Japanese TV Company Sharp Electronics, which is tipped to be working with Apple to launch a new TV, is set to launch a 70″ Ultra High-Definition, 4K TV in Australia that will sell for sub $8,000. The 84″ Samsung 4K TV currently sells for $40,000.
Sharp, which is struggling to keep its TV business afloat, spent 2012 marketing its large 80″ and 70″ TV offering in Australia, but is now under pressure from several vendors which have a large screen 4K offering. Sony recently launched a 65″ 4K TV that will retail for $8999.
Sony’s 55-inch UHD TV retails for $5999.
The Sharp offering has a 3,840 by 2,160 resolution display and is the first edge-lit LED LCD TV in the industry to carry THX Ultra HD certification.
Sharp documents shown to retailers in Australia state that the new TV will incorporate a dual-core processor and an Ultra HD processing chip which will be used to upscale content to 4K quality.
The company claims its new processing engine delivers better picture quality than Samsung, LG and Sony are able to deliver when converting 1080p-to 4K content.
It will also house a built-in 35-watt multi-speaker, dual-subwoofer sound system with separate midrange, tweeter and subwoofer drivers, the speakers are located at the front of the TV similar to the Sony 4K TV offering.
Four HDMI 1.4 ports which are Ultra HD content-compatible are built into the system, as well as an SD card and a USB 3.0 port.
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, whose company was tipped to invest in Sharp, says he is “in no rush”. The company, which is tipped to be working with Apple to develop a new Apple TV offering, has held several discussions with Japanese management from Sharp, who are desperate to secure funding.
The Wall Street Journal says Foxconn has been aggressively building up its capability to manufacture large panels used in high-resolution televisions. As part of its move to increase its know-how in the panel business, it has bought some Sharp assets and has been negotiating with the Japanese company to buy a 10 percent stake, but the two sides have yet to agree on a price.
Sharp’s new president, Kozo Takahashi, told the company’s annual shareholders meeting in June that he had met twice with Mr. Gou over the past few months to discuss various potential business alliances, but that there was no proposal for additional investment. A Sharp spokeswoman says the company is open to considering possible capital alliance proposals from Hon Hai should they arise.
People familiar with the situation say Apple Inc. is testing high-resolution TV designs with Hon Hai and Sharp, which could be a boon for both companies.
Mr. Gou told shareholders the company’s earnings and revenue will likely grow this year, despite a challenging market environment. He reiterated the company’s revenue growth target of 15 per cent for this year, citing new product launches from customers.
Hon Hai is the main assembler of Apple’s iPhones and iPads and the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of electronics.