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.
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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.
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.
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