It seems strange to be suggesting that India could be a major market for Ultra-HD when ‘ordinary’ high definition is still a novelty for its viewers. But according to the Press Trust of India (PTI), which quotes Sony India’s GM/marketing, Tadato Kimura, there is already a trend in India for well-heeled viewers towards 55” displays, and larger, and that sort of size demands Ultra-HD.
“Now, customer demands for even bigger screen sizes, upwards of 55 inch. For these kinds of large screen sizes, HD is actually not good enough to experience the best picture quality,” says Kimura.
Sony’s 4K displays are now being introduced to India’s consumers. As are Samsung’s products, and they express similar hopes for sales. Samsung India SVP/consumer electronics, Atul Jain said: “It is a new technology which is being introduced in the Indian and the global markets. So in many ways, we are creating the market in India at this moment.”
LG’s ambitions, at least as far as LG India’s Marketing Head/home entertainment Rishi Tandon, are perhaps more realistic, at least initially: “Ultra HD TVs are a niche segment. In our opinion, the customer of ultra HD TVs is a pioneer who understands the technology, and seeks the unique experience the product delivers.”
This is not to say their ambitions are impossible to achieve. There are plenty of wealthy Indians who buy the latest in cars, watches, gadgets and branded clothing in this extremely fashion-conscious nation. Mumbai alone could probably sell many thousands of units to its Bollywood and cricket stars, let alone business leaders.
Each of the mainstream consumer electronics giants – and including Panasonic – have solid reputations in India but need to boost the margins they make from high-end technology. Sony has reportedly earmarked about $46 million to promote its Bravia range of displays, including its 4K units, while Samsung and LG are planning similar nationwide campaigns.