Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research
When Samsung Electronics, CES’ most important company, holds a press conference, members of the media wait longer than an hour anticipating the new world the firm will show. For LG Electronics’ press conference, the waiting period is relatively shorter.
However, the press conferences at CES 2016 were not as anticipated. In CES and IFA, the representative of electronic appliances companies is TV. However, the TV in Samsung Electronics’ event was merely the same SUHD TV as shown before. Instead, ICT area, such as VR, USB adaptor, and Samsung Pay, was emphasized. During the last year’s CES, Samsung Electronics received much acclaim with curved design added SUHD TV. The only difference for this year’s TV from CES 2015’s was the text ‘Quantum Dot Display’ underneath the SUHD.
Samsung Electronics is considered the rule maker of the market with new designs and aggressive marketing. The fact that Samsung Electronics only added the words quantum dot to the already applied SUHD TV LCD panel is analyzed to be a desperate measure demonstrating the LCD TV’s development limitation.
On the other hand, during their press conference, LG Electronics provided a vision where the TV market can have another growth spurt through the introduction of the improved OLED TV with 800 nit peak brightness. Particularly, NASA’s video of vivid deep black of the space and dynamic fiery red of the sun on the OLED TV brought the audiences to cheer and applause. What could only have been seen by astronauts can now be seen by everyone through OLED TV. This was an event where everyone could feel what a true display really is.
Of course, as the largest market of the consumer market is smartphone, it would be illogical to discuss Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics with only TV. However, Samsung Electronics’ smartphone business also remained stationery last year and all businesses, excluding semiconductor, is falling downward. As such, for Samsung fans who have high expectations it is of much concern.
The reason that the companies that led electronic appliance industry for the past half century such as Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba are falling is because they did not have paradigm changing technology and product when the market was stalling. The same unfortunate sign is coming from Samsung Electronics.
Chinese set companies including TCL also brought quantum dot technology applied LCD TV to CES 2016. 8K TV was also exhibited. Although the picture quality control technology of the Chinese TV companies still falls short compared to companies such as Samsung Electronics, LC Electronics, and Sony, the set exterior reached similar standards and the price is less than 70% of the early starters’. The difference in the picture quality is difficult to distinguish for those who are not TV or display experts. The quality of Chinese products does not reflect the cheaper price, and cheap and good products are pouring in from China.
For Samsung Electronics that cannot produce OLED TV, in order to repeat the last year’s popularity in international events such as IFA in later this year, a big issue and product that can represent the company are urgently needed.