Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp expects a three-fold surge in sales of its ultra-high-definition LCD TVs in Taiwan from last year due to replacement demand, a company executive said yesterday.
Strong demand last year for its high-margin Bravia brand 4K TVs has helped its TV business return to profitability, ending 11 years of losses, Sony director of visual products Kzuo Kii said.
This year, the company has broadened its 4K TV lineup to include 49-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch models, Kii told a media briefing in Taipei.
The move is set to benefit Taiwanese panel makers including AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) and Innolux Corp (群創), as “it is very natural to team up with Taiwanese firms [to supply 4K panels] as most of them do not own TV brands,” Kii said.
“Premium 4K TVs are our major product this year. Their [local panel makers’] capacity cannot fully satisfy our demand. We cannot completely count on Taiwan to supply 4K panels. Besides AUO and Innolux, we are also considering working with South Korean firms to supply 4K panels,” Kii said.
LCD panel makers plan to ship 400 million 4K TVs worldwide this year, accounting for 17 percent of total TV panel shipments, according to IHS DisplaySearch.
AUO expects 4K TV panels to make up more than 30 percent of the 50-inch TV panels it produces this year, while Innolux expects 40 percent of the 50-inch TV panels it produces in the second quarter to be 4K panels.
Sony Taiwan marketing president Tatsuya Omi said the company plans to safeguard its top position in the nation’s 4K TV market and increase its market share to 50 percent from last year’s 47 percent.
Sony Taiwan marketing general manager Shingemasa Dohi said 4K TVs would account for between 10 percent and 15 percent of Sony’s TV sales in Taiwan this year.
Overall, Taiwan’s TV market is expected to be little changed at about 1.03 million units this year, with 4K TV sales expected to grow 1.5 times from last year by value, the company said.
Samsung Electronics Co on Monday said it had topped Sony to become Taiwan’s No. 1 brand in the 4K TV market.
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