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Lenovo aims to sell 1 million smart TVs

Publication Date : 28-03-2014

 

Lenovo Group Ltd is aiming to sell 1 million "smart" television sets in China this year after releasing a highly anticipated second-generation flagship product on Thursday.

Called the S9, the TV has the world's fastest data-processing speed on the market, according to Lenovo.

It was the Chinese company's biggest news since last June, when it unveiled the hybrid television products developed in partnership with Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp.

"We hold high sales expectations for S9 and other smart TV products," said David Ren, head of the smart TV unit at Lenovo China.

Smart TVs are equipped with an open-source platform, video on demand and other user interactive features such as online gaming and web browsing.

More than half of the devices will be sold at brick-and-mortar stores, while online sales will contribute the rest, according to the company.

Lenovo's Senior Vice-President Chen Xudong told China Daily previously that the company had plans to sell 1 million of the TVs through major retail sites in the 2013-2015 period.

The Beijing-based vendor also is building an e-commerce website to spur its new television business, according to a person familiar with the matter. The website will be active in early April.

Lenovo is likely to lift its online sales target because of Thursday's news release.

The world's largest maker of personal computers in terms of shipments re-entered the television industry in 2012 as a part of the company's ambitious strategy to dominate more hardware markets after the demand for PCs went flat.

"Next-generation smart TVs should be strong in processing capability, social media and rich content. That's why we think the S9 will be a powerful player in the market," said Ren.

Lenovo currently relies heavily on smartphones to cement its presence in the consumer electronics sector and also is gaining a sizable market share in the tablet market, researchers said.

Helped by strong sales of the Yoga series, endorsed by Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher, Lenovo is the third-largest tablet maker, taking nearly 6 per cent of market share, according to local research firm Analysys International.

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd sealed the top two spots by a large margin.

The penetration rate of smart TVs in China is approaching 70 per cent this year, with more than 31 million devices sold, according to research company All View Consulting Ltd. "Smart TVs will erode the market share of traditional TVs," said Zhang Yanbin, the consultant's assistant president.

The upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil and favorable prices offered by e-commerce sites also are likely to accelerate sales, said an AVC report.

"But the problem is most of the so called 'smart TVs' are not smart enough, and customers have no idea how to use 80 per cent of the features," said Zhang, adding that Chinese vendors have to refocus on product development while the competition heats up.

Internet companies, such as LeTV.com and Tencent Holdings Ltd, have stepped into the market followed by more hardware companies such as Lenovo, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp and telecom equipment vendor ZTE Corp.

Last week, a joint venture partly owned by ZTE, based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, launched a set-top box with a popular gaming feature. It's the first move from yet another player to join the battle for living room dominance.

 

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