Several readers sent us word of Wal-Mart's ordering 2 million HD DVD players from China
. Hans V
wrote, "My kids work at Wal-Mart and the manager there has been talking about this. HD-DVD's are selling like mad there so I hear." Another reader sent us a few links in Chinese and summarized them this way: "The first batches of these blue-laser HD DVD players are to land sometime in 2007, with complete fulfillment of the order [from Fuh Yuan] in 2008. The deal could be worth up to $300 million US, which translates to $150 per player. If so, by the time Christmas 2007 rolls around, Wal-Mart could be selling these for less than $200 retail, although some speculate that the initial manufacturer suggested retail pricing might be in the ballpark of $299. Currently the cheapest high-definition player is a Toshiba HD DVD with an MSRP of $399."
By comparison Blu-Ray players, manufactured in Japan, are not expected to drop below $1000 until next year. The International Herald Tribune writes about the risk Toshiba is taking by bringing in Chinese manufacturers
to trump Sony in the format war.