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Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD Player
Best Buy brings Christmas early to some customers

Best Buy often gets a reputation of not having the best customer service and looking down on "devil customers" who only come to Best Buy locations to score hot deals.

Over the past few years, Best Buy has done much to better its image. The store ditched mail-in rebates which many customers complained about -- all Best Buy merchandise now carries instant savings instead.

Best Buy's latest move, however, may be one of the best yet for "devil customers."
It was reported yesterday on DailyTech that Wal-Mart would have the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player on sale for $98.97 Friday morning. Best Buy followed suit by offering the HD-A2 online and in-store for $99.99.

As one might imagine, Best Buy stores were quickly depleted of stock and was hammered with excess orders. Although some orders were able to get through, an overwhelming majority of customers who purchased HD-A2s from received backorder notices.

Given that the HD-A2 is now discontinued, one would have expected that Best Buy would just cancel all of the orders and be done with it -- but you would be wrong. Best Buy instead is replacing all backordered HD-A2 players with the new third-generation HD-A3 which retails for $299.99.

A letter sent to Toshiba HD-A2 customers reads as follows:

Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,

You are receiving this email because you recently ordered a Toshiba HD DVD Player (model # HD-A2) from and your order was placed in a backorder status while we awaited additional inventory. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has discontinued this item and we are not anticipating receiving any more inventory.

Because we value your business, we will be fulfilling your order with the next generation Toshiba HD DVD Player (model # HD-A3) that is replacing the HD-A2 in Toshiba's lineup of HD DVD Players. There is no need for you to do anything to receive this upgraded model. We will simply fulfill your original order and your packing slip will be updated to show you received the HD-A3 and serve as your order receipt.

If you are not interested in receiving the Toshiba HD-A3 as a replacement for the discontinued HD-A2, you may return the unopened item to your nearest Best Buy store or simply contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at (888)-BestBuy for more information about how to return the product for a complete refund.

Please accept our apology for any inconvenience. We look forward to your next visit to Best Buy.

Best Buy Customer Care 

Those persons who were sad to get a backorders notice should be delighted that they will be receiving a brand new third-generation unit instead.

The excitement should build even further considering that all third-generation Toshiba HD DVD player (including the HD-A3) come bundled with "300" and "The Bourne Identity” in addition to the five free movies that can be had after a mail-in rebate [PDF].

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Toshiba is selling at a loss...
By MagnumMan on 11/3/2007 12:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing that makes sense to me, given the recent price cuts and now this rather startling news, is that Toshiba is willing to sell at a loss to bolster HD-DVD. This almost sounds like Predatory Pricing to me. But hey, enjoy it while you can...

RE: Toshiba is selling at a loss...
By ChipDude on 11/3/2007 12:32:52 PM , Rating: 3
Trust me Toshiba is losing less on this then Sony has lost and will lose subsidizing PS3. At 399 bucks and with the yields on cell and the laser I think Sony is still losing in excess of 200 bucks a unit.

What Toshiba is losing is trump change and the volumes they are getting will quickly further drive their hardware costs down further.

Looking forward to higher end blackfriday HD-DVD units now. The floors has been broken and the bar set, one BR can't match without breaking the bank

RE: Toshiba is selling at a loss...
By stubeck on 11/3/2007 2:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
Sony was losing about 250 last year for the PS3 at 600. They are probably at 300 or 350 now with the PS3 at 400.

By deeznuts on 11/3/2007 4:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Sony is losing money on their PS3 ( I don't think it's that much anymore, even on the $400 PS3). But they got royalties on movies as well as Toshiba, and much much more on games. Toshiba doesn't.

RE: Toshiba is selling at a loss...
By walk2k on 11/3/2007 4:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
Got a source for those numbers or did you just pull them from your ass?

The old numbers (from "iSupply" I think?) which were oft-quoted a year+ ago were back when the blue laser diode was costing something like $200 each, and they are now down under $20 I believe. The BD drive is by far the most expensive thing the PS3 yet you can get something similar for PC for under $200 now. I'd be surprised if the PS3 cost Sony more than $300-350 to produce (numbers pulled from ass!) especially now with the cheaper 65nm Cell and higher yields.

RE: Toshiba is selling at a loss...
By Tegeril on 11/3/2007 7:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
Minus the part where Sony just stated that the 65nm parts were rumor only, and the PS3 is still using 90nm.

By saratoga on 11/3/2007 10:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
The old numbers (from "iSupply" I think?) which were oft-quoted a year+ ago were back when the blue laser diode was costing something like $200 each, and they are now down under $20 I believe. The BD drive is by far the most expensive thing the PS3 yet you can get something similar for PC for under $200 now.

This doesn't make sense. You point out (correctly) that the isupply numbers are ancient and thus certainly outdated, then in the next sentence you use them to conclude that the bluray drive is the most expensive part? It certainly was, but I really doubt that now. The GPU + CPU are now both likely to significantly more expensive since they're gigantic and still at 90nm.

By hannibal the mechanical bull on 11/6/2007 9:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
"especially now with the cheaper 65nm Cell and higher yields."

Now who's pulling facts out of thier ass? Not hapening, not yet anyhow.

RE: Toshiba is selling at a loss...
By BansheeX on 11/3/2007 10:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
You should probably realize that yields on blu-ray lasers and the cell have gotten better and the cost of producing a PS3 has decreased significantly since it first came out, so your math of adding $100 to whatever they were reported to be losing at launch is pretty brainless. Also, the 40GB model removes at least $30 worth of PS2 hardware. I would be surprised if Sony was losing more than $100 on any model anymore.

By BansheeX on 11/3/2007 10:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, this was a reply to Stubeck.

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