Panasonic aiming for half of Europe's 3D TV market

BERLIN (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp is aiming to grab a 50 percent share of the European 3D television market this year as demand outstrips expectations and the technology wins converts worldwide, its head of Europe said on Thursday.

A model demonstrates the Panasonic AVCHD 3D camcorder on press day of Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) consumer electronics fair at "Messe Berlin" exhibition centre in Berlin, September 1, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The company expects sales of 3D televisions to generate 15-20 percent of its revenue in Europe this year, Laurent Abadie told Reuters in an interview ahead of the start of consumer electronics trade show IFA in Berlin.

Panasonic is the world’s fourth-largest flat TV maker behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, LG Electronics Inc and Sony Corp.

Samsung, which was first to market, is expected to sell the lion’s share of 3D TV sets worldwide, but Panasonic, Sony and LG Electronics are not far behind.

By August Panasonic had a market share of 35 percent in Europe for 3D TV sets with a 50 inch screen or bigger.

Abadie said the company had been caught by surprise by the high demand for 3D TVs.

“We had a quite aggressive target, but demand was three to four times higher,” Abadie said. He declined to say what Panasonic’s target was.

The extra demand had caused some delivery problems, Abadie said, but delivery would be back on track this month.

Abadie said new products would do their part in driving demand even more.

Abadie said he had high hopes for the company’s 3D camcorder and its new Lumix G series camera, which comes with a 3D lens and will be introduced to the public at the photography trade fair Photokina in Cologne later this month.

Technology research firm ISupply expects 4.2 million 3D TV sets to be sold globally this year, or about 2 percent of all LCD TVs, rising to 78 million by 2015.

Reporting by Nicola Leske and Nadine Schimroszik; Editing by Will Waterman