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In a shock move LG Electronics has dropped plans to introduce a Blu-ray Disc player this year along with a family of Portable Media Center products, as originally planned and promoted heavily at the recent CES show.

 In a shock move LG Electronics has dropped plans to introduce a Blu-ray Disc player this yearb along with a  family of Portable Media Center products, as originally planned. Instead of delivering the Blu-ray Disc player, LG told dealers it is instead working to develop a dual-format HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc player, which could come to market at the end of 2006.

In a memo to dealers Bob Perry, LG sales VP, said that it had decided to drop the Blu-ray player “in light of uncertainty in this early stage of the market for pre-recorded high-definition optical discs, we have decided not to introduce a Blue Ray.” Perry had no further details on the dual-format player at this time, he said, however the announcement came shortly after LG’s parent company announced an intellectual property-sharing agreement with Toshiba for the development of next-generation optical disc drives, including HD DVD.

Perry’s memos also said the company has withdrawn its new family of handheld Portable Media Center products that were heavily promoted at its dealer show and at the International CES, as well as a pair of specialty plasma TVs.

The string of announcements were part a notice “to the field”  that indicated LG had also withdrawn plans to market a pair of LCoS-based rear-projection TVs due to “part procurement” issues, giving the company the chance to monitor and re-evaluate the shrinking micro-display rear-projection category for future participation.

Similarly, LG said it had cancelled plans to market a pair of specialty plasma TV products that were previously announced. “as a result of concerns expressed by dealers over market introduction timing, as well as engineering development schedules,” the dealer notice stated. “Instead, we will carry over current models for global release. We also plan to adjust market pricing on these models as the market moves. Dealers should continue to carry the popular PY2DR chassis in their lineups.”

LG’s much-hyped Portable Media Center (PMC) and related portable player product family also encountered “an unanticipated delay,” the notice said. “As a result, we will not make our global rollout timeframe. Because this market is so competitive and dynamic, we believe it is not appropriate to launch a partial lineup, so the delay in the PMC will delay the entire lineup.”

LG said it will “announce new rollout dates as information becomes available. In the interim, we are removing these models from our lineup at this time. We hope this change has not caused any inconvenience.”

Affected products were part of a large lineup of new models introduced at an unusually early 2006 product line show that was held for dealers and press last fall. In part, LG used the event’s accelerated schedule to gather opinions on new products with time to make adjustments for spring and summer shipping dates.


 

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