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No slowdown in HDTV sales, says Sony exec

Strong sales of HDTVs and other consumer electronics are projected to continue the second half of the year, according to an executive for Sony Electronics Inc.

In an interview with EE Times, Jay Vandenbree, president of Sony's consumer sales company, noted that HDTV sales exceeded expectations in the company's fiscal quarter ended June, and are running ahead of expectations so far in July. "We don't see a slowdown in the TV business," said Vandenbree, noting the success of the company's Bravia expanding LCD TV line.

Vandenbree's group is responsible for sales in the United States. However, consumer electronics provided a key boost for Sony's global first-quarter results, bolstering the entire company's overall sales and earnings.

The company's robust expectations were reflected in recent moves by S-LCD Corp., the joint venture between Sony Corp. and South Korea-based Samsung, to scaled back LCD production due to slumping sales and falling prices as LCD TV sales have fallen short of expectations.

Vandenbree added that LCD TV prices will come down as production ramps up, but brushed aside any notion of Sony being a price leader. "Our plan is not to drive the prices down. We need to make sure to add value in features and design."

The company's microdisplay-based TVs are also selling strongly, according to Vandenbree, noting that the company's 42-inch microdisplay TV was a leading seller last year. He added that digital cameras and camcorders also continue to sell well, with more consumers wishing to not only play and record but also edit high-definition content. Sony is also expected to roll out an E-book reader that uses electronic ink technology from E Ink Corp. next month.

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