Sony’s presale of XBR-A1E OLED TV series at CES 2017 early this year ignites a full-fledged competition in the premium TV market between Sony, LG and Samsung. Consumer’s attentions are drawn to this price war between existing versus new products and among major competitors.
Sony’s XBR-A1E series consists of three different size of models such as 55-inch at US $ 4,999.99, 65-inch at US $ 6,499.99 and 77-inch at a price remaining unknown, yet presumably twice as high as that of existing models XBR-55X850D and XBR-65X850D. This premium pricing strategy is interpreted as building up brand differentiation of the OLED TV equipped with better screen quality and acoustic surface technology. Compared to LG Signature OLED65G7P and OLED65W7P, the price is US$500 and US$ 1,500 lower respectively as it was launched later than LG, intending to dominate the market with a more competitive price.
LG electronics has also launched a premium OLED TV set last February; LG plans to launch 10 models (77/65W7, 77/65G7, 65/55E7, 65/55C7, 65/55B7) in five Ultra OLED TV series this year. The price of LG’s major model, OLED65C7 is US$ 4,499.00 on Amazon.com, 25% lower than OLED65C6 and a similar price to Samsung’s 65Q7C. But both the Signature OLED TV, OLED65G7P and the wall paper OLED TV, OLED65W7 are US$ 1,000 and US$ 2,000 higher respectively than Samsung’s most expensive 65” QLED TV, QN65Q9F. The premium market is divided by two categories of entry and high-end: low-priced entry model to compete with Samsung’ QLEDTV and premium-priced high end model to pioneer a niche market.
Unlike LG and Sony, Samsung has been focusing on QLED TV, launching super premium product lines (Q7,Q8,Q9) at the Louvre exhibition in Paris on March 14th The product lines consist of 11 models (88/75/65Q9F, 75/65/55Q8C, 75/65/55Q7F, 65/55Q7C) in 4series- the initial F means flat and C means curved. Q9 far more luxurious model than Q7and Q8 will be launched in April this year.
The price of 65Q8C will be US$ 4,799.99, and 65Q9F for US$ 5,999.99 as of March 14th at Best Buy, both of which are 20% higher than ‘SUHD TV’, one of premium TV line ups launched in 2016. Their high price range as Sony and better screen quality with 100% proved color volume are major attributes to establish luxury brand image of the premium TV set.
The premium TV market in 2017 is expecting a neck and neck competition again between the three major market leaders- Samsung, LG and Sony. LG, still the best market leader with OLED TV in the premium TV market versus Sony recently advanced in OLED TV market, and Samsung’s QLED TV marketing: How significantly would the three major players affect the premium TV market in 2017? That’s the focal point for consumers and stakeholders.