Sony cranks up production of Aibo robotic dog

The company says it will offer unlimited quantities of its 11-inch-tall robotic dog for people who are willing to shell out $2,500 for the electronic toy.

Sony said today it will offer unlimited quantities of its 11-inch-tall robotic dog, Aibo, for people who are willing to shell out $2,500 for the popular electronic toy.

Aibo reflects Sony's continued push to dominate the market for digital gadgets, as well as gain further acceptance of its Memory Stick technology.

Last year, Sony sold 5,000 Aibo dogs as a limited edition, including 3,000 in Japan and 2,000 in the United States. As Sony put it: Initial sales were met with "overwhelming response."

In November Sony offered another 10,000 units--but received 135,000 orders. Customers were chosen at random to receive the toy.

Sony will take orders starting next month by phone and through its Internet site. It plans to start shipping more Aibos in April.

"Sony's decision to accept orders again and sell additional Aibo entertainment robots is being made this time with the aim of establishing a vertically integrated business, complete with product manufacturing, marketing and customer support," the electronics giant said in a statement.

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