Korean UHD TV prices slashed in U.S. market

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Korean UHD TV prices slashed in U.S. market

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have significantly slashed the prices of their ultra high-definition TVs in the United States, the biggest market for premium TVs, in a move market watchers say will help deepen the popularity of their UHD products.

Samsung’s UHD TV was being sold at $2,999.99 in the United States as of yesterday, according to the website of its U.S. corporation, Samsung Electronics America. It was discounted by $2,500 from its previous price, $5,499.99. The U.S. price of its 65-inch UHD TV was $4,499.99, cut by $3,000 from $7,499.99.

Samsung sold the UHD TVs at their previous prices when they introduced them to U.S. consumers last August.

LG Electronics, which sold its 55-inch UHD TV for $6,000 in the United States last year, has also lowered the retail price to $3,499.99, according to its website.

The price reductions partly reflect the companies’ inventory clearance efforts ahead of the release of new models.

But they were also driven by bids by the world’s two largest TV vendors to seize leadership in the UHD TV market, one of the few TV categories in which they are trailing.

Sony is leading the UHD market worldwide with a market share of 23.4 percent as of the third quarter of last year, according to NPD DisplaySearch, an industry tracker. Two Chinese companies - Skyworth and TCL - had the second- and third-largest shares in the quarter, while Samsung and LG were No. 4 and No. 8, respectively.

Samsung, which released its UHD products a year later than Sony, is confident about narrowing the gap. It’s already No. 1 in the U.S. market.

“We have led the U.S. and European markets in the fourth quarter and will continue to bolster sales in the regions,” said an official of Samsung Electronics.

Samsung’s market share in the U.S. UHD TV market was 48.3 percent in November and 49.8 percent in December, the company said earlier this month.

A UHD TV has two to four times the resolution of a standard high-definition TV. Currently, 55-inch standard high-definition TVs are still priced at around $4,000.

UHD TVs are produced from the same manufacturing platform as standard HD TVs, so the cost is dropping at a quick pace, according to market analysts.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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