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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

Panasonic's logo. Click here to visit the Panasonic website! PRESS RELEASE: Panasonic Introduces New Rechargeable Battery Systems for Daily-Use Consumer Electronics, Including First AA-Size 1950 mAh Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery

New Rechargeable Batteries Meet the Growing Energy Demands of Today's Electronic Devices, With Up to Six Times the Power of Alkaline Batteries

SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Panasonic introduces a new series of rechargeable battery systems designed to address the high energy demands of daily-use electronic devices, and the first AA-size 1950 mAh nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable battery to hit the U.S. consumer marketplace. This high-capacity, long-lasting battery delivers up to six times the power of premium alkaline batteries.

In tests* conducted using Panasonic's Lumix(TM) DMC-LC20 digital still camera, the Panasonic 1950 mAh AA Ni-MH batteries powered an average of 834 shots. By comparison, the Duracell M3 AA batteries powered an average of 139 shots.

"Panasonic's new line of rechargeable batteries are engineered to help enhance consumers' enjoyment of their electronics products, especially high-use devices such as handheld games, portable audio products and PDAs," said Brian Kimberlin, Senior Marketing Manager for the Panasonic Battery Group. "The new, super-charged, 1950 mAh rechargeable AA battery, the most powerful AA-size Ni-MH battery currently available, delivers true consumer benefits versus traditional, disposable batteries: longer battery life, reliability for hundreds and hundreds of charges, and the convenience of less trips to the store for battery purchases."

Manufacturers of consumer electronics and digital still cameras already recommend Ni-MH batteries for their devices, because of the extended life and economic benefits over traditional alkaline batteries. And consumers appear to be responding. An A.C. Nielsen year-long report, ending September 30, 2002, states that unit sales of nickel-metal hydride batteries grew 22.5 percent across all trade categories, while sales of alkaline batteries declined.

With a powerful Panasonic rechargeable battery system, consumers have the convenience of having a freshly charged supply of long-lasting batteries on hand at all times. Panasonic offers three systems, including the company's first palm-sized, two-hour Smart Charger package, to address battery users' different needs and preferences.

  • Model BQ-390A/2K: Includes two AA-size 1950 mAh AA Ni-MH batteries with the palm-sized, two-hour Smart Charger and convenient flip-out plug. Specific features include worldwide voltage compatibility, an indicator light to let users know if the batteries are fully charged or are currently charging, and an auto shut-off feature that protects the batteries from overheating once charged.
  • Model BQ-390ASB/8K: Specifically packaged for warehouse clubs, this system includes the two-hour Smart Charger, six AA-size 1950 mAh Ni-MH batteries and two AAA-size Ni-MH batteries that power up to 750 mAh. This bulk package is perfect for the very active battery user.
  • Model BQ-345A/4WK: Considered Panasonic's "Value Pack," the system includes four AA-size 1950 mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and a powerful six-hour charger. The economical package offers a great opportunity for those who have never tried rechargeable batteries before to now purchase them at a moderate cost.
Panasonic also offers individual 1950 mAh AA-size rechargeable Ni-MH batteries in packs of two, four and six; and rechargeable AAA batteries in two-packs and six-packs (the six-packs are solely for warehouse clubs). A leading name in consumer electronics, Panasonic markets a wide range of high quality alkaline, lithium, and rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries for photo/electronic use.

Panasonic is the premier brand of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE: MC - News) of Japan, one of the world's largest producers of innovative electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. For more information, visit our website at http://www.panasonic.com .

About Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd.

Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd. (MBI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., is one of the world's leading full-range battery research and manufacturing companies. With 26 factories in 16 countries, including five in North America, and more than 70 years of experience in the battery marketplace, the company manufactures batteries for consumer, industrial and OEM use, and is committed to working in harmony with the global environment.

MODEL                                               MSRP     AVAILABILITY

Rechargeable Battery Systems

Two-hour Smart Charger and two AA Ni-MH batteries $24.99 December 2002

Warehouse club package with two-hour Smart Charger, TBD December 2002
six AA Ni-MH batteries and two AAA Ni-MH batteries

"Value Pack" with six-hour charger and four
AA Ni-MH batteries $19.99 November 2002

Individual Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery Packs

HHR-3EPA/2B AA Two-pack $ 6.99 September 2002

HHR-3EPA/4B AA Four-pack $ 9.99 September 2002

HHR-3EPA/6B AA Six-pack $12.49 November 2002

HHR-4EPA/2B AAA Two-pack $ 6.99 September 2002

HHR-4EPA/6B AAA Six-pack $12.49 November 2002

Specifications are subject to change without notice.
All prices are in U.S. dollars.

* In-device tests using various ANSI C18 test criteria completed 7/13/02
by Intertek Testing Service NA, Inc.

(First posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 23:36 EST)

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