Samsung Quietly Slashed $30,000 Off Their 98-Inch 8K TV
While doing a little write up this week on the U.S. launch of the Samsung 98-inch 8K QLED TV at Dallas-based retailer Starpower, I bumped into a bit of news that somehow never made it into the headlines—at least from what I could tell in the brief digging that I did. That news: About a week ago, Samsung very quietly decided to drop the price of its brand new 98-inch 8K QLED TV. But it’s not like they just cut a few bucks off of the thing. Rather, Samsung dropped the TV by 30 percent, which translated to $30,000 off the original list price.
In what coverage I was able to find on the reduced price, a Samsung representative told CNET, “The $99,999 price was our introduction/launch price and since launch it was planned to move to the lower price in April.”
If they say so...
Samsung 98-inch listing on April 28th
Samsung 98-inch listing on April 29th
Immediately after confirming the price reduction actually happened—because I had a hard time believing it at first—I had a couple of different gut reactions as to why this move was made so quickly, and what it could mean for the general 8K TV market.
First, no matter what Samsung PR puts out, this was clearly a move to better position the 8K QLED set against Sony’s 8K TV, which just received pricing of its own. It’s no coincidence, from what I can tell, that Samsung decided to drop their price to the exact list price of Sony’s 98-inch 8K TV—$70,000. And they did so less than a week after pricing for the Sony TV was unveiled.
The bigger and more concerning questions raised by this move are two-fold: What kind of reaction is Samsung going to get from the consumer(s) who purchased their 98-inch 8K TV within the past few weeks for $30,000 more than what it’s listed for now? Are they going to be left hung out to dry? Will Samsung offer to pick up the tab on that remaining $30,000? And then, on the other side of this coin, what does this say about the 8K TV market and manufacturers’ pricing strategies? You’re telling me that Samsung was able to so quickly and easily justify reducing the price of their flagship 8K TV model by $30,000 at the snap of a finger?
That has to be concerning for the retailer out there, no? The TV market has a well-documented history of showing diminishing returns and little to no margins in a very short time after new technologies launch. And consumer awareness of that fact only exacerbates the problem for retailers. So, seeing something like a $30,000 price drop on 8K TVs before they even really hit the market has to be of major concern to the retail community. Even as a general consumer, part of me wonders what kind of message Samsung is sending by slashing the price so drastically. Was it that overpriced? Did Sony call their bluff? Are they all still overpriced, and, if so, by how much?