LG, Samsung hesistant towards Blu-ray


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LG, Samsung hesistant towards Blu-ray

After the end of the format war some said that all manufacturers will come with more Blu-ray products. Despite Sony's effort to attract more consumers with fully-featured Blu-ray discs and players, both Samsung and LG are not expected to sharpen their Blu-ray business at this exact moment.

Samsung started with offering Blu-ray products three years ago, by introducing the first 'blue' product in 2005. Several announcements followed and many prototypes started to appear at major trade shows. Samsung's overall strategy was to look like the major player by entering the blue laser market with a recording device, and not a ROM device. There was an overall belief that Samsung could be competitive in the Blu-ray market. Now we know that many of these prototypes never reached the mass production stage and that Samsung doesn't have immediate plans to massively inject captal in its Blu-ray business. "Since 2005, we have been releasing Blu-ray products but we are not considering sharpening the business for the time being despite its success in the format war," a Samsung spokesperson said in an interview with Korean Times last monday.

Another Samsung official said that the reason for this can be found in the format war itself. Because it ended earlier than expected, Blu-ray manufacturers are unlikely to increase their investment due to fears over lower profits, he said. Besides Samsung, also LG seems to have a wait-and-see strategy at this point. LG showcased their first Blu-ray players back in 2004, but it was 2006 when the first LG high-definition player was introduced. This was a hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player.

"Globally, the potential market for Blu-ray discs is very lucrative. Consumers will spend $1.1 billion on HD discs this year compared with some $300 million last year. However, the business is still in its infancy due to high prices and the rapid penetration of the high-speed Internet," an LG official said on Monday.

LG and Samsung are now officially expected not to invest heavily in the nearest future. What will other manufacturers do, and what does this all do to the Blu-ray Disc Association's growth strategy?