COMMENT: The introduction by Sony of a 70″ Bravia LCD TV at a mere $70,000 smacks of price gouging and total contempt for consumers. In the US this same model TV from the same production line sells for sub $35,000 and this is the retail price inclusive of retail margins.
To ask Australians to pay $35,000 on top of the US price for the privilege demonstrates quite clearly that Sony is prepared, as the Australian expression goes, to “have a lend” of consumers in the hope of bolstering their bottom line profits.
And for any consumer who is considering a purchase of this screen at $70,000, you either have more money than sense or you are totally ignorant of TV pricing and technology and are in need of urgent flat panel TV counselling.
Overall Sony products are expensive and there is no reason for this price difference other than profit taking by Sony Australia. The 70″ Bravia LCD TV which will be in stores in Australia is made in Asia and shipped to one location in Australia. So there are no additional freight costs than there would be to the USA. In addition, Sony sells direct to mass retailers like Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi so there is no distributor margin on this screen.
More importantly there is little technology difference between this 70″ Bravia LCD and Sony’s 52″ Bravia LCD TV which sells for $6,799.
The 52-inch model has Full HD 1080, Integrated HD Tuner, Motionflow 100Hz, x.v. Colour, 10 bit panel, BRAVIA Engine PRO, WCG-CCFL backlight, 1080/24p playback, 3 x HDMI inputs, BRAVIA Theatre Sync, and PhotoTV HD.
The 70″ Bravia XBR series, Full HD 1080, Integrated SD Tuner, Motionflow 100Hz, x.v. Colour, 10 bit panel, BRAVIA Engine PRO, Triluminous LED backlight, 1080/24p playback, 3 x HDMI inputs, BRAVIA Theatre Sync, PhotoTV HD.
The core differences are the size of the LCD panel and new Sony Triluminous LED backlight technology. So is this worth an extra $63,000? It’s not particularly as the new Sony 70″ offering is no design masterpiece. Nor does Sony have the brand status of Bang and Olufsen who even with their exorbitant pricing would struggle to sting consumers $70,000 for a 70″ LCD TV.
What Sony is desperate for is to preserve the brand quality they use to have when they dominated in the CRT TV market and when Walkman players literally walked out the door in the same way that Apple iPods do today.
This is despite the fact that a great deal of their Bravia LCD TV’s are made by third party original equipment manufacturers in Taiwan and China. By simply adding the Sony monocle they can leverage their brand to get a higher price despite the fact that other not known brands are manufactured on the same production lines as the Sony brand.
The new 70″ model is made at a plant owned by Sony and Samsung and is being rolled out by Sony simply as a bragging tool in an effort to enhance their status in the LCD TV market. “We have the biggest” commercially produced LCD TV in Australia is the message they want to leave behind with consumers.
Right now Sony are desperate for success. Their Playstation Division is losing billions while their TV division is having to compete in a brutally competitive market where prices have fallen up to 30% this year with further falls tipped next year.
Despite this Sony is a very bright Company. They own the Blu ray technology and very soon will start rolling out new OLED TV which is tipped to replace both Plasma and LCD technology and while their Bravia TV’s may look a tad on the boring side they are great technology innovators.