Samsung To Use New York Event To Try & Shore Up Struggling TV Business
Samsung Electronics is set to use a New York event on Thursday to try to rejuvenate their struggling TV business which has been under siege, resulting in a double-digit slump in sales globally.
The “first look” event is slated to take place at the American Stock Exchange in New York Friday Australian time.
Several Samsung Australia executives including Vice President Carl Rose are already in New York for the event.
Also attending are bloggers and select media who Samsung fly round the world business class while putting them up in five and six-star hotels, the Company is desperate to reengineer their TV image with main stream media.
At the top end of the premium TV market, the Korean Company is under pressure from LG and their OLED TV technology which Samsung has refused to recognise as being a superior TV display technology.
In the mid-market the Company has been hurt by Hisense who sells TV’s which Sharp claims are inferior TV’s, while at the budget end of the market share has been stripped away by retailers such as Aldi and BigW selling Bauhn and Polaroid TV’s manufactured by Tempo on TCL production lines.
This year the Company has moved to yet another TV technology platform MicroLED after spending the last 12 months trying to convince consumers that QLED was the answer to OLED.
In the second half of 2018 Samsung plans to launch large-size Micro LED TVs in an effort to shore up its share in the global TV market.
Samsung’s LCD TV shipments reached 42 million units in 2017, decreasing 10% from a year earlier, according to new global TV research.
In Australia Samsung lost their #1 position in the TV market in part last year to Hisense, who moved to selling discounted TV’s. Samsung responded by dropping the price of several Samsung models.
On Thursday, Friday Australia time, Samsung is officially set to unveil its 2018 range of 4K, HDR ‘QLED’ TVs.
Samsung executives have told ChannelNews that there would be four QLED series in the new range rather than the three released in 2017.
These new models will be labelled be called the Q6, Q7, Q8 and Q9 and while similar to the 2017 line-up there is a new Q6 series.
The addition of a Q6 series suggests that Samsung is keen to offer a more affordable QLED option – sensible given that one of the biggest criticisms of last year’s QLED range was that they were too expensive.
ChannelNews has also been told that Samsung is set to slash the price of their TV’s in Australia to stay competitive as brands like TCL look to gain market share at Samsung’s expense.
We also understand that their new Q8 and Q9 series which will be unveiled in New York are going to use direct LED lighting, where the LEDs sit directly behind the screen rather than around its edges.
As we reported from CES, the 2018 Q9 flagship series is going to feature direct lighting – an approach that generally produces much better contrast than edge lighting.
We have also been told that the Q8 and Q9 will support their direct lighting with local dimming technology, where different LED zones can output different light levels simultaneously.
What is set to be revealed in New York is how many individual dimming zones each model would support, we have been told that the Q8 will have significantly fewer than the Q9.
What I have been told is that Samsung is set to reveal a new type of Iris Glass capable of ‘focusing’ light from the edge LED array to where it’s need more accurately. Some say this is a gimmick that will not deliver a better viewing experience.
It was also suggested to John Archer a TV reviewer for SmartHouse, at this year’s CES that the Q9 would have a good few hundred separate LED zones. That he claims would be an impressively high number and would help to minimize the amount of ‘haloing’ (extraneous light) around bright objects when they appear against a dark backdrop.
The big question now is whether Samsung has potential to challenge rival OLED screens made by LG, Sony and Panasonic and later this year Toshiba and Hitachi.
The problem for Samsung is that all of the new QLED TVs will almost certainly feature the impressive new anti-reflection screen technology that was arguably the single biggest attraction of 2017’s models.
Globally Samsung is under siege the Company was pushed into third place with 18.5% share in the above $3,500 high-end TV category in 2017.
Display Research claims that Samsung will see its overall shipments fall in 2018 as it shifts it’s focus on marketing the above 50-inch models.
Increasing shipments of OLED TVs from LG Electronics, Sony and Panasonic grew in 2017 in Australia.
Globally OLED TV shipments surged to 745,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 218,000 units shipped in the first quarter of the year, according to IHS Markit.
Shipments of the OLED models in the high-end TV segment will remain robust in 2018, with their share in the segment to reach over 60% in the year, the sources estimated.
While Samsung’s planned launch of micro LED TVs could be a milestone for the development of TV Industry, it remains to be seen whether such new models will help the company revitalise its waning TV business claims DigiTimes.