LG, Samsung vie for new LCD variant

Written by Mona Mehta | Mumbai | Updated: May 12 2009, 05:37am hrs
LG Electronics India and Samsung India are in the process of creating new category of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs, called the light emitting diode (LED) TVs. For buying new LED TVs, consumers will have to pay 20 to 30% premium over LCD TVs that are sold between Rs 75,000 to Rs 80,000in India.

The benefits which consumers can reap from new LED TVs include enhanced brightness, contrast and sound over LCD TVs and this new format is 40% more energy efficient as compared to the existing ones.

As part of the strategy, Samsung India is planning to convert 10% of its flat panel TVs (FPTVs) into LED TVs. Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director of Samsung India, told FE, "We have started manufacturing LED TVs in India and expect to sell 60,000 LED TVs in this financial year. This will be done through special displays at premium dealers in top cities."

Globally, the LED TV market is expected to be 3 million units this year and over 5 million units in 2010. Meanwhile, competitor LG Electronics India is planning to convert 5% of its FPTV volumes into LED TVs this fiscal. As for the rationale behind the move, Amitabh Tiwari, head (consumer electronics) of LG Electronics India, explained, "Since the 7-lakh LCD TV market, which is growing at the rate of 112%, is to stay and not to be phased out, it becomes imperative for us to give buying option to consumers based on the latest technological changes taking place in the worldwide durables market. With the move, we also plan to launch new technological 100 hertz LCD TV in India this month which will be followed with the launch of new LCD TVs with 200 Hertz next month."

Between January and April 2009, LG has reported a 238% growth in LCD TVs over the corresponding period. Samsung India too has grown by over 200% in LCD TVs during the same period, as per recent AC Nielsen estimates. As for LED TVs, LG is in the process of spending Rs 30 crore on new advertising campaigns in this financial year, Tiwari added.

Besides LG and Samsung, certain durable manufacturers such as Videocon Industries, Haier Appliances India, TCL and Panasonic are also gearing up to launch LED TVs in India. Videocon and Haier Appliances are evaluating plans to import LED TVs from China initially.