Panasonic ties with Best Buy for 3D TV promotion

Mon Mar 8, 2010 8:00am EST
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp will launch its 3D televisions in the United States on Wednesday, and work with top U.S. electronics retailer Best Buy Co to promote the products, the Japanese electronics maker said.

The maker of Viera flat-panel TVs said it expects a 50-inch model to retail for $2,500, and aims to sell 500,000 3D TVs in the United States in the first year of their launch, half its annual global sales target.

Under the joint promotion, Best Buy will set up special sections at its retail outlets, where prospective customers can try out Panasonic's 3D TVs.

Panasonic, the world's No.4 flat TV maker behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, LG Electronics Inc and Sony Corp, holds high hopes for 3D TVs as it aims to turn its TV business profitable in the year starting April.

The sci-fi blockbuster "Avatar" and other recent titles have sparked massive interest in 3D movies, raising TV makers' hopes for a strong debut of 3D models.

Shares in Panasonic closed up 2.8 percent at 1,307 yen on Monday, outperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index, which gained 2.1 percent.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Rupert Winchester)