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International Herald Tribune: Muslims can read, listen to Quran on LG television

photo courtesy of AME Info

photo courtesy of AME Info

The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea: LG Electronics Inc. said Tuesday it has marketed a new large-screen plasma display television in the Middle East that allows users to both read and listen to the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

LG said in a release that the TV, which comes in 42 inch and 50 inch versions, is the first of its kind in the world. The company began selling it in conjunction with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which started at the beginning of September.

Quranic verses can be read on screen and listened to via software embedded in the TV. All 114 chapters of the holy book are included and up to 10 pages can be bookmarked via remote control, LG said.

LG said it decided to offer the product after learning through a survey that many Muslims listened to the Quran via their home theater systems and that ratings for radio broadcasts of the holy book were high.

“The product resulted from noticing that devout Muslims read and listen to the Quran almost every day,” Park Jong-seok, vice president of LG’s PDP division, said in the release.

The company also said that the TV, which comes with a 160-gigabyte hard disk drive, can record 40 soccer games and 30 movies.

LG spokesman Kim Jik-soo said that the 42-inch TV retails for US$1,376 in Dubai, while the 50-inch one sells for US$2,160 there.

He could not immediately provide a breakdown of all the countries where the TV was being sold, but said it could be purchased in most Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia.

The company recorded US$2 billion in sales during the first half of this year in the Middle East and Africa, a gain of 35 percent over the same period last year.

LG said it is aiming for sales of US$4.3 billion for 2008, increasing the total to US$6 billion in 2010.

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