As Notebook Prices Spiral Down, Panasonic Plunges In

With computer sales to large corporations in a prolonged downturn, it may seem as if the worst of times for Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. to jump into the market. A joint venture announced a year ago with Tandy Corp. to develop and market PCs was shelved last winter because of the industry slump. But the Japanese powerhouse, which has $56 billion in annual revenues, is trying again via its U.S. arm, Panasonic Co. And despite the price-slashing that is epidemic in the industry, Panasonic, which plans to sell notebook computers, won't try to compete on price. Instead, the company plans to hunker down and wait for its competitors to kill one another off in the price war, says Steve Yuhas, president of Panasonic Communications & Systems Co.

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