The Aquos LC-90LE757 has been on sale in the United States since June of last year, meaning that we’re not looking at especially new technology here. The reason for its delayed release has been Europe’s apparent lack of appetite for super-Sized TVs, unlike the USA market where there’s high demand for such sets. Sharp acknowledge that the EU market for such sets remains niche, but believe there is now enough demand to warrant the TVs EU launch.
In the UK, a 50 inch TV is considered as super-sized, and units of this size and above are currently accounting for just 6 percent of the UK market (GFK research). Perhaps of more interest to super-sized manufacturers is the fact that these TVs account for 16% of the TV market in the UK, the disparity caused by their comparatively much more expensive price tag. Such TVs are normally flagship models, and are most likely to showcase the latest technology, such as Sharp’s 4k tech.
The USA in comparison, has 8% of the market at 60 inches or above.
“In the States people have bigger houses and bigger rooms, so large TVs represent a larger proportion of the marketplace,” GfK’s Nigel Catlow told the BBC. “But as the TVs get thinner, more rooms are able to take a big TV set, and screen size is the biggest driver for making people want to buy a new product.”
Sharp: A giant in decline?
Sharp were once considered one of the largest manufacturers of TVs in the World. As a consumer electronics brand, they were amongst the most globally recognised and respected. Last year they lost $3.7 billion though, and in truth the company has been struggling for some years.
Their turnaround strategy is said to focus on niche areas, and therefore the super-sized TV market in Europe makes sense. Niche areas by their definition are less competitive and often hold higher margins.
The more readily available consumer channels, including TVs <50 inches in the UK, are being dominated by Samsung Electronics currently.
The Aquos LC-90LE757 90 Inch TV Features
Sharp are planning to go even bigger: LCD walls in the pipeline
“The plan is definitely to go bigger,” Mr Monetto, who heads up the Sharp product in the UK told the BBC.
“The long-term view is that eventually you will have entire walls that are made out of LCDs, and you can allocate different spaces for different usage. Part will be used for TV signals, part for surfing the internet and part to show pictures.”
Whether the UK market is ready for a TV set which takes out an entire wall is quite another matter. I expect that most households will struggle to agree on the need for a 90 inch TV, let alone a TV wall. That said, it’s an interesting idea being posed by Sharp, and one to keep an eye on.
Via the BBC