Letv To Bring New TVs, Business Strategy To CES
One of the more interesting developments planned for CES 2016 in Las Vegas next week will be the unveiling of some aggressive new products and marketing strategies for the global stage by Chinese-based television manufacturers, including Letv, China’s leading video service provider that has entered the consumer electronics business.
In general, Chinese consumer electronics manufacturers have recently started stepping up efforts in countries outside of China to make up for declining domestic sales brought on by a tougher local economy.
Letv is challenging the six major companies that have traditionally ranked at the top of the Chinese TV market including: Hisense, TCL, Skyworth, Changhong, Konka, Haier and others using a disruptive high-end product line offered at highly competitive prices. Where established TV makers have typically used high-value, low-price sales strategies, Letv is going one better by selling products in some cases at or below manufacturing costs, by subsidizing equipment through revenue generated by IP-based advertising and Letv’s “content ecosystem.”
Letv recently bought 20% share of TCL Multimedia to further strengthen its business model, which is based on “an open close-loop ecosystem.” According to the announcement of the deal made earlier this month, TCL and Letv will share resources, consolidate their user groups and jointly develop new products. This will begin by integrating resources, including supply chains, online and offline sales, and after-sales service.
By some estimates Letv, with just its fourth generation of products, already ranks seventh in the China TV market.
Letv, which is an Internet conglomerate based in Bejing, has been taking advantage of relaxed government regulations that have allowed it to bundle its services and programming with Chinese broadcast industry concerns, among others. It has also turned its attention toward manufacturing and marketing consumer electronics devices including smartphones, virtual reality gear and even TVs.
Read more on Letv’s CES plans after the jump:
In addition to TVs, VR gear and smartphones, the company will be showing at CES health and fitness technology, and connected car technologies, which it will demonstrate with an Aston Martin at its booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall # 21018.
One of the highlights of its TV offerings will be the new Super TV Max 70, which is billed as a 70-inch LCD TV that uses an ultra-thin Ultra HD TFT-LCD. According to a DigiTimes report, the panel for the set was the first of its kind sourced from Sharp’s 10G fab in Sakai City, Japan.
The Super TV Max 70 measures just 9.9mm thick and will be priced at $2,015, according to DigiTimes. It will include an Adreno 430 GPU with 4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB Flash, Novatek72324 motion processing chip, HEVC H.265 at 60Hz, and 4K hardware acceleration. It will include an independent wireless subwoofer and a Harmon Kardon audio system delivering 5.1 surround sound.
Invitations to the company’s press conference promised the unveiling of a 120-inch 4K Ultra HD 3D LED LCD TV billed as the Max 120 Super TV. The Super TV features 3840×2160 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 3D video support, 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, Mali-T760 quad-core GPU, 3GB of RAM and Bluetooth 4.0.
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Other products in the company’s portfolio include “the world’s first curved-screen split TV.” The Super Max 65 Curved is a smart TV using what the company calls a glass light guide plate (LGP).
DigiTimes reported that Letv expects to ship nearly three million LCD TVs in 2015 and six million units in 2016. Much of the company’s electronics hardware business has come selling TVs through online shopping festivals in China.
It also sells its products directly through its web site, www.lemall.com, which still features the highly stylized 55-inch 4K Ultra HDTV model X3-55 (pictured at top), now sold out, which retailed for $799.
The Super Max 70 is reportedly scheduled to go on sale on the lemall.com site December 29th, while the Super Max 65 Curved Engineering Commemorative Edition will launch on Jan. 19, 2016, the Indian news site DNA reports.
By Greg Tarr
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