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Hisense TV Strategy Set To Be Challenged

Hisense, who after hitting #1 in the Australian TV market, were accused by their competitors, of buying market share, a claim that appears to have been justified by their poor profits, is set to launch a new budget line-up of TV’s in an effort  to try and hold on to market share.

Last week we revealed that Hisense revenues increased from $100M in 2014 to $150M in 2015 to over $180M in 2016. (See story here), yet despite this the Company only managed to deliver a sub 1% profit due in part to their heavy discounting and the offering of higher rebates to retailers.

now competitors are saying that in 2017 and 2018, the Company will struggle to hold onto their market share gains, as competitors such as Samsung, LG, Hitachi, Philips, and Aldi with the Bauhn TV range move to deliver new 4K UHD TV models that are priced cheaper than what Hisense has been selling their TV’s for.

A senior Samsung executive said that Hisense has delivered volume base on “discounting” a move that they admit has stripped market share from several brands.

Hisense management admitted at the Australian Grand Prix recently that they do not see themselves as being a player in the premium of the Australian TV market where LG, Sony, and Panasonic with their new OLED TV’s is set to do battle with Samsung’s QLED TV offering.

The battle to curtail Hisense’s growth has already started, after the Chinese Company released a new Hisense, 65″ ULED HDR TV with Netflix, Stan & Freeview Plus, the TV is priced at $3,196 dollars at JB Hi Fi.

LG has moved to offer a similar TV, the LG 65UJ654T 65″ 4K UHD Smart model for $2,488, it comes with HDR, Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime as well as the Companies WebOS and smart remote.

Also, competing head on with Hisense in the TV market is Aldi, they have just released a 58” 4K UHD TV complete with Google’s new 4K Chromecast for sub $800.

It comes with Netflix as well as access to Stan and Googles Play Store content spanning music, movies and books.

Shortly Big W is set to start selling a 65” Philips 4K UHD TV for sub $1,500 it comes with Android TV as well as access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Stan.

Also set to be released in the Australian market is a new 65” and 48” 4K Ultra High Definition Hitachi TV. The 65” is set to be sub $1,500 while the 48” is set to be sub $1,000.

Later this year Hisense will release new 4K ULED TV models the H9D and H9D Plus 4K ULEDs, first introduced at CES 2017.

Both models feature HDR, wide colour gamut and local dimming.

Hisense said its ULED technology features better dynamic range and perception of black and white than previous models still being sold in Australia.

The Chinese Company claims that their new TV technology enhances colour, contrast, black level, brightness while deliver smoother motion.

The H9D Plus 480 fps to the flagship 65-inch model and 240 fps to the 55-inch model.

The Company recently redesigned their Hisense Smart TV platform to deliver one-touch access to a web browser.

They have also pre-installed apps such as Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube.

Unlike Sony, Samsung and LG, Hisense is not seen as a preferred Netflix “Recommended” Partner.

To meet Netflix’s 2017 recommended-TV standards, manufacturers must meet five of seven criteria.

Most critically, the TVs must be able to power on and let users launch Netflix (or other internet TV apps) within a few seconds — “just like your smartphone,” Netflix says — and they must let users toggle among apps and live TV “almost instantly.”

Other criteria for the Netflix TV program: rendering the Netflix interface with 1080p HD high-resolution graphics and text; ensuring Netflix has prominent placement in the TV menu to be easily accessible.

This is whether the smart TV includes a “Netflix” button on the remote that can turn on the TV and directly launch into the Netflix app; whether the device comes with the latest version of Netflix and includes its newest features; and whether the TV “remembers” the last state it was left in to power-on to the same place as when it was turned off.

The LG, Samsung and Sony TVs that comply with the 2017 Netflix Recommended TV criteria are currently being sold in Australia.

In 2017, all of Sony’s TV models get the Netflix recommended tick of approval.

Netflix said it will add more TV models and brands as they become available and are certified for the 2017 program however at this stage it’s not known whether Hisense TV’s will be certified by Netflix who have been credited with driving the uptake of Ultra High Definition TV’s in Australia.

See Netflix details here about certification. 

With the new Hisense TV’s users can access content from apps through the Opera TV Store, including films, TV shows, music, games and lifestyle, fashion, news and sports content. At one stage Hisense was planning to launch Hoogle TV but this never came to fruition.

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