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Business – India;Move over LCDs, LED televisions are here

Priyanka Joshi

In May this year, Samsung introduced India to high-end LED-LCD TVs (or LED TVs), which are now being viewed as a boon for TV manufacturing companies battling falling prices. According to analysts, prices of conventional 32-inch LCD TVs have already slipped 25 per cent in last one year.

An LED (light emitting diodes) TV is, in essence, an LCD television set with LED backlighting. By virtue of this backlight, LED TV panels are thinner than that of LCD TVs and also have a longer life. But a typical LCD TV is normally backlit by Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL).

While the flat panel market in India is expected to reach about 1.4 million units, industry estimates project the market for LED TVs to touch 100,000 units. Besides, flat panel-makers are pegging LED TVs at 20 per cent of the total LCD TV market in the country by 2010.

Amitabh Tiwari, LG India’s business group marketing head (Home Entertainment), says: “Many premium segment customers who can afford LCDs are now considering LED LCD TVs as they offer better packages.”

LG, which claims a share of 28 per cent in the LCD TV market, believes that LED TVs will be big in India because their backlighting creates a rich colour and image resolution — a feature that consumers look for in flat-panel televisions.

Samsung’s Deputy Managing Director R Zutshi is confident about the success of LED TVs in India. “We expect early adopters of technology — who go for premium, stylish and latest products — to move to LED TVs. We are also hoping to convert those existing LCD consumers who are looking at technology upgrade into LED TV buyers,” he says.

In order to promote this new category of televisions, Samsung is also offering consumers a 22-inch Samsung LCD TV free with every 40-inch and above screen-size LED TVs. Samsung, which has 37 per cent of the LCD TV market, is hoping to sell 60,000 units of its high-end LED TVs this year.

Research firm iSuppli reports that LEDs are increasingly being used in a wide array of applications, including lighting, notebooks, mobile phones and televisions. Samsung India has launched seven models of LED TVs in the price range of Rs 69,900 to Rs 3,50,000. LG too has launched its first LED product, the LH90 series, and priced its 42-inch set at Rs 90,000 and 47-inch one at Rs 1,10,000 lakh.

Sony too has climbed on the LED bandwagon and is reporting healthy sales. To make its point, the company recently showcased the Bravia ZX1, a 40-inch screen set measuring just 9.9 mm in thickness and priced at Rs 199,900.

“We are aiming to gain a market share of 30 per cent by the first quarter of 2010 and are investing Rs 600 million in the Bravia series, which includes LED TVs, for the current fiscal year,” says Yoshinobu Tashiro, product head of Sony’s Bravia LCD TV.

Other players in the flat-panel market, such as BenQ, are also watching the LED TV growth carefully. According to a BenQ India spokesperson, LED TVs may show a price decline in India as and when competition increases in this segment. “We are also planning to launch LED TVs in the near future,” he confirms.

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September 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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