Rivals nervous as Dell planning to offer TVs here
Dell Computer Corp., the world’s largest personal computer maker, may be planning to make inroads into Korea’s television market as early as January, which could shake up the domestic digital television industry through aggressive pricing tactics. “Following the launch of printers next month, we will make full-fledged efforts to enter the Korean market with a diversified product lineup, including liquid crystal televisions,” an employee of Dell Korea told the JoongAng Ilbo. However, the Korean subsidiary of the U.S. manufacturer has not given any official indications on the matter yet. Kim Jin-gun, the president of Dell Korea, said, “Nothing has been confirmed about launching television products in Korea. We are pondering releasing them next year.
“We believe plasma display panel televisions will have a better competitive edge than liquid crystal display panel televisions, which overlap with liquid crystal display monitors that also function as televisions in the Korean market,” he added. The U.S. manufacturer is expected to release here the entire line of liquid crystal display and plasma display panel televisions currently on sale in the United States. Entering the plasma television market in the United States a year ago, Dell recently unveiled a new line of such products, with a pricing structure that was called “disruptive” by U.S. analysts. The company is now moving quickly into digital home electronics ranging from televisions to digital cameras and music players as part of its efforts to increase revenue. As Dell expands its product line beyond computers, rivals fear that it might break through pricing barriers in the Korean TV industry as it did with computers. The TVs sold in the United States are about 1 million won ($945) cheaper than those offered by Korean manufacturers. Dell’s 37-inch liquid crystal display televisions are sold for about $2,299, or 2.3 million won, while the same size model from LG Electronics costs 3.35 million won. A 42-inch plasma display panel television is priced at $2,499 (2.5 million won) compared with Samsung’s product of the same size at 3.3 million won. Dell products are much less expensive than those of local digital television producers such as Daewoo Electronics and Erae Electronics. “It will not be easy for Dell to beat such powerful players as Samsung and LG at the moment but the emergence of cheaper televisions may induce rivals and even smaller producers to come up with ‘price-killing’ strategies,” an industry observer said. by Kim Chang-woo, Seo Ji-eun