Two Million HD DVD Players for Walmart?

April 20, 2007

HD DVDWe’ve heard rumors of low-cost HD DVD players from Chinese manufacturers before but this article by way of ‘ET Today’ (I’m assuming that stands for Electronic Times Today and not extraterrestrial) states that Walmart has placed an order for two million HD DVD players with “Fukuhiko Electronics” a Taiwan based OEM equipment manufacturer for other consumer electronic companies. Another company will handle the actual production, the “Great Wall Corporation” of China, at least that’s the way I read it by way of an admittedly rough Babelfish translation. Come to think of it, you may have better luck with Google Translate

300 Million Dollar HD DVD Drive

The players are expected to ship “before the end of the year” according to the article and while specifics are obviously scarce; one thing’s relatively certain, these players will be targeted at the price conscious. How low will the price go? Hard to say at least from the article but with Toshiba already covering the $400-$700 range it seems reasonable to assume a price-point well below the $400 entry level Toshiba HD-A2. We’ll monitor this one closely and update the post with any additional information.

–Update–

Further information on the story (including mention of TDK’s involvement with the prototype HD DVD drive; shown above) can be found here

–Update–

Thinking about this a bit more; one thing keeps creeping into the back of my mind, Walmart also has operations in China, nowhere (that I could find) does it specify these low-cost HD DVD players are/aren’t for domestic consumption. The players could very well be for the recently ratified Chinese only HD DVD specification, while still big news unto itself; it may not pan out to be the apparent coup for HD DVD first glances would indicate. Until we have official word that these two million Chinese HD DVD players are indeed headed for U.S. shores, take the news with a grain of salt.

–Update– Stor-Age.com running much of the same story here However the Stor-Age article mentions things specific to the U.S. market which may help clarify which region the players are intended for but again, until we have an official; English language press release and or statement from an involved party, consider this a work in progress.

–Update– Much ado about nothing? Walmart finally broke their silence on the subject but the clarification opens up as many new questions as it answers, while the Walmart spokesmen denies having a contract for the 2 million players (and the story in general) she goes on to say “We expect that as prices decrease and new elements are added in the coming months that consumers will choose which format will dominate, and that could happen by the end of this year.”

I’m not sure what these “new elements” could be but I’ve heard absolutely nothing from my back-channels that would indicate this could be wrapped up by years end, interesting to say the least.

“When asked to comment specifically on a statement appearing on Fuh Yuan’s site, which implies the retailer is at least interested in ordering the players, the spokesperson said she could not comment on or disclose Wal-Mart’s internal business with suppliers and our orders. However, the supplier said that no deal was imminent.”

I have to say this whole thing is starting to remind me of Jodi Sally (Toshiba’s VP of marketing) “Squashing rumors of a Second-Gen HD DVD Player” last year, with the announcement of the HD-A2 and HD-XA2 following just a few months later. Who knows, as always time will tell.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HD-DVD


Comments

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Thomas, the phrase this year and end of next year are used a few different times throughout the article(s), the ones I see that use “end of next year” appear to targeted toward potential earnings and or further orders, here are a few examples:

    “This director of company Deng Hongji indicated that after the fine resolution “blue light HD DVD” the cassette mechanism researches and develops successfully, this year immediately receives the American WALMART 2,000,000 order forms, expected the end of next year the total output value may arrive at the dollar 10,100,000,000. ”

    “Deng Hongji releases the advantage multi-news to point out that at present this blue light HD the DVD cassette mechanism with the Japanese TDK cooperation, will be responsible by the mainland Great Wall to produce, therefore after the product is born obtains the American WALMART 2,000,000 order forms immediately, expected the end of this year, the output value may amount to 100,000,000 Yuan dollars, if will add on the next year to estimate the value again, the output value on looked that 300,000,000 Yuan dollars, will be equal to the dollar 10,100,000,000 Yuan. Also therefore the lucky Yan stock will distribute in this July 12, in next year March cabinet.”

    So it appears (to me at least) they’re delineating between what they will ship this year versus the earnings those orders and potential new orders may generate by the “end of next year”.

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Thomas, the phrase this year and end of next year are used a few different times throughout the article(s), the ones I see that use “end of next year” appear to targeted toward potential earnings and or further orders, here are a few examples:

    “This director of company Deng Hongji indicated that after the fine resolution “blue light HD DVD” the cassette mechanism researches and develops successfully, this year immediately receives the American WALMART 2,000,000 order forms, expected the end of next year the total output value may arrive at the dollar 10,100,000,000. ”

    “Deng Hongji releases the advantage multi-news to point out that at present this blue light HD the DVD cassette mechanism with the Japanese TDK cooperation, will be responsible by the mainland Great Wall to produce, therefore after the product is born obtains the American WALMART 2,000,000 order forms immediately, expected the end of this year, the output value may amount to 100,000,000 Yuan dollars, if will add on the next year to estimate the value again, the output value on looked that 300,000,000 Yuan dollars, will be equal to the dollar 10,100,000,000 Yuan. Also therefore the lucky Yan stock will distribute in this July 12, in next year March cabinet.”

    So it appears (to me at least) they’re delineating between what they will ship this year versus the earnings those orders and potential new orders may generate by the “end of next year”.

  • Thomas

    “Before the end of the NEXT year” 😮

  • Thomas

    “Before the end of the NEXT year” 😮