Retail in Asia

In Trends

Panasonic’s 3D gamble pays off in US

Panasonic Corp. says its 3D TVs sold out in the US in their first week, raising optimism the technology that helped the film Avatar break records at the box office will extend to living rooms and help boost profits.

TV makers are betting movies such as Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time, and sporting events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup will help drive demand for 3D sets using improved technology. Still, a lack of programmes and the need to use special eyewear – a reason that thwarted previous attempts to push adoption – may deter consumers.

"The quality of the top makers’ 3D TVs is quite good and they’ll probably be well received," says Kota Ezawa, a Tokyo-based analyst at Citigroup Inc. "Samsung, Panasonic and other top TV makers will probably sell about one million sets each in the coming year, mainly to people who like movies or new products, and high-end users."