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Thursday, May 22, 2008
Blu-ray Gains Momentum In Japan

Blu-ray seems to finally becomes more popular in Japan, with total Blu-ray recorders to account for the 30% of overall recorder unit sales last month, according to a research company.

Research firm BCN Inc released on Wednesday the results of a sales research gathering April's sales figures from a total of 26 PC and home electronics volume retailers across Japan.

BCN Inc found that Blu-ray recorder sales surpassed 50% of the Japanese DVD/HDD recorder market in April 2008, while Blu-ray recorders account for 30% of overall recorder unit sales.

Matsushita electric Industrial (Panasonic) has the largest share (45.8%) of the total Blu-ray and HD DVD recorders sold in April, followed by Sony (37.8%) and Sharp (16.4%). Last January, Sony had sold the 59.7% of the total high-definition recorders in Japan, but Panasonic greatly boosted sales by releasing the new "DMR-BR500" with street pricing of less than ?100,000 (US$970) in March.

As of January 2008, sales of Blu-ray recorders and HD DVD recorders only accounted for 24.2% of the sales value and 12.4% of the unit sales of DVD/HDD recorders. However, with Toshiba out of the HD DVD business, the demand for Blu-ray recorders has strengthened.

Recorders have been always popular among Japanese consumers, and the it seems that currently price is the only criterion for the decision to replace an old DVD/HDD recorder with one that supports Blu-ray. Toshiba has also decided to continue the promotion of its DVD/HDD recorders in Japan, despite their lack of HD DVD capabilities.

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