Originally Posted by wnorris
On a general note, I don't want to conflict Kosty's info, but I think we will see these players showing up on Wal-Mart shelves by August.
Kosty's source told him they would go into FULL production in August. However, I believe they will be producing units with limited production up until that point. Basically, the factory is built, but it is not fully staffed (it consists of a skelton work force). They are giving themselves 3.5 months to get 100% staffed and trained.
However, when they are 50% staffed and trained, I don't believe they will just pay those workers to stand around making nothing all daym waiting for the other half of the workforce. So the Wal-Mart players should start coming off the line by the end of May, but in limited quantities.
If you say a 50% work force in place by the end of May, they you may get close to 50% of production capacity, depending on the distribution of staff. If this is an average size plant for the area, it could make 150k units per month, or at 50% capacity, 75k units per month.
So by the end of June, I would say there will have already been 80-100k units built. They won't just warehouse these in China (Wal-Mart would have more warehouse space to do that). So those units will go on a boat for the US by the end of June. 30-45 days later they should be on Wal-Mart trucks headed for wherever Wal-Mart wants them to go.
I don't think Wal-Mart will just sit on them. Why tie up your money that way? So I think they will head out to stores, but perhaps a limited number of stores, since there is a limited quantity available.
So while FULL production may not start until August, I think we will see limited quantities on store shelves by August (probably the end of August), with all stores having a good inventory by the end of October.
To clarify, I think that is certain a possibility.
My sources have told me that full or mass production will be in August, but that dos not conflict with some on the street in Wal-Mart before that.
Wal-Mart will probably roll these out in some test stores first, just as it has been test marketing some Toshiba HD A2's in some markets now.
I now have Toshiba sources telling me they have know about this deal for a while and that they expect the MSRP to be below $299 with the street prices effectively $199 or lower by the 4th quarter.
Wal-Mart will probably continue to sell the PS3 and may carry other Blu-ray players based on their price points and sales performance.
These Chinese HD DVD players will probably replace in effect or compete with Wal-Marts higher priced DVD players or upconverting DVD players.
Prices in the store will drop as time goes on. They also have some obvious potential as holiday season door busters.
The initial pricing and initial sales point will be higher than they will be sold at soon after launch, but for MSRP establishment and advertising purposes they probably need to be sold for a short time at full MSRP is Wal-Mart if the single source retailer.
In short, these may very well be at some Wal-Marts in August at a higher price than they will be sold during the 4th quarter. Expect them to be $100 to $150 less than the HD A2 when they are sold on mass.