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Will Sony Be Next Japanese Brand To Exit TV Market

Speculation is mounting that Sony could quit the global TV market despite their TV’s delivering high margins for retailers in Australia.

Earlier today Panasonic quit the Australian TV market a move that will also impact the specialist channel, where the Japanese Company had a lot of strength due to the slower sell through at specialist retail stores and the fact that many of the Panasonic display screens were being built into custom configured integration deals.

In the global TV market Sony has struggled for several years along with several of their other consumer offerings with one analyst claiming recently “Sony should be dominating, and yet they are behind most TV manufacturers when it comes to marketshare”.

One key local retailer said “The Panasonic exit is not surprising, however Sony is doing okay in the local premium market and this should improve with the exit if Panasonic, as there are people out there who see Japanese brands such as Sharp, Panasonic and Sony as being premium brands”.

As for the global market one analyst wrote recently “In some ways, the shrinking marketshare for Bravia televisions (are they even called Bravia anymore?) was to be expected as Sony transitioned the division towards mainly premium models, but that strategy hasn’t really played out all that well for them”.

In the consumer market TV’s is not the only place where Sony are struggling.

Globally their Xperia smartphone is all but dead, and while TV sales are down, so are their home theatre sales.

Sound driven by headphone sales are doing okay, camera sales continue to decline despite Alpha taking away shares from Panasonic, Nikon and Canon, and even PlayStation is feeling the pain of being a single hardware division.

The exit of Panasonic and the possible exit of Sony from the global market opens the door up for both Sharp and later this year European TV brand Loewe who will use IFA in Berlin to launch a new range of smart TV’s and appliances following a major restructure of the brand.

In Australia TCL has become the #1 TV brand when the JB Hi Fi Falcon range which is made by TCL and the TCL branded TV’s are combined. Globally TCL is the #2 TV brand in the world and in the US TCL is now the #1 TV brand ahead of both Samsung and LG.

ChannelNews understands that Samsung was going to lower their prices by 5% but due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China this strategy could be abandoned as stock “becomes tight” said one source.

Panasonic Australia has not said whether there will be any layoffs as a direct result of their exit from the Australian TV market.

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