Great Expectations For 4K
DEALERSCOPE: What are your predictions for sales of Ultra HD 4K TVs for 2014, for the market as a whole, and for your brand in the market? Will the category reach mainstream by the end of the year—and how do you define “mainstream?”
Tim Alessi, Director, New Product Development, LG: Expectations are very high for UHD; we think this year will be the real breakout year. We were the first company to introduce the 84-inch UHD to the U.S. market in 2012, and expanded the line last year with two other series and four models. This year, the total market is expected to increase dramatically. CEA reported that in 2013, 77,000 units were sold. Their [early] 2014 estimate had been 485,000, which looks like dramatic growth but I think it was way conservative. We’re estimating that by the end of the year, the industry could be at the million-unit mark, if not slightly higher. There are a lot more models on the market, and just speaking for LG, by the end of the year, we’ll have a dozen units on the market, and maybe more, depending on how the second half shakes out. We’re really bullish on it. We’ll be able to offer some unique value to our customers, and we’ll be up there among the market leaders by the end of the year.
Julie Bauer, President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.: We have very positive expectations for 4K technology in general with consumers. In addition to our Life+Screen 4K UHDTV line, we also have 4K/2K-enabled digital imaging and wearable technology that is receiving very positive consumer reviews and adoption. For Panasonic, 4K is an ecosystem of products and solutions that will continue to be integrated with consumers’ lives over time.