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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 Launches PowerEdge(TM) Digital Camera Battery

First Oxy-Alkaline Batteries for U.S. Market Last Up to 43 Percent Longer Than Traditional Alkaline Batteries

SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic has stepped up to the challenge of digital camera users' number one complaint: short battery life. The company's new long-lasting, high-performance PowerEdge(TM) batteries were specifically developed to quench digital cameras' unforgiving demand for battery power. The new oxy-alkaline batteries are the first of their kind to be marketed in the U.S. and last up to 43 percent longer than traditional alkaline batteries.

"Based on initial sales, which began in August, we anticipate continuing strong demand for the PowerEdge battery," said Brian Kimberlin, Senior Marketing Manager for the Panasonic Battery Group. "This will be the first holiday season that PowerEdge batteries will be on store shelves."

The new batteries are now available at leading photo retailers across the country.

"Longer battery life translates to more photo opportunities, more fun and greater convenience for consumers," said Kimberlin. "Digital camera users were accustomed to 'rationing' their shots to conserve battery power. With the Panasonic PowerEdge batteries, consumers can take more photos and have a larger selection of shots they'll want to keep."

Sales of digital still cameras are expected to reach nearly 9 million units(1) in 2002, an increase of 61 percent over last year. Fifty-seven percent of the top 100 U.S. digital camera brands require AA size alkaline batteries.

In a series of tests* conducted by an independent laboratory, the new Panasonic battery was pitted against the AA size high-drain alkaline batteries most frequently used in digital cameras: Duracell M3 and Energizer e2. Using four different digital cameras from top manufacturers, pictures were taken continuously until the cameras ceased to function. The cameras' flash and LCD features were used, to consume even more battery power. The average number of shots taken using the PowerEdge batteries was 764; the average number of shots with the two premium alkaline batteries was 535.

The packaging for the new batteries incorporates a unique breakaway wrap with an inner, perforated seal that surrounds four batteries. Consumers can easily remove one battery at a time while keeping the others intact. The four-pack will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $5.99.

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.

(1) Source: Consumer Electronics Association 8/02
* Tests conducted May 28, 2002 through June 3, 2002
All prices are in U.S. dollars.
Specifications subject to change without notice.

(First posted on Monday, December 9, 2002 at 18:09 EST)

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