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TV Industry Booming Due To COVID-19 Hibernation

The TV industry is facing a volatile time with both LG Electronics and Sony raising prices by up to 15% while market leader Samsung is set to hold their prices as demand fluctuates due to the Coronavirus.

Recently demand for TV’s has been booming due to COVID-19 and the hibernation of millions of consumers in Australia.

Last weekend a Bauhn 65” TV along with a Bauhn soundbar sold out in hours when it went on sale at Aldi stores, at Big W Polaroid TV’s have been selling well while at JB Hi Fi demand for their TCL manufactured Ffalcon TV’s have soared.

At The Good Guys, a 77” 4K Linsar TV compete with Netflix Smart TV features and HDR is selling for $999 while at Harvey Norman mainstream brands including their value Akai brand have been delivering double digit growth.

The key issue is supply with brands such as Hisense who manufacturing plants are close to the COVID-19 epicentre facing supply problems after prolonged shutdown of their factories.

Chinese brand Hisense Australia have said they plan to launch new models in May including a $14,000 100” 4K TV.

ChannelNews has been told that the main part of their range will not be available till June July 2020 including select S8 UHD Smart TV and Q8 ULED TV.

Their new 43” UHD TV is s set to retail for $899, a similar high quality 50” Ffalcon 4K TV at JB Hi Fi is currently selling for $398.

Globally Samsung is moving to suspend production of all traditional LCD displays by the end of 2020 instead they are set to invest in Quantum Dot technology and a new QLED-OLED hybrid technology which can be manufactured cheaper than LG’s OLED technology. It’s also tipped to be equal quality and significantly cheaper than OLED.

TV shipments in China declined 20.1% on year to 9.95 million units in the first quarter of 2020, as COVID-19 shut down shops during their peak buying period.

TCL the #1 TV brand in the USA and #2 globally disclosed that its TV shipments, including own brand and ODM models, declined 20.2% on year to 6.73 million units in the first quarter.

Its own-brand TV shipments to overseas markets such as Australia plunged 23.8% on year to 3.11 million in January-March, as a decline of 52.1% in shipments to North America offset a rise of 43.9% in shipments to Europe and a gain of 14.3% to emerging markets, TCL said, expecting its shipments to regain momentum in the second quarter.
LCD panel makers in China and Taiwan are expected to gear up efforts to grab TV panel orders to be released by Samsung Electronics after its associate company Samsung Displays stops producing LCD panels, according to industry sources.

Samsung Display has decided to terminate production of LCD panels at its plants in Korea and China by year-end 2020, as it moves to accelerate developing high-margin QLED panels, said the sources.

However, Samsung Display will remain the largest supplier of LCD TV panels to Samsung Electronics in 2020, with its shipments likely to reach 10 million units, supporting the vendor’s goal of delivering up to 46 million TVs worldwide in the year, the sources indicated.

To mitigate its production risks, Samsung Electronics is likely to buy TV panels from multiple sources after 2020, mainly panel makers in China and Taiwan, the sources added.

China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT), a subsidiary of TCL, has a good chance to grab more windfall orders from the Korean TV vendor as it holds a 10% stake in an 8.5G joint venture currently operated by Samsung Display in Suzhou, China, noted the sources.

Samsung Display holds a majority 60% share in the joint venture and the city government of Suzhou has 30%. Samsung Display has recently resumed talks for selling its stake to CSOT after previous discussions for such a deal were suspended due to unspecified reasons, the sources said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO) is expected to be able enhancing its business relationships with Samsung Electronics, having supplied high-end TV panels such as 4K, curved and bezel-less 8K models to the Korean TV vendor for years, commented the sources.

Cooperation between AUO and Samsung will continue to focus on high-end and slim-type models due to capacity constraints at AUO, said the sources.

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