The Ultra HD price wars have started already. The Wall Street Journal and TWICE have confirmed that LG is lowering the price of the company’s 2013 4K televisions as well as the price of the flagship curved OLED TV.
Yes, that same curved OLED TV price that LG seemed to be firmly sticking to when Samsung announced its own cheaper one.
According to TWICE, as of September 1, two of LG’s UHD TVs will now sell at least $1,000 less than the original MSRP. The models included are the 55LA9700 and the 65LA9700.
LG’s Ultra HD TVs had been among the more expensive in the market. Even with the price cuts, their UHD TVs are at least $500 more than same-sized models from Sony and Samsung.
Sharp is asking $7,999 for it’s 70-inch 4K TV. Toshiba’s 58-inch 4K goes for $4,999.
Also said to be reduced is the previously $14,999 55EA9800 curved OLED TV. It will soon sell for $9,999 which makes it competitive with Samsung’s $8,999 OLED model.
Sony and Samsung have already cut prices for some of their Ultra HD sets.
So what does this price war, so early in the evolution of these two new technologies (Ultra HD and OLED) say about the premium TV business? It could say several different things. Are consumers having lukewarm reactions to the technologies? Is the lack of 4K content part of the problem? Is the pricing perceived to be too high for the value of the experience? Are the TV manufacturers more focused on market share leadership than profits?
Is 1080p good enough (the home theater projector manufacturers seem to think so).
All of the above probably apply.
One thing a savvy shopper might take away from this is that it’s never a good idea to be the first person to buy a new technology. Wait a few months, and the price will come down significantly.
Will we see more price drops like this as the holiday shopping season approaches? I don’t think so, at least not so dramatically. These price reductions put the major manufacturers all on a fairly level field, but probably still leave a little room to recoup the new tech investments the companies made. If anything I would expect bundled offers—soundbars, tablets, smartphones and Blu-ray players offered free or reduced with a premium TV purchase.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Also Check Out:
4K Content is Coming
Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player Coming July 15
Watch Four 1080p Shows at Once with Planar 4K TV
Theater Renovation Heats up Once-Frigid Room with 4K Images
Get Your Fill of 4K Indie Films with REDRAY
A Bargain Price Ultra HD TV: Is it Worth It?
What to Watch On a 4K Ultra HD TV
Sony’s New 4K Ultra HD TVs Start at $4,999
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.