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Moto, Proview LCD TV pact 'in doubt'

Quality dispute

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Motorola has rejected the first LCD and plasma TVs produced on its behalf by Far Eastern manufacturer Proview, citing quality grounds it has been alleged.

If true, the claim calls into question the US giant's return to the TV market in mid-2004.

Motorola signed a deal with Hong Kong-based Proview in October 2003. It has waved through Proview-built LCD monitors, but has rejected its supplier's large-format TVs, according to the Financial Times.

According to industry sources, the disputed products do not meet Motorola's quality standards. On the other hand, Proview claims its partner's QA requirements are impractical.

The two companies have not commented on the claims. It is believed that negotiations seeking to resolve their differences are to resume shortly.

Motorola originally said it would offer a number of high-end TVs, including 42in plasmas and LCD models with integrated DVD players. Its scheme is just one of a number of attempts by IT companies to move into consumer electronics. Dell launched a line of high-end TVs last year; and HP last week unveiled a new TV line-up, alongside its version of Apple's iPod.

By contrast, Gateway, one of the first PC companies to branch out into TVs, announced in July, that it was withdrawing from the market to concentrate on selling computers..

PC companies see consumer electroncis as a market into which they can move on the back of digital home initiatives. People know us for our computers, which are digital, they reason. So as TV, music etc. go digital, so consumers will turn to us. But a shift away from the major CE brands is by no means certain, Very big TVs are still TVs, and consumers will surely turn to the companies they've been buying TVs from for years. ®

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