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Matsushita 103-Inch Plasma Screen May Debut Q1 2007

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic brand) said this week it tentatively plans to start selling its mammoth 103-inch (diagonal) plasma units in early 2007. The monitor, which reportedly weighs about 475 pounds, initially will be primarily marketed to corporations, billboard and ad firms, and other commercial interests. Consumer purchases likely will count for only a small percentage of overall sales.

According to Reuters and other published reports, the electronics maker has yet to set a suggested retail price for the new model, but Matsushita's largest selling unit right now (65-inch plasma) goes for about $7,500 in Japan.

And where size matters--as well as being the biggest and the brightest--give Matsushita an inch... and they'll take an inch: The plasma screen panel for the Panasonic unit will be one inch larger than the 102-inch model developed (and also not yet released) by Samsung.

Matsushita currently is the world's largest plasma TV maker, Reuters said.