Sony unveils new Aiwa-brand products

Sony unveiled its marketing strategy for new Aiwa-branded products Wednesday.

Sony, which merged with Aiwa Co. Ltd. last month, plans to retain the image of Aiwa products as low-price, easy-to-use audio devices when it begins launching new products, with a new Aiwa logo, for the Japanese market in February, said Masaru Hirauchi, president of Aiwa Business Center at Sony, at a news conference in Tokyo.

The first of Sony's Aiwa-branded products to be launched in the Japanese market will be three CD/MD (MiniDisc) mini component systems and a personal MD player. All of these will be equipped with Sony's Net MD function, which allows audio data to be transferred from a PC to a recorder at 32X speed with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable.

Audio devices such as these are expected to account for about 80 percent of the Aiwa-branded product line-up, and Sony also plans to release Aiwa-branded digital still cameras in the future, Hirauchi said.

Outside Japan, new Aiwa products are expected to appear in North America and Europe in March, Junko Sato, a Sony spokeswoman, said.

The Tokyo company established Aiwa Strategic Accounts Partnership Inc. (ASAP) in November last year to handle the sales and marketing of Aiwa products in the U.S. market.

ASAP plans to establish strategic partnerships with major retail stores to sell Aiwa products in the U.S., Hirauchi said.

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