Marketing war erupts before release of 4K TVs in Japan

May 22, 2013

By KAZUTAKA KAMIZAWA/ Staff Writer

Japanese electronics giants have started a marketing war for next-generation ultra-high definition 4K TV sets, a year before Japan begins such broadcasting services next summer.

Sharp Corp., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. will soon begin marketing their 4K TV sets priced at around 10,000 yen ($97) per inch.

Digital TVs with 4K resolution offer picture quality four times that of the regular high-definition standard.

Sharp announced May 21 that it will release two types of 4K television sets under the Aquos brand at prices below 1 million yen.

The 70-inch model will go on sale on June 15 at 850,000 yen, while the 60-inch set will arrive Aug. 10 for 650,000 yen.

The company said it also plans to sell these products overseas.

Sharp’s initial sales target is 2,000 sets a month for a 50-percent share in the domestic market and a 30-percent share in the global market in two to three years.

Sony plans to sell its 55-inch and 65-inch 4K models in June, priced at 500,000 yen and 750,000 yen, respectively.

Toshiba plans to release 58-inch and 65-inch models this summer. Company officials said they want to bring the price below 10,000 yen per inch.

According to U.S. research company NPD DisplaySearch, sales of 4K TV sets in Japan will sharply increase from 32,000 units in 2013 to 388,000 in 2016.

Some broadcasting services for 4K TV are scheduled to start in time for the opening of the soccer World Cup in Brazil in July 2014.

By KAZUTAKA KAMIZAWA/ Staff Writer
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Sharp Corp.’s 70-inch 4K television set (Kazutaka Kamizawa)

Sharp Corp.’s 70-inch 4K television set (Kazutaka Kamizawa)

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  • Sharp Corp.’s 70-inch 4K television set (Kazutaka Kamizawa)

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