on-year. The upcoming year could also see the start to mass-market sales of next-generation DVDs which can offer new scope for cinematic film quality and interactive entertainment.

For the third year in a row, Matsushita Electric Industrial, the maker of Panasonic, had the biggest market share in fiscal 2004 with 27.1 percent, though it was down from 35.7 percent the previous year. Sony's share also edged lower to 20.5 pct from 22.1 percent.

Smaller players Toshiba and Sharp saw their shares rise to 16.6 percent and 10.2 percent respectively, while Pioneer slid to 9.6 percent.


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