"You might have heard about those $99 HD DVD players that were being sold for a moment at Walmart and Best Buy. You're probably smart enough to realize that Toshiba isn't making much scratch on these things, but for reference, the first HD-A1 HD DVD player, cost Toshiba $674 in parts alone (Says iSuppli, 2006). So are they losing ~$500 bucks on these newer player selling for less than a C-note?
Within a calendar year, I very much doubt that it could have been price-optimized more than 30% (*number pulled out of thin air). Either way, it's pretty clear that Toshiba is losing at least a few hundred dollars on this $99 deal for consumers, and maybe over $500 bucks including all costs. Is this sale desperation? Or have they moved on from the early-adopter battle field and straight into the Waterloo of mainstream buyers? Maybe it's just a stunt, since most places sold out almost immediately. What better way to win the hearts and minds of cheap Americans than to hold an insane sale on a sliver of all of your inventory?"