Japan's Funai Electric Co. Ltd. is set to enter the next-generation DVD market this year, it said Friday.
The company, which is known for its low-cost consumer electronics products, plans to have a Blu-ray Disc player available before the end of 2007, said Naoyuki Takanaka, a spokesman for the company.
The product won't be sold under the Funai name but offered to other consumer electronics companies on an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) basis for resale under their respective brand names.
Takanaka wouldn't disclose Funai's target price for the player but a report in Friday morning's Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun industrial daily said it will cost around US$500, or about
Whether that price is correct or not the entry of Funai into the next-generation DVD market is likely to increase low-end competition, if previous experience is any predictor.
Earlier this year Funai began supplying LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs on an OEM basis to Yamada Denki Co. Ltd., a major electronics retailer in Japan. A 32-inch set currently sells for
Japan's Blu-ray Disc market is currently made-up of a handful of recorders that carry price tags of over
While its first product is likely to be compatible with Blu-ray Disc, Takanaka said Funai hasn't taken sides in the format battle and is also considering an HD DVD player.