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Panasonic forecasts significant flat TV growth

Expands Viera range of televisions to address increasing demand in the Middle East

Osaka-based Panasonic has forecasted a 116% increase in flat TV sales this year compared to last year’s figures and pegged the Middle East as ‘the most growing market’ for the product segment.

The comments were made at a press conference announcing the expansion of the Viera range of flat panel televisions to keep up with increasing demand from the Middle East. The company is introducing an additional nine LCDs and nine Plasma high-definition television models – each with unique features such as full HD for both motion and still pictures and the Viera Image Viewer function that allows playback of pictures and videos by directly inserting an SD card into the TV set.

Panasonic hopes to gain a 25% market share in the region for the 37-inch and above model segment, and a 60% share for plasma TVs this year.

“The way people see TV in the Middle East has dramatically evolved, and our products are designed to match our customer’s changing lifestyles,” said Abby Thomas, senior manager, Consumer Electronics, Panasonic Marketing Middle East.

The company is building another LCD production plant in Japan, targeting 15.5 million units of flat TV panels worldwide in 2009.